2018 – Back on the Road Again: You Better Belize It!

Part 1: It’s been a while…

It’s been a couple of months since the last blog post in November 2017 so apologies for the delay.  I left Mexico in early December and skipped back to the UK to see family and friends over Christmas and New Year; it was great to get back home for a while but surprisingly hectic trying to fit in time to see everyone.  Swapping shorts and flip-flops for hoodies and jackets was fun for a few weeks, but once the January blues kicked in following a fun-filled-festive-season my mind quickly turned back to dreams of Central American sunshine…so it’s back on the road again, but this time I’m travelling with my trusty Travel Kettyle.

We decided to kick off 2018 with a cheeky Business Class flight using some of the Travel Kettyle’s airmiles as a treat; using airmiles turned out to be roughly the same price as two regular tickets so we figured it was a no-brainer!  Travelling British Airways business class was a first for me so I was pretty stoked, and it also made the 8-hour flight to Miami a whole lot more fun.  I was able to get some sleep but that still didn’t stop the jet-lag making our bodies feel like it was 3am when we checked in to the cheap Runway Inn at 9pm local time in Miami.

I wouldn’t recommend the hotel for anything other than a few hours kip though, since we were rudely awoken around 3:30am by the slamming of next door’s headboard against the wall…and judging by the carnal cacophony emitted from the woman involved, we figured it was a ‘pay-per-hour’ kind of deal…thankfully we were back to sleep just after 4am.  Bienvenido a Miami!

 

Part 2: You Won’t Belize It

The flight from Miami to Belize City with American Airlines was fairly uneventful other than being a bit bumpy at points due to the small size of the aircraft.  The real drama started as we were just a few steps away from clearing Belizian customs…

A custom’s officer spotted the GoPro backpack which comes with the Karma and asked what was inside, we instinctively answered “a drone”…such was our mistake.  After taking a quick gander in the bag and asking us how much it weighed (we had no idea) the officer proceeded to write out a receipt for us to keep…because ‘Brian’ (the drone) was going to be held at customs until we got a valid drone permit from the appropriate authorities.  Oh dear.

 

I looked after our other bags whilst The Travel Kettyle headed off to find the lady in charge of issuing the permits, but of course, the lady was on her lunch break.  After sitting around for an hour or so we tried again, but of course, the lady had now gone home.  Feeling fairly frustrated we decided we had little choice but to leave Brian in the care of the Belizian authorities and just get on with our trip, we’d have to brainstorm how to get him back over the next few days.

 

Part 3: Belize City to Caye Caulker

There’s seems to be no other choice at Belize City airport other than to take a taxi to the San Pedro Belize Express water taxi dock, we ended up paying $50 BZD (about £20 GBP) for the 15-minute cab ride.  The water-taxi staff all wear green polo shirts and are super friendly, explaining that you drop your main luggage off at the entrance and then proceed through the small collection of shops to the ticket office.  There’s also a decent little area with cafes to grab some food before you jump on the water-taxi.

The water taxi itself carries about 100 people fully loaded and the hour’s ride over to Caye Caulker isn’t too bumpy, that does depend on the weather of course, but our trip was a smooth one thankfully.  The closer you get to Caye Caulker the shallower the surrounding turquoise-coloured waters become, it certainly is a sight to behold and begins to ease you into ‘island-time vibe’.

View from Caye Caulker

Our accommodation at Vista del Mar was only a few minutes’ walk from the water taxi dock which was a pleasant surprise, lugging hefty backpacks around in the tropical sun isn’t the best of fun.  After a quick reccy of the surrounding area and a bite to eat we crashed early since the jetlag had kicked in hard.  Next morning was followed by breakfast with a sea view and a leisurely wander to see what we could see…

 

We didn’t see any crocs…

 

Relaxation level = 100%

 

‘go slow’ is the vibe around here

 

Local fire truck

 

Chilled streets

 

Says it all…

 

Part 4: Snorkelling with E-Z Boy Tours

I’ll keep this one short since the pictures are better, but we had an amazing day with Kevin from West Coast Tours and E-Z Boy Tours.  Starting off at 10:30am we spent the whole day on the boat and saw a whole host of awesome underwater wonders:

  • Manatee
  • Sea Turtles
  • Tropical Fish
  • Nurse sharks
  • Southern Sting Rays

Lunch was included in the price of $70 USD per person (about £50 GBP each) and the tour ended at about 3:30pm with a visit to a sea-horse sanctuary and feeding sardines to some huge Tarpon fish.

 

Sea turtle

 

Swimming with sharks for the first time was kinda scary,

even if Nurse sharks can’t actually hurt you

 

 

 

 

Part 5: Kenny and the Caye Caulker Animal Sanctuary

Lastly I wanted to give huge props to Kenny at the Caye Caulker animal sanctuary for his selfless dedication to the poor waifs and strays of Belize.  Kenny has been running the sanctuary for about 6 years and makes regular trips to Belize City to pick up stray dogs and cats; otherwise the Belizian authorities place poisoned food at the side of the road to try and cull their numbers.

 

Kenny with one of the pups

 

 

Our favourite

 

 

Playing pups

 

Tune in next week to catch the next adventure down to Hopkins and Placencia.

 

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