April 5th, 2007

Caye Caulker, Belize

Me, in love (with the puppy and a man), tan, rested, at peace, HAPPY

We stayed on a small island about 45 minutes by water taxi off from Belize City, called Caye Caulker. Tickets ran from $600-$800 (depending on how far you bought them in advance) and Henry and I stayed in a small room for $15 a night.

The island itself is 5 miles long, but most businesses and hotels are within about a square mile. There are 3 unpaved "streets" - Front, Middle, Back - and most people walk, ride bikes or drive golf carts to get around. Belize is an independent country in Central America, English is the official language, and the local population is made up of people of Mayan, African, Mexican and Spanish descent. The most common non-english language to hear on the island was Creole.

Most of my days involved sleeping as long as I could with the sun on my face and roosters crowing outside (maybe to 9am), eating a slow breakfast at the Amore Cafe with fresh fruit and drinking locally grown organic coffee. If no activities were planned, the day involved wandering around the town, sitting on the front porch in a hammock reading, riding bikes to explore the southern part of the island (with crocodiles!), drinking Belican and rum punch, eating ceviche, tanning and swimming.

I went on two different snorkeling trips, the first with Tiffany by motor boat where I got to see eels, lobster, and swim with a school of sting rays for the first time. The second trip was a full day on a sail boat with Henry and Maile. We swam with more sting rays and nurse sharks (!), more eels, an eagle ray, and schools of barricuda. The water was extremely clear and the sand very white so visibility was fantastic.

In the evening we'd go to the Split for a beer and a dip in the ocean and watch the ball of the sun dissappear over the ocean like I've never seen before.

Night time was either for going to sleep early or for hitting up the local dive and disco. We went to Karaoke twice (first night I performed the same song twice in a row?? because the dj wanted?), and dancing a few times. I learned to dance the Punta and made new dance partner friends. Even scored some digits!

There are some trips that are clearly travel, some clearly vacation, and many more that are a mix. While I've loved many places I've travelled, this was the best vacation yet. I'm still amazed at how relaxed, content and happy I was during the trip, and about how much I loved having Henry there doing the things together we love - exploring, meeting new people, trying new things, eating, relaxing. And all without computers!

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