Blogs from Belize Barrier Reef, Belize, Central America Caribbean

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So as the Canadian winter has decided to go on and on and on and on with no sign of Spring other than the date on the calendar it was high time we got out of the chilly climes for a week, and so it was back to Belize...debated hard on whether to return to Placencia (as we loved it there) or to try somewhere new, and at the 11th hour we decided on something new: Caye Caulker! Just a week getaway to relax, get some sun, catch up on some reading and more importantly to get back to the Belikin beer and burritos, giddy up! It's a bit of a hike for one week but well worth it; again as in Placencia there were no big resorts, very laid back atmosphere, great food and the ... read more
View from our perch...
Nurse Sharks behind our boat...
Greetings from Caye Caulker


There was a weather front stationed over the Caribbean which brought pretty high winds and cool temperatures…well cool for the Caribbean but hot for the South Dakotans on board. Our next port of call was to be Cozumel, Mexico. Unfortunately, due to the weather front, the Voyager was not able to run its tender operations to get passengers ashore. All the available docks were occupied by other cruise ships. Our Virtuoso group was scheduled for an excursion in Cozumel to visit San Gervasio, a sacred Mayan archeological site, and also to tour the village of San Miguel de Cozumel. But instead we had a fine day at sea. We took our group on a galley tour. Executive Chef Kelly explained the inner workings of the galley. A complex operation which serves 700 guests in four restaurants, ... read more
CAPTAIN STANISLAUS DE LACOMBE
THE SAILBOAT IN HARM'S WAY
SHIP'S  DOCTOR TENDING TO THE RESCUED SAILOR


Fri 9-Sun 11 November - Day 14 to 16 - Caye Caulker We set off very early from Playa del Carmen, taking a short walk to the bus terminal we began our full day journey to beautiful Belize using a combination of public buses, taxis and a ferry. When leaving Mexico we paid a small departure fee of MXN540. The bus was the most interesting!! Alfredo called it the ‘chicken bus’ and the locals call it the ‘bread-stop bus’. I think you get the idea. The ferry trip was 50 minutes in a fast boat with seats downstairs and uncovered seats upstairs. I enjoyed the breeze upstairs with the sun, but the view was excellent and we were getting to know the new members of our group. The new members were from Melbourne, Toronto, Wales, and ... read more
Tucan Group from Playa del Carmen (1)
Sunset No 2 Caye Caulker (100)
Blue Hole flight Caye Caulker Belize (71)


No, he hasn’t lost me yet (Cj writes) ... We crossed from Guatemala to Belize by land, and very soon found ourselves at another Mayan site - much smaller than Tikal and somehow more manageable, with a better sense of the community that lived there. Our guides delighted in regaling us with tales of how the Mayans ritually pierced their flesh - self mortification - in order to worship their many gods. Women used sting ray spines to pierce their tongues repeatedly, men used the spines to pierce - well, let’s say that the men in the group went very pale. Then it was off to Caye Caulker, an exhilarating one hour speedboat ride out of Belize City. Came Caulker is an absolutely charming little Caribbean no cars to speak of, so everyone walks, bikes or ... read more
Front Street Caye Caulker
And again
Steve catches the vibe


We're right at the western edge of the Carribean and today was snorkelling on the reef ... Writes SC. A short but very exciting boat ride out to the reef and three different stops to get in and see the wonders of the reef. No Underwater shots obviously, but we saw Barracuda, StoneFish, Nurse sharks (see picture) a very large lobster (see picture) and all sorts of other stuff. Finally a school of sting rays swam right underneath me... Reminding me of the horror stories of self mortification.. See Cathy's of yesterday. An amazing, hot and fun morning ! Glad we bought our own masks and snorkels. We took plenty of precautions but both caught the sun. Tomorrow we travel to Mexico.... read more
Cathy returns from her first exploration
Nurse sharks...
Close encounter of the lobster kind


Chapter 9: Getaway Day I am up early while my love slumbers on. The coffee pot comes to life as do I at this quietest time of the day. I do love early morning with no sounds: No TV, radio, traffic; nothing but ambient noise similar to what might have been decades or even longer ago. There is no escaping the hum of the refrigerator or the low rumble of the circulating HVAC fan but those things are less here because there are fewer of those devices nearby. Cayo Espanto is at its best in the earliest part of the day. There is the sound of this morning’s ripples on the shore, palm fronds rubbing against each other in the breeze and, most pronounced, the morning birds announcing the news of the day to their fellows. ... read more
Leaving
Maya Tails
MayaDeparture


Chapter Ten: Epilogue Should you make the trek to Cayo Espanto? If you are blessed with time to spare, flush with cash and see more coming in at an ever-increasing pace, most certainly you should. Money is less valuable to those who have more of it so its potential squandering is of less consequence. If you wish to shun other humans and be, as the ancient actress vamps, “I vant to be alone,” come here. If you desire over-the-top romantic dinners for two set in a secluded and amazingly romantic spot, this is a wonderful choice. If you are merely well off, I would send you elsewhere. Las Ventanas in Cabo comes to mind; so does our annual spot at Novaispania at Cabo’s Pueblo Bonito Sunset Beach. You could get a four-bedroom house at Novaispania for ... read more
DockFeet
SupplyDelivery
Reflection


Chapter Six: Humpday We sleep in; B4 longer than I. The sun is already up when I sneak from beneath the mosquito net and quietly push the ‘on’ button on our coffee maker. The way Casa Brisa is constructed, no ambient light creeps in. Rather than curtains or shades we have solid metal shutters and they keep the light at bay. We have but one regular door at Casa Brisa through which one can exit without unfolding the main shuttered walls which serve as daytime ingress and egress. Outside, I am greeted with stillness. Today, at least for now, there is no breeze at Brisa. The water is flat; the persistent chop departed. For the first time, I looked beneath the surface of the now undisturbed surface and, could without the distortion caused by waves, see ... read more
FishOne
FishTwo
Minnows


Chapter 7: San Pedro Town We request the Cayo Espanto Shuttle to report to our Casa Brisa dock at 12:30 to transport us into San Pedro Town for some local color. Promptly, the boat arrives from the sea side and the staff arrives from the island side. We are presented with a walking map and a flip phone and told to please call the number laminated on the phone lid about ten minutes before we want to be picked up at the town dock for the return to Cayo. Off we go through calm seas rather than the deluge which greeted us when we were last aboard this craft. We were quickly deposited at the dock and then, unexpectedly, given a personal escort past dilapidated hovels to the main street where further instructions were supplied to ... read more
Fido'sSanPedroTown
Belikin
BrisaPool


Chapter 8: Stormy Weather Dinner was, as it has been every evening, superb. The table is set beautifully in an amazing environment: beneath palm trees on sand decorated via rake or stick with symbols, our initials and a warm “Welcome.” There is a soup course, an appetizer, a main course and dessert; always too much and always quite good. Our final bottle of Kim Crawford goes down easily. Earth has one moon, Mars has two and this night Cayo Espanto has three: one full from the heavens above and two full from Casa Ventanas to our left which, now that there is something to see, somehow seems more visible than I had noticed before. It is the only accommodation thrust out on the water so it is more visible to its neighbors as our neighbors are ... read more
Sand Welcome




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