Published: January 23rd 2012January 22nd 2012
Another bumpy bus ride complete and we have arrived in Hopkins. It was dark when we got there so it was hard to judge where we should get off the bus, but we heard some people mention the hostel we were looking to stay at so we jumped off the same time as them. We found the hostel and we booked ourselves into the 14 bed dorm apart from Mima who had brought her tent along so she camped in the garden. It was then time for a stroll around to see if there was anything going on in the night around the area. We were told that there was a decent bar at the end of the road on the beach called Driftwood so we started to make our way there in the what seemed like abandoned roads with next to no-one on them apart from a few guys again trying to offer us what they called the best stuff around...to be honest if they think it’s that good I don’t know why they don’t keep it for themselves! Everything around us gave the impression of a ghost town but we thought it must be a bit livelier on the
beach. After around a 10min walk we found the bar which was open but only had 2 people in...we sat down and had some nice food before wondering back and also thinking if we were in the place that’s in the Lonely Planet book as a highlight in Belize!
The following day it was time to see what the place was like in the daylight so we decided to all head to the beach and try and gain some of the tanage we had lost from being inland. The beach was ok although the water didn’t seem as clean as the previous places with it being a bit murky and full of sea grass. We took a look for another place to eat but it seems like Hopkins only has 3 supermarkets and nothing else...there is no bank so you can’t get money out nor is there many places to eat...a definite tumbleweed town. We did find out though that tonight was the night to go to the beach bar as there would be a live drumming band playing and everyone would be going so that was something to look forward to. All 6 of us began drinking at
the hostel and the girls saw some people they had met previously in Mexico so we left them to catch up while we went to the beach and they would meet us later. We arrived around 9pm with the entertainment apparently starting at 7pm to find around 15 people hanging around with beers and no band. It hit 10pm and the band started playing, more people were arriving and the rest of the guys turned up although in a very happy state of mind influenced by a bottle of Rum haha. We stayed for a few hours chatting and enjoying the talented drumming band before walking down the bare streets to the hostel. We decided that we were ready to move on to the next place soonish as Hopkins didn’t have much to offer at all. The only other notable incident was Karl falling out of him hammock with me and Alfie not being able to stop laughing....the simple things eh! To get out of the village we were advised the only way was to hitch-hike to the main road so we can catch our bus south as there are only 2 buses a day out of Hopkins and they
go back north. After a bit of waiting we did manage to get a lift then hopped on our bus to Placencia.
On arrival to Placencia we immediately noticed the difference from other places in Belize with some pricey pads being built on the peninsula. A lot of the locals we had spoke to in previous places had told us that Placencia is a lovely place and we are going at the right time because in a few years it will be like Cancun with massive hotel resorts and tourist bars and clubs. We could definitely see what they were saying as the town is set on a peninsula in a similar way that Cancun is and has a really nice beach which is a few meters walk from pretty much anywhere in the town. We had seen the Omar’s guesthouse in the LP book and seemed like the budget place to stay, when we got off the bus we saw the sign for it so we took a walk to it but found out it was nothing more than a shed painted pink and the walls were made of 2 by 4 nailed together. As it was getting
on in the day, we had a big bags with us and every other place close appeared pricier we agreed to stay 1 night and get out the next. With the girls finding Belize quite expensive compared to other places they were going to stay the 1 night then head to Guatemala....so we decided to have a big night, we got some drinks from the supermarket and sat on the balcony listening to some music then went to one of the bars called the Tipsy Tuna. There was a good amount of people there and the bar has a good layout with 1 bar on the beach and a sports bar indoors. There was karaoke happening inside the sports bar so me and Corinna went in for a look, we were listening for around 10mins before she asked whether I fancied doing a song with her.....after a few confident no’s I thought why not no-one knows me and the others are outside so they won’t know. That was all good until I saw Karl and Sonia walk in while we were waiting....at that point I thought what am I doing but couldn’t pull out now so I went up with
Corinna and sang or should I say ‘sang’ the chorus and attempted the rest with Corinna being a lot better singer than me it must be said! We had a few claps from the admiring crowd so that was good enough for me haha! We then hung around for a while drinking before going back to Omar’s ‘Palace’...where it got a bit windy at one point during the night and I think we all considered going outside just incase the place fell down ha....but seriously we did need to wipe our feet on the way out and I wouldnt have let my dog sleep there!
The mission for the next day was to find somewhere better to stay so we took a walk and found a decent one for the same price and moved our bags straight away. The girls were intending on the leaving but hadn’t sorted out anything so they decided to stay 1 more night although everywhere else was now full so they had to stay another night at Omar’s...couldn’t have been the best part of their trip so far! After some lazing on the beach we had a few sociable’s at the Barefoot bar which
is the best bar around while admiring some of the dancing...a large mixture of styles with Reggae dancers, young travellers and older American expats. We said our goodbyes to the German’s although we will be seeing them in a few days in Guatemala then went back to enjoy a good nights sleep in our new comfy beds.
Another day was spent lazing on the beach in the scorching heat and also watching the football to end our Belize adventures....amazing time in Belize, it’s an interesting country that has a lot to offer especially to keen snorkelers and divers, with a large mixture of people around....the comfort of speaking English has been a bonus but it’s now time to be confused again with us heading back into Spanish speaking land.
Tomorrow we make our way south via boat and bus towards Guatemala...for country number 8.
There are more photos below