Travels with V

Guatemala, Belize, Mexico

Life Caribbean style

Caye Caulker, Belize

We return to Flores and its little airport where we board this tiny airplane. You do feel a bit special riding in such a small vehicle. It’s no charter carrier, I’ll tell you that.

We don’t spend more than 45 minutes in the air before we land in what seems like one of those jungle airfields we saw in TV programmes when we were kids, in the stories about explorers in far away lands. But this is actually Belize International Airport. 

We wait outside the airport for 30 minutes before we finally meet up with our cab and driver. He’s very late, very stressed and driving like a madman through some run down parts of the city. Suddenly we come to a halt and the car is surrounded by five men in white shirts and black trousers. –Hurry hurry, they shout, the boat is leaving! We have struck a deal with a mr Diaz who owns the taxi company, he has bought our ferry tickets because as a local he gets them much cheaper. We grab the tickets running, crossing the landing just before they haul it in and the ferry leaves the harbour. We’re made it and are on our way to a Caribbean paradise!

After one hour on the emerald sea we approach a long jetty and a beach that looks like the cover of a brochure depicting the “cool Caribbean”. We’re in Caye Caulker.

It’s a total change of scenery in many ways. From Guatemala with its high mountains and heavy history to Belize, a young nation with islands in the sun, where life is lived laid back. From grey rainy skies to eternal sunshine. Almost. And from people of mainly mayan or Spanish (or both) ancestry to mainly North American tourists and rasta guys. From Mexican oompah music to reggae.

Not too long ago Caye Caulker was just a small fishermen’s village where a steady income came from lobster catching. But with time the lobster was overfished and the catches were getting smaller and smaller. The fishermen then did a great thing, they organized and agreed to fishing restrictions. Which led to the desired result and has been followed by other agreements about fishing restrictions. So now there’s for instance a healthy and protected stock of the tarpon, in other places a dream catch for anglers. A tarpon is a big fish, here’s one in action:

Life is good in Caye Caulker. We snorkle the reef’s clear waters, walk slowly through the village, drink ice cold beer in simple bars along the way, and end up in Chef Kareems beach grille where yummy fresh grilled lobster is served. 

After a couple of days in the sun and sand we’re ready to move on, but not very far. Just half an hour’s boat ride north, almost by the mexican border to another reef island, San Pedro, or Ambergris Caye as it is sometimes called. And there we enjoy the most fantastic snorkling experience, so join us and see what we saw!

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