Published: January 18th 2012January 18th 2012
Weds 11th Jan - Rio Dulce to Livingston
An early exit from hotel bacteria and a long wait for the 1.30pm ferry to Livingston. It was certainly worth the wait though as we ventured down the Rio Dulce to take in the breath taking views along the way. The journey starts off with the crossing of a very large lake indeed, before you find yourself deep in the jungle. As you near Livingston the canyons rise on either side of the river bed to a great height before subsiding as you near the ocean. After batting off some more harbour hotel pimps, we made the walk up the hill into Livingston before stopping and staying at Stacies old haunt, Rios Tropicales. A nice affordable family run hotel.
Thurs 12th Jan - Livingston
Having a bacterial infection whilst stuck in a room that's approximately 8 by 6 feet with very little ventilation bar a weak fan to blow around the 30 degree humid hot air isn't ideal but its probably better than scraping ice off your windscreen. For the 2nd day in a row we lashed out and had a banana liquado with garlic bread for our one and
only meal of the day. Livingston is a surreal place, quite small and claustrophobic with lots of people sat around on the side of a narrow street not doing much. When you sit in a restaurant and watch the street you, see the same tourists walk back and forth 4 or 5 times an hour. You think they'd realise after 1 lap this town is empty!
Friday 13th Jan - Livingston to Belize
I think it started raining about midnight and didn't stop until after we'd left the country. In our shoe box of a room with corrugated metal roof it sounded like the end of the world above is. It was as if the marsh mellow man from Ghostbusters was standing over our hotel pouring a bottomless sack of ball bearings on to our cigarette paper thin roof. Sleeping wasn't an option which was all the more swell when you've been to the toilet in the region of 25 times in the previous 48 hours. Thinking that the harbour may have washed away during the night, I ventured out into the street at 6am for a quick reccee, head to toe in my waterproof outfit which would double well as a fat suit. A busy street and it appeared as though the overnight deluge was water off a ducks back to the locals. Some dude who acted as if he was on the FBIs most wanted list accosted us as we approached the dock. Tempted to run, he told us he was the captains mate and our names were down on the list. Visions of being press ganged onto the local pirate ship ran through my head but in the absence of any other offers we went ahead and got in his line. After a lengthy wait, all of a sudden we were told to head for a boat that had just rocked up, que 15 gringos trudging out into the torrential rain. The 1 hour boat ride to Punta Gorda, Belize was definitely not for the faint hearted. Luckily for them, there weren't any coffin dodgers on our ships manifest otherwise we may have taken some casualties. Although hard, the boat ride was exhilarating and for $25 represented far better value than a day at Alton Towers minus the £1500 air fare and all the rest. Rather wet and weary, we had arrived in Belize and were greeted by a cheery customs officer who said he very much liked my name mon! A 2 hour wait followed by a 2 hour bus ride on James' bus, no not the drivers name but the bus company (everyones on first name terms here) and we were in Independence. As soon as we stepped off the bus some dodgy dude tried to persuade is into his car but instead we went with the safe advice from a rasta and jumped on the back of a pickup truck. Having survived the short but precarious ride on the back of said pickup we arrived at the aptly named "hokey pokey" ferry. 15 minutes later and we were finally at our destination of Placencia and after a short walk were at our beachfront hotel, very backpacker like!