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Caye Ambergris

16 Feb
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Belize City

The Chinese owner of the hotel said that he will open the door at 6:00am so I decided to wake up around 5:45 and get the first available bus. The plan was to go with a company called Sartegna, that drops you at the swing bridge in Belize City. where you get on the boat to Caye Caulker, and you don’t have to walk from the main terminal to the boat. But I saw the Sartegna bus leaving just in front of me and did not want to stop to pick me up. I asked around and it turned out that another company named Cello had a bus leaving at 6:30am directly to the Swing Bridge. I took the bus for B$5 and it brought me in 1.5 hours to the Swing Bridge in Belize City.

The boat to Caye Caulker was leaving at 9:00am, I missed the one at 8:00am, so I had time to go for less than an hour in the downtown of Belize City. People, local and tourists mentioned to me that is pointless to visit the city, because it is not too much to see and is dangerous. But this place is really depressing. It is not the question that is nothing to see but, is dire and very weird, the entire city looking like bad parts of NY in the night during the 70s, people hanging out and hustling the newcomers. I walked Albert Street , close to the cathedral and I wanted to shoot some video but it was not too much to shoot even you strive. Also, it was extremely unpleasant to walk with a big camera around your neck. or tripod, and have all the eyes pointing at you. At one point I got hustled by some guys and I decided to split and I came earlier at the boat and left at 9:00 am to Caye Caulker. The boat ride, 45 minutes, is beautiful but not necessarily comfortable, the boat being packed to maximum capacity. In Caye Caulker, I went to Tina’s Backpacker, highly recommended by many travelers, but it did not have private rooms, so I was pointed to go further and after I tried several places I ended up in Miramar Hotel. There I finally found a room with private bathroom, what I was looking for, for $25 a night, but the owner showed me another room without bathroom, B$25, that it was so charming and I decided to take this one. Next I went to the first agency to do some investigations for a snorkeling tour, and the options were so numerous that I had to ponder upon them. They have a tour to Tunerriffe Atol, for Bz140, Hol Chan Marine Bz85 and half days trip for Bz45, and several others but all depend again of how many people they have.

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Caye Ambergris

It was already passed the 10:30am when the last tour goes , so I decided to go to Caye Ambergris and I caught the 11:20am boat for Bz15 one way and I left to San Pedro. San Pedro and Caye Ambergris, is Madona’s Isla Bonita, a song that you obviously hear walking in the island. It is way more built up that Caye Caulker and is large, but in three hours you can walk and see pretty much of it. I met a couple that lives in Seaview, Fire Island, NY one of my top spots on the planet. There are several nice resorts, like Ramos’s or Victoria. If you want to see Victoria you are better off to get a taxi because is pretty far south. The main road is not so nice as the beach front but it has lots of restaurants and many shops. I walked around for about three hours, shooting the nice palm trees from the beach. It looks like that was no massive hurricane here, because the palm trees look very good and extremely picturesque, way better that I saw in other islands. Walking in the city, I arrived in front of a store with a weird name, Tech Transylvania, It turned out that the owners were Romanians, highly educated, and moved there 4 years ago, from the western part of Romania, leaving a country that is not yet capable to offer enough positions for their University graduates students. Romania is still a first world country that is run by a third world country political class and business elite, whose main preoccupation is to get filthy rich and drive the most expensive cars like in African countries fresh after a new coup . Well, being in San Pedro is not bad at all, but still is a far cry from a European country. I had a long and very pleasant chat with them and I continued my tour of the island. I arrived at the airport, that serves the area on small Cessna planes, that for $70 can bring you directly to the International airport in Belize City. There are two companies operating: Tropic Air and Maya Islands. It is very cool to see this airport, and the very casual atmosphere. No metal detectors, no caring belts, nada. Just hop and go. From there I walked on the beach all the way to Victoria, a long and relatively arduous walk but very pleasant, admiring the palapas that are at the end of the docks and the beautiful views. Victoria is a nice complex, very shishi, with manicured lawns and nice cabanas and bars. Because I walked so far, I missed two boats and I caught a last boat to Caye Caulker that was leaving at 4:30pm. I chat meanwhile with a Canadian that lived there for 12 years, involved in a lot of local businesses, cellphone and used books, apparently all very successful. The atmosphere was great, like summer afternoons in Fire Island.

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Caye Caulker

The boat ride is half hour and I arrived in Caye Caulker at 5:00pm , took a shower and jumped to see the sunset. latter I went to have a great dinner of Brazilian Pork at Habaneros and went to search for internet and international phone. I could not get a phone, but probably they exist somewhere, but I was surprise at the cost of the internet, at par with all the other high prices. In Guatemala the internet access is between $0.50-1.25/hour and here, in Caye Caulker was $7-9/hour, and they were charging by the minute if you go for more. I posted partially my story and did my email and went for a walk to both parts of the town. The town is small and if you strive you can walk the entire island in 30 minutes, and the center in less than 15 minutes. At 8:00 pm I went to the agency for the next day trip, and they told me that they may have both Turneffe and the special tour to the reserve, and I should come next morning at 8:00am. I browsed the stalls that are like a night market, and sell beads and jeweleries, paintings and crafts and I went to the Seaside Cabanas, that they rent for $120/night, not bad at all for the peak month of February, where I had some pinacoladas, chatting with some guy from Wisconsin who was leaving the next day back home.

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Posted by on February 16, 2008 in Belize, Blog

 

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