May 17-21 Belize

by - May 22, 2018

May 17th

We spent the morning relaxing at the hostel.  Then we went for a walk to find a place for breakfast.  We chose Errolyn's House of Fry Jacks.  We each ordered one with chicken, beans, and hot sauce.  They were so delicious and it was fun eating a local favorite.




Then we went to feed the tarpons.  We bought sardines from a local lady and held them in between our fingers until one of the massive fish jumped up and ate them.  So freaky! 



 For lunch we went to Martinez Fast Food.  It was recommended by a local so we gave it a try despite its run down appearance.  We split a meal of rice & beans, coleslaw, fried plantains, and stewed chicken.  So good!  

Bart relentlessly spent the afternoon fishing and he finally started catching fish!  He caught a horse-eye jack and couldn't have been happier!



Then I joined him since I like to catch fish, but don't always like to go fishing.  We caught enough for dinner.  He also caught a checkered puffer fish.  It was cool to see it puff up before he threw it back.  Then a local boy named Bryson came by and helped with our barracuda catching skills.  Bart caught one of those for dinner as well!  In the excitement of it all he forgot to put sunscreen on and was paying for it.  We went swimming and then started up the grill.  We feasted on our fish and grilled onions.  The night ended with some local rum on the porch.



May 18th

Today is our last day on the island.  We spent the morning swimming at the split looking at the fish.  We had coffee and ate homemade ceviche from the neighbor.  He's from Tyler, TX and was previously a chef.  


We took a long walk and then went to Jenny's again for lunch.    We took some time planning for our next stop in Belize.  We decided we would go to Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Preserve and camp for two nights.  We tried to grill the snapper from the neighbor for dinner, but sadly it had gone bad and we didn't want to chance getting sick.  Then we went to happy hour and indulged in some of the local favorite drinks-rum punch and something called a panty rippa.  We got a cheester burrito from a stand named The Beautiful Life.  It was horrific.  We have learned that cheese is not something you order on this island.  We ended with a couple Belikin beers on the porch and packed for the travel day tomorrow.

May 19th


We decided to catch an early water taxi back to Belize City.  Once there, we walked to the supermarket to buy food for camping.  A toothless local man gave us directions and harassed us until we gave him money for doing so.  I lectured him on the rudeness of asking for something when giving nothing.  We also had to be very aggressive to get into line to check out.  We wouldn't recommend Belize City to anyone based on our short experience.  We then walked 15 minutes to the bus station.  We are saving so much money by traveling the way the locals do, but it has been the hardest part of the trip so far.  The buses are old school buses and they pack people on them like crazy.  No air conditioning besides the windows open.  We are getting used to having no personal space.  We were on the bus for 3.5 hours from Belize City to the Maya Center where we could buy our entry tickets.  Half the drive was on the famous hummingbird highway.  It was the most beautiful highway ever.  We are surprised by the amount of Mennonites that live here.  Our favorite thing about the bus ride was when the locals hop on the bus selling homemade food.  Examples are meat pies, corn on the cob, cinnamon rolls, coconut in a plastic bag, etc.  Once we arrived we bought our tickets and used the bathroom.  Planning out when we will have access to a bathroom has also been difficult.  Public bathrooms do not exist and if they do you have to pay to use them.  Even then, they may not have toilet paper.  A 6 mile walk into cockscomb was our next adventure.  It was extremely long and hot with out heavy packs.  I was very lightheaded due to dehydration and struggled with it.  




When we finally arrived it was 5 PM.  We met Emanuel and paid for our campsite.  We then set up our tent and were very happy to see we had the entire 126,000 acre preserve to ourselves that night.  
The tree next to us littered the ground with pink petals.  There were tons of blue and white hummingbirds feeding from the tree as well.  

We used their facilities to make macaroni and cheese with beans and then tried to go to bed.  It was crazy hot and humid.  It ended up raining all night on and off.  There were tons of birds calling around us.  The preserve has around 100 jaguars, but the sitings are very rare.  Everything is a littler bigger here.  Huge fireflies were flying into our face when we had our headlamps on.  

May 20th

We got up at 5:30 after a very sleepless night.  It was looking like rain all day so we decided to hike in it.  We set out and did the Giblet trail to the place crash site and then to the Tiger trail that leads to the waterfalls.  It rained and it poured, but it was still so amazing.  It was also nice to to be hot for once.  When we arrived at the first waterfall we went swimming in the 50 foot lagoon.  Once again, we had the place to ourselves.  We explored the area and then went to the next waterfall.  We passed through an extremely strong current to get there.  Within 10 minutes of arriving there the intensity of the waterfall had doubled and we almost lost our clothes from the rising water. A couple from Montana showed up as well.  When we returned we rented tubes and walked to the river.  The first time down the river it was raining.  Then the sun came out so we decided to do it again.  Tubing through the jungle was such a great experience.  The bird watching was spectacular and we didn't see a single other human.  We were very happy to have a GoPro that is waterproof for the entire day so we could capture the day.  We both ended up burned on our front from the tubing.  Early dinner and then off to bed. 





May 21st


We packed everything up and decided to get a cab for the 6 miles out this time.  Nobody would do that walk with our bags twice.  We hopped on the bus to Belmopan.  Once there, we hopped off and got ready for the bus to San Ignacio.  Since it was a holiday the buses were overpacked 
and we didn't get on the first one.  We literally barged our way onto the next one.  People were very pushy and rude. I will say, the children are great here.  There are no tantrums and they are very well behaved.  Once we arrived to San Ignacio we walked to Bella's Backpacker's hostel.  




We did our laundry and then went out for pina coladas, cheladas and dinner.  We ate at a recommended restaurant named Authentic Flava.  It was ok, but nothing special.



We bought groceries for the next day and relaxed on one of the many porches in this hostel.  This will be our first night sleeping in the dorm rooms of a hostel.

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