07 may Belize City (BELIZE)

The thing that impressed me when I got on the bus to Belize City was: the driver, hewas fat, black but with a good face, I greeted him saying a Spanish: "hola" and he, in a perfect British English: "Good morning", oh yes, Belize, former British Honduras, is still under the British jurisdiction, that's why on the Belizian dollars there is the image of the Queen Elizabeth II... I get on the bus and instead of a noisy Reggae Ton or Latin music there is a serie of old American country songs, we are entering in a country completely different from Mexico... We go through the border and the time changes too! Within 100 meters there are two different times! Here we are in the unknown Belize! Honestly I was pretty worried because the idea to come here was mine and that's why I felt responsible more after all the reports I read. It's a very dangerous place! Tourism doesn't exist here only in the small islands (ndr: this turned to be wrong because visiting Bliss Lighthouse we discovered that Belize City is a pit stop for the cruise ships in fact next to the dock there were many stalls, empty today because no ships were foreseen).

I felt the same when I visited Macedonia, but actually everything has been so quiet so far! We are going to stay in a Guest House called: "Barrack Road"! Very bad! A very small, expensive and dirty room. We can cope with minimal but the hygiene must be guaranteed! Unfortunatelly we had to make do with what we found here.

During the discovery walk we visit a primary school too taken (in the visit) by the Master! We enter the class, so tender, they were studying the comparatives, and they stood up! We chatted for a while and left soon after!

We spend the whole afternoon visiting this city, typical lunch with fish at the famous "Macy"! We visit the biggest church in Central-America, the Government Palace and taste a bit of the Belizian movida, that was complete pointless!

"Home sweet home"! Historical sentence used when you come back after a long trip, but for sure I would have never thought to say that when coming back to our dirty room tonight! But it's true, Belize City really disappointed me! At the beginning I was a bit muddled because of the kindness and the gentleness of the people up to lunch time. I was expecting to meet a lot of dangerous people that might have bothered us for money, instead everybody were so nice and kind with us; sitting on a pavement, enjoying a pineapple and coconut ice cream with my friends, I was saying that if I hadn't read all those bad things about this place I would have never believed it! But I was wrong!

Here it is, we sat in a bar drinking something, chatting and reading our guide when a lot of people self invited themselves to our table, many different characters: at first a quiet old man who introduced himself as a touristic guide, then a guy in his 30' who was said he liked French peoples and hated Americans, in the end another drunk guy came, suddenly he started to threaten us, he showed us many scars, some just happened, at the first opportunity, we offered him a beer and escaped. On one hand we had to experience it otherwise we would have reported, wrongly, that Belize City is the quietest place in the world!

In a way, as Carlo noticed, it's very contradictory because the majority of the population are Rasta whose philosophy of life is: "No Money, No Problem", "Peace and Love", smoking marijuana. All brothers, actually, here they seem as if they have just come of a MTV video by Snoop Dog or 50 Cent, with XXL pants, big necklesses and they all think they are Criminal rappers.

The more the sun went down the more you could see those guys around (who knows, maybe it was our imagination). They are idle and then they ask us for money: it's easy this way! By late afternoon, Carlo and I sat on a pavement watching Belizian daily life, like two spectators at the cinema and we critized the way they were reluctant to improve themselves.

Dear Belize City, you can live, touristically talking, only with the tourists from the cruise ships, those who skim you for few moments, the others like us who would love to discover and know you, by acting in this way you make visitors go! In fact the following day on the first ferry we headed to Caye Caulker: a small island one hour far from here and famous thanks to Madonna's video: Isla Bonita!


"My feet is my only carriage and
so I've got to push on thru." - Bob Marley - (No woman no cry)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

08 may Caye Caulker (BELIZE)

Belize City is only a far memory in this paradise, so close but so far from Belize City!

Caye Caulker is a very small island. A typhoon broke it into two pieces some years ago creating a passage of water where we could swim. The smaller one is almost uninhabited (there are three houses), we got there by swimming (just as in the movie "The beach"), better than Saona...

Armed with just canes, seen the welcome (at first we couldn't work out if it was a monkey or an iguana in the bush), we go through palms bent by the wind, threatening bushes (listening to the noises, in my opinion, there had to be every kind of animal inside) and we reached an open space where there was a canoe almost sunk in moving sands. After many attempts we manage to hoist it but it was completely rotten... We kept on walking admiring the wonderful landscape until Carlo and I decided to lie on the sand under the shadow of a big palm, very quietly, while Nick kept on going alone... A few moments later we heard the barking of a big dog and saw Nick running towards us, so without thinking about it we ran away. We swam to the other side of the shore, admiring huge marine stars near it! Once safe, on the other side, we had good time with plenty of time to relax!

I'm looking foward to seeing the sunset . It must be amazing from here... Unfortunately for economic reasons, because no one can change our Euro and our credit card doesn't work here, tomorrow we will have to go away...Too bad!

After lunch and dressed into just our swimming trunks and no footwears, because all the streets are sand, we tried to tour the complete island waiting for the sunset, but when we arrived at the north cape of the island we realised that we had to cross the flight runway (just one problem: barefoot!) as three fakirs on the nails! But the sun was going to set and we didn't want to miss it so we decided to go... It was so painful! But, when we reached the opposite threshold we realised two n things that weren't funny: 1) the sun had already set; 2) if we wanted to go on we would have to cross a muddy channel and on the other side there were two very big dogs! Carlo and I decided to go back before the darkness would have caught us, Nick attempts in vain to cross it but completely dirty he follows us... It was ironic that we missed the most romantic thing of the island!

We spent the whole evening without eating anything (we had spent all our Belizian Dollars) so we chatted to Marvin, a 70 years old man who spent all his life on this island! He's for sure an old sea wolf, there is no one better than him that can tell us something about this island! He's a lobster fisherman and faced 6 cyclones! He tells us that when he was young there were no tourists there, it was a small village of fishermen that no one knew; there were no fences, no electricity, no light, each of them built his little house and even if they were made of wood they could stand up to all the cyclones! He remembered the ones in 1945 and in 1961, three days and three nights of storm and they, barricaded themselves in their houses, with the windows barred with a rafter and nails of 10 cm, survived! And I thought, how weird the world is, in 1945, while my grandad was prisoner of Germany in Yugoslavia and Europe was torn by the Second World War, there, in that paradise, where they didn't know that in another land there was the cruellest war ever, they were fighting against nature...

But Belize is always Belize, and in Caye Caulker too someone had to break that magic atmosphere! Suddenly a tall and staggering black guy enters into our guest house and falls down! We help him to get up and to open his room door when he starts to inveigh against us. At the first chance we go away to avoid problems... after this we go to sleep!

09 may Belize City (BELIZE)

Early in the morning, we arrived, in the same way that we went away! We approached Belize City, armed with our holy guide we go directly, on foot, and without a care of anyone to the bus station. Actually I have to say that while we were discussing which road we have to take suddenly a big car with darkened windows stopped and a big black arm with a lot of gold on his wrist and fingers appeared, then the double of Busta Rhymes (a bit fatter) asked us what we were looking for there, so he showed us the right way to the bus station and went away! At last someone that didn't want anything from us! Two minutes later we were on the second class bus towards the Mexican border!

On the way a family of "Mennonits" went up. They are a population of Germanic origin who live between Belize and Mexico, similar to the troglodits known in Tunisia, they refuse every kind of environment and technology; they don't have electricity, cars or mobile phones, they live of what they cultivate and of what nature offers them! They wear big shirts with squares and salopettes, women, instead wear long black dresses and purple shirts! So weird!

We crossed a huge part of Belize, saw many villages, declined palafittes, many schools with religious names and many kids who were going to school, all of them with different uniforms!

After the custom formalities (very expensive in Belize), we went back to our Playa del Carmen on another bus!

 

"There are no shortcuts for a place that is worthwhile to visiting."

- Beverly Sills -

Thanks Belize

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