Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Day 11 – Belize City

Driving into Belize City was like driving into a third world country. Crack cocaine is rife and unemployment stands at 25%. It looks like a bad episode of The Wire, positively menacing. Jeremy Paxman describes it as a place”where all the painters and decorators left on independence”. He has a point. The buildings are ramshackle, apart from the colonial mansions in one small area.

Our hotel was an old colonial hospital, with a great view of the sea, creaky floors and old worn carpets. It was badly in need of renovation. Compared to the beautiful buildings in the streets surrounding it, and a hotel called The Old House, it was pretty run down. Nevertheless the food was fine.

The next morning we caught a packed water taxi to Caye Caulker. It’s three huge outboard engines were deafening. On arrival we walked down to our hotel at the south end of the island – quiet, with its own beach, hammocks and dock. Straight in for a swim off the dock in the warm water. Gil spotted a rare Batfish, with it’s long snout, wings and fins for feet – weird looking thing. Lunch at Marins and a slow day with beach volleyball at around five. Caye Caulker’s a chilled, quiet place. No rush. Dinner in a reggae bar with pizzas, pina coladas (fresh coconut juice and pineapple).

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