Crossing into Belize from the North
I was a little nervous for my first real border crossing – Mexico to Belize. But it couldn’t have been sleepier – and Belizians speaking English made the whole thing even easier. We got through leaving Mexico and entering Belize in about an hour and a half – which I think is about the fastest you can make it across a border crossing. So the reference has now been set.
Upon entering Belize – you immediately know you’re in another country. The architecture changes to a more colorful Caribbean palate. Also we quickly picked up a local station playing Creole reggae – which just sounds cool no matter what they’re saying. I used to live in St. Thomas – way back in my early 20s right out of college. The sights and sounds of Belize made me really nostalgic for that crazy fun time in my life.
This might not be the best example but it gives you an idea – the genre should be called dancehall.
Unfortunately the speedbumps in Belize are marked differently and not as well as the speedbumps in Mexico. So I hit one pretty hard. The a few seconds later we heard a clink sound on the roof. Which turned out to be the end of one of my cross beams hitting the roof. Luckily I have 4 cross beans and really only need 2. Unluckily my rack is different widths up and down the long side beams, and I don’t have the star tool necessary to adjust the crossbeam widths. So I had to improvise and move them around – but eventually I got everything sorted out – removed a bunch of weight from my top car carrier – and we were back on the road after about 45 minutes.
Luckily due to the border quickness we were still way ahead of schedule to meet our ex-coworker and good friend Hali at the Radisson (where I also parked my car for 5 days).
We took the ferry to Ambergris Caye (pronounced like key) and checked into our Air BnB:
The main town on Ambergris Caye is San Pedro (one of about 10 San Pedros I’ve been in so far on this trip). Turns out to be something of a party town. They have a thing called the chicken drop – which is wildly popular Basically they drop a chicken (which is supposedly sent to an animal sanctuary afterwards – RIGHT!) and people bet one which square the chicken poops in.
We didn’t really get too sucked into this entertainment and decided to move on to a delicious fish dinner.
It was here, joking with the waiters in English, that I had an epiphany about how much fun and a richer experience it is if you can speak the language well enough to communicate more than just super-basic information. But
The rest of our time on Ambergris Caye was eating, drinking, and snorkeling – which was all amazing.
Snorkeling with the nurse sharks was one of the coolest things we did. You can’t see but I was a almost right in the middle of those. Of course reading up later – ecologically speaking – the guides aren’t really supposed to feed the nurse sharks because it messes up their behavior – which I kind of suspected at the time.
We rented a golf cart and took a ride to the other side of the island – which was a blast. Unfortunately all the food was closed down so we had to subsist on banana bread and alcohol.
After Ambergris Caye – sadly we said goodbye to Hali – who had to go back to something called w-o-r-k. Sounds dodgy. Shauna and I went to Caye Caulker – the other popular Caye with tourists. To be honest I kind of wish we’d stayed on Caye Caulker 4 nights and Ambergris Caye one night, instead of the other way around. Caye Caulker was a lot more laid back – golf carts are the biggest vehicles – and the scenery was much more picturesque. We liked it so much we decided to spend the night – and wander the island – where I took a bunch of pics.
The next day we took the ferry back to the Belize mainland.