The hotel owner told us that to get to Caye Caulker from Corozal the first boat would take 2 and a half hours to San Pedro and then another hour boat ride from there to Caye Caulker. Originally I thought it would be fun to island hop our way south, but Belize is a lot more expensive than I had anticipated, so on his advice and his calculations we decided instead we would hop on a chicken bus (which actually had chickens on it!) down to Belize City, and then the direct ferry up from there. Even though it felt counter-intuitive to go south only to go north again, it probably saved us about $50 and took a bit less, if not the same, amount of time. The other thing that swayed us was the really choppy water. 45 minutes on the boat from Belize City was enough, even with our extremely good captain, so I’m glad we didn’t need to spend 3 ½ hours sailing that day.

Arriving on the island we headed straight to the closest hostel ‘Yuma’ and managed to get the last 2 beds. Prime real estate right next to the boat dock means they are full year round.
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Snorkelling
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Drinks at the Split with Kim, Mat and Barry
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Snorkelling at the Split
Wandering around the island it didn’t take us long to get into the ‘Go Slow’ state of mind that the locals adopt. Caye Caulker has a fantastic laid back atmosphere, with golf carts and bikes being main mode of transport.

After a night at the open air movie watching Django Unchained we tucked ourselves in, lulled to sleep by the waters lapping on the shore. Unfortuantely because the hostel is one of the most popular its also one of the noisiest so the next morning we went for a leisurely wander around the island checking out other places to stay. We ended up at “Dirty McNasty’s” (a former whorehouse!), as for 50c more than our first hostel they gave us breakfast and free bikes. They aren’t currently in Lonely Planet either which meant that they were less busy but a definite gem of a find!

The next 4 days were spent blissfully in Go Slow mode – sleeping, swimming, eating and drinking. There are no ‘beaches’ per say on Caulker. In 1961 a hurricane broke the island in two and the area known as the ‘Split’ is where most people head to relax and swim. We made friends with a lovely Irish couple – Kim and Barry – who have done our trip in reverse and are on their way to New Zealand, their English travel buddy Mat, and a couple of guys from our dorm room – Julian and Pali, who all became our partners in (relaxed) crime for the next few days.

Caulker has some fabulous local characters – the ‘Cake Lady’ as we knew her, with her delicious wheelie bike full of freshly baked delicacies; and the guy selling little morsels (like tamales) with his distinctive sale tune ‘ So fresh and tender, Nooo contender, Don’t need a blender. Melt in the mouth, Not in the hand!’
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With the local cop and his 'translator' (aka whack whack stick!)
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Epic game of dominoes at the pub while we wait for dinner
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The fabulous Dirty McNasty's
We all decided to spend one day on an adventure with Capt'n Scoober Steve to the Hol Chan Marine Reserve (blogs coming tomorrow!) where we spent an amazing day getting up close and personal and snorkelling with sharks, mantarays, turtles, sting rays and other reef life, making good use of our new underwater camera case. Back at the hostel, Ty put all the photos on our computer to look at them, before heading to bed. When I woke up the next morning I turned our laptop on, only to be met with the blue screen of death! OH NO! Gutted that we had lost all of our photos from the previous couple of days, we tried to find someone on the island who could help us work out the problem but no one was available. Julian took a quick look and thought it was a hard drive problem but couldn’t fix it so we packed it away with sad faces. A day or two later though and Ty decided to give it another go and waddya know – she came back to life! YAY! First job was to get all our photos backed up onto our hard drive!

On our final night we headed down to the local sports bar for quiz night. Despite a controversial answer (since when does ‘Prague’ rhyme with the word ‘Cog’) we still managed to finish second, winning ourselves a big jug of rum punch!

Next stop: Guatemala
 





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