Caye Caulker, Belize
Bad backpackers, buses, boats and Belize
Caye Caulker, Belize
We said a very tearful goodbye to our nice all-inclusive hotel to begin our adventure as real backpackers. Unfortunately, Joel and I are the worst backpackers in the world. Our plan was to catch a taxi to the centre of Cancun and then board a bus bound for Playa del Carmen. When the taxi pulled up, he offered to drive us the whole way down the coast for $40. Joel and I hardly thought about it before we found ourselves flying down the coast. To add insult to injury, as soon as we arrived in Playa, we completely blew our daily budget. Oh well. Our first real hostel was called hostel “Che”. It wasn’t too bad except for the fact that our private room opened up into a dorm room full of people. Even though our room was private, they might as well have knocked the walls down because you could hear absolutely everything as if they were in the room with us. Their toilet and our toilet also shared a common wall and we were often woken up in the middle of the night to a little machine gun fire toilet action. Ugh! We thoroughly enjoyed our time in Playa, just easing into life as backpackers. We spent our days on the beach or just wandering around 5th avenue. Joel got to sample heaps more Mexican food. One of the highlights was catching up with my friend from Club Med who lives in Playa, Candice. We had a lovely catch up over coffee while the skies opened up around us. After we parted ways, Joel and I bolted for the nearest bar and stayed their well past cocktail hour. We met some expats and ended up going out until 2:30 on the morning. We were so excited because we were always the old ***** who went to bed at 8:30. Upon returning to our hotel, making as much noise as possible to pay back those young punks, we were enormously disheartened to find that they were all still out. We finally managed to get onto an actual bus to head to our next stop, Tulum. This was partway down the coast on our way to Belize and was home to some beautiful ruins overlooking the ocean. We stayed in our second hostel which was quite the step up from our first one, except for one thing. There was a child staying at our hostel. I don’t mean, under the age of 18. This child could not have been more than 2 years old. That didn’t bother me so much. I like children. His hippy German parents could be forgiven for taking their small child and staying in a dirty hostel in Mexico. They could be forgiven for letting him run around with no shoes on and getting into everything. They could not be forgiven for letting their small child play in the bin in Mexico. He was literally picking the lid off and rummaging around. Negligent backpackers. The next day, we boarded a bus for Chetumal and from there we were going to board a boat bound for Belize. The beginning of our journey started with a slight altercation involving occupied bus seats, an angry American family and a very determined Joel and Joseph. Needless to say, we won. The only other notable thing about that boat trip was that we were forced to watch the worst movie ever made. It was called “The way of War”. Cuba Gooding Jr. you should be stabbed repeatedly for the agony that is this movie. In Chetumal, we boarded a boat bound for San Pedro. The boat ride itself was only two hours, but those were a very loooong two hours. The seas were not particularly rough. The boat was quite nice. They even played us a movie. The part that made it seem really long was the fact that we were hauling ass and those of us unfortunate (or stupid) enough to sit near the front were treated to two hours of bone crunching, back spasming, teeth chipping bumps. There was not a single minute of relaxation to be had at all. We passed through immigration in San Pedro and then boarded and even smaller, yet surprisingly more comfortable boat bound for Caye Caulker. Caye Caulker is a very small island. All of the streets are paved with sand. The houses are painted a kaleidoscope of bright colours. Everywhere you turn, you see rastas with dreads smoking the ganja. All in all it is a really lovely place. On our first full day, we went on a snorkelling tour to the reef right off of the coast. We couldn’t have asked for a better day. There was not a cloud in the sky. The sun reflected perfectly off of the crystal clear turquoise waters. We swam amongst a garden of impressive corals and marine fish. I held a shark and Joel held a stingray. Seriously. That same night, Joel and I thought we were going to have a quiet night, but the island had other plans. After a lovely dinner, we accidently found ourselves involved in a trivia contest with some lovely expats. We were called team Tiffany (yes, we still miss her) and we managed to win. Well we won a whopping $25 Belize ($12.50). Upon returning to our hostel, we found the entire place in full party mode, so we decided to stay up and make some friends. Needless to say the next day was a little less than pleasant. We’ve only got one more full day here and then are off to Guatemala. I will miss our little Island paradise, but I’m a little concerned that if we don’t leave soon, we never will. Thanks for an amazing time Belize. Respec’ mon.