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!
All of henry's photos can be found here. Some of my favorites:
Go Slow is the motto for Caye Caulker, and you're reminded of this upon entering the island from water taxi
This gigantic bowl of ceviche was prepared for us moments earlier by Wish Willy. He had just pulled the conch out of the water, chopped it up, mixed with salsa and handed it to us with a bag of chips. After we ate as much as we could he took it away to make some stir-fry (for another customer, I assume).
Sunset with pelican
We took a day trip inland for cave tubing and to visit some Mayan ruins. The trip involved 10 of us in a van without seatbelts on this highway going 80mph. This was the most terrifying time of the trip for me - with sharks and eels behind.
In front of some ruins, the ruins of my people.
dan_erat on the porch hammock
Riding bikes to the dump, to view the crocodile. This landing strip is the only paved part of the island. We had to ride down it at one point when stuck on the other side with no way around except back to a growling dog that attacked Henry.
There were so many cute puppies on the island, but this one stole my heart. And Maile's.
Griff swings while waiting for the sunset sailboat.
This guy hangs out at this little grill all day grilling up shrimp sticks for $2.50. We thought we could get some quickly before the sunset sail but ended up having to run to make the boat (with sticks in hand! so dangerous!)
Then Jesus visited us.
Henry at breakfast on the last morning. He finally got some sun.
The "Split" at one end of the island where the best swimming is, as well as the strongest rum punch. This placed looks more like something out of the Real World Belize than what it is, an extremely casual, non pretentious awesome place to hang out and get drunk (like the rest of the island).