December 23, 2013

belize - a proper adventure

mostly a travel day. i woke up at 3AM to standby for an earlier flight since my layover was less than an hour and I didn't want to miss the last flight of the day to Belize.  i checked in and popped over to the gate of the earlier flight. they had a digital sign with standbys listed and there was my name next to 1]. i love United Airlines. i got on which turned out to be fortuitous because my original flight arrived in Texas after my Belize connection was gone. i connected with my friend from London who I had not seen for years.

we celebrated the beginning of the adventure with a glass of wine while we waited for our Belize flight.  as i passed through customs the officer asked how many bags i had and how long i was staying.  i indicated i was in for 10 days and motioned to my one backpack i had with me.  she asked if i'd brought enough clothes for 10 days.  i thought i'd packed alot, a bikini, mask & snorkel.  we picked up the rental which was an two wheel drive SUV. a patriot circa 2011 – i was to develop a hate-hate relationship with that SUV.

immediately we leave for the cayo district with the last half of the drive in the dark. i stop at a supermarket and get a few basics to get us through a few days but there's nothing fresh so it's chips and such.  there are however, fresh limes being hawked outside by some men.  i ask how much and at 10/1$BZ it's hard to resit that's US five cents each.  the men insist i should buy more and start listing all the ways limes can be used including in Belize the women use the then on their lady parts.  i didn't ask  them to elaborate.

it's hard to explain the road conditions in Belize. the major roads are two lane with no center line and no shoulder and lots of potholes. they use speed bumps and roundabouts but no stoplights outside of Belize City. several locals advised that accidents are common and alcohol is usually involved. toss all that together and i'm driving on highest alert.

we find our 'room' for the night. the orange guesthouse which i choose because it was close to the location we needed to be at 6:30AM the next morning. it was also a lonely planet pick which was a surprise because the room was really dingy. it is known for it's food so we waited to eat when we arrived around 7:30. seems like a reasonable hour to eat and we were hungry so we found a table only to be told they were done cooking even though there were two large tables of Mennonites who had not yet been served. we begged and used every bit of charm to convince the server to feed us and finally got cheese quesadillas and some salad. 

we paid high season rates everywhere and so while this room at $50 would have been appropriate the $90 was just too high. we fix a rum cocktail in the room and get ready for the early start tomorrow. 

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