Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Belize - Blue Hole Scuba Diving, Caye Caulker, Hurricane Rita- Can you Belize it?! Its unBelizalble!

Chetumal to Caye Caulker

Crossing the border from Mexico to Belize was less painful than I remember, but I know harder times are to come ahead in Central America, where the crossings are terrible. A mafia based structure is the best way to describe it.

We then drove to Belize City.

Crossing the only cemetery in the world separated by a major highway


And one of the last swing bridges in the world



Got spontaneous and headed to the island of Caye Caulker-aka gringo island.

While this crazy dude watched our bikes


Caye Caulker



The following day we did some snorkeling











With some nurse sharks!


And some stingarays



Had some lunch with the Budget man.


Saw some signs.





Hung out with a burnt out guy named Bobby, a bit Looney but we were entertained the entire day with him, doing fun things like going to the dump to find some crocodiles….which failed.



Saw the sunset and the unloading of David’s favorite midnight snack.




Took a bike ride.

And I added a bracelet to my collection from this guy….after buying the bracelet at a nice bargained price of $2 US, I was informed the gentleman learned his skills while doing time in a Mexican prison for trying to smuggle marijuana across the border….ah…, the wonderful experiences of this trip come to life, especially those carried on my wrists.



The next day we returned to the mainland. We had tried to find a scuba tour to the Blue Hole, but no one was going, so we just called it quits. We had missed the quitessenial adventure that is Belize itself.

We stormed out of Belize City and ran into the Eco Hotel. Run by a nice Chinese family, which freaked out when I spoke my Chinese to them. Again…a lot of Belize’s hotel’s and grocery stores are Chinese owned…always a crazy experience to hear them speak the little Spanish they know along with English, it all kind of mixes together.



We negotiated a price, and they were even kind enough to have breakfast with us. Highly recommend Eco lodge for your next bed and breakfast experience in the middle of Belize!

Had some cool parking



And a good room


We also played some ping pong with what seemed like the world champion, as this man was incredibly good, killing the ball at the flick of a wrist, not even moving his body.



Xie Xie Eco Lodge---(that’s thank you in Chinese)

We headed to San Ignacio to try and find a tour to Actun Cabal, a mysterious cave system deep in the jungle that is not documented very well, that requires days hiking, along with military protection as it’s in gorilla territory.

The road



After long hours of researching and finding the only people that would do such an excursion, which is a government protection agency, we knew it was impossible. This very remote cave system has no roads, and they only take a few people every 1 or 2 years.

So I leave you with a picture of what we missed. Perhaps next time.

In our sadness and mourning of missing out on Actun Cabal, we sat down and ate ice cream crying together watching movies….no, not really, we instead adventured ourselves to some zip line adrenaline rush

THe road to cave tubing


And into a cave tubing/spelunking adventure through the Cave Branch system and crystal cave instead.












Mayan pottery calcified






Needless to say it was awesome. To get to crystal cave you have to hike, cave tube through the river system that carve their way through mountains, walk through the cavern systems, jump from one river to another inside the cavern to reach this place, it was amazing.

We got some cool parking 


And I changed the rear tire on my bike along with the brakes, as they were much needed




I was very proud of these off road tires, they lasted close to 6000 miles, with all the weight they were carrying, I would reccomend them.

Chacon the mechanic reporting for duty


After our grand cave exploration, we thought about our failed Blue Hole attempt.

At the same time, David and I felt a sort of regret we didn’t do the Blue Hole scuba diving….so after some talking, we agreed to go back to the coast and try again.

After a massive search and island hopping we found a tour agency in San Pedro called Aqua Scuba….they suck! As at 8 pm that night they canceled on us for the tour after guaranteeing us that they would do the tour the following morning no matter what, I would not recommend them at all.

Amigos Scuba came to the rescue as we went the following morning at 5:30am to pester ourselves into their already full boat, which we were lucky to get on. I would definitely recommend Amigos Scuba in San Pedro for Blue hole scuba diving.

The blue hole was amazing to say the least.





First dive we went to 140 ft…..very deep stuff, saw some sharks on the way up, as well all the formations of the blue hole-a massive sink hole in the ocean, the largest on earth!




Second dive was around the reef systems that were very beautiful as well.



Saw lots of animal life.


Had some lunch on half moon island







We returned to the island later that day.



David with his favorite church



Arriving back at the island we were greeted again by all the local guys who hand around the docks everyday. 

They persistenyl like to talk to you asking where your going, what your looking for, and if you want some weed. Their nagging is so persistent and I feel somewhat rude that it borders on harassing. Regardless I learned that after they see you more than 15 times in the same day, they give up and stop pestering you.

Another observation of the Belize people-most of them speak both English and Spanish but with an island accent. Which makes their English sound different and grammatically awkward which spills into their Spanish, so to some it sounds like both their English and Spanish are second languages and don’t sound too good. But regardless they speak both, so my respects to the people of Belize.



The following day, hurricane Rita was incoming, so the island was evacuation, lucky us, we got the scuba trip just in time, now we would be running from the hurricane, which David and I would have stayed for, but our bikes were still on the mainland. Too bad, would have been cool to do the neat reporter thing of standing in the rain and wind yelling how crazy the storm is.



As we run…I mean drive, from the hurricane inland we hope to hit Guatemala tomorrow. Until then Best of luck to the people of Belize, which has a strong storm challenge up ahead! Suerte amigos!

I leave you with a picture of a guy bathing in the river that has a broken arm...quite the task and quite the random moment.