Sunday, June 28, 2015

Better Belize It!

Don't worry, I have many more puns coming at you.

Yesterday started with a 4am wake-up call because I had the bright idea of booking myself a 6am flight. It ended up all being worth it though. The first part of the journey was like any other travel day. Get up, get in the cab, wander around LaGuardia, buy a newspaper and then wait and watch everyone try to push themselves onto an oversold flight not realizing that they are not going to take off until everyone is on board. No need to push. My flight to Atlanta was very uneventful. I landed and transferred over to the international terminal to find out that I was bumped up to first class. Not a bad way to travel.

© Christopher Moeller
Just a little bit of blue while over the gulf

Looking around the gate, I noticed that I was surrounded by Church mission groups. I took that as a good sign, the plane isn't going to crash with all these people going to do the Lord's work, would it? No, CNN and Fox would have a field day with that...

I get on the plane, sit down and the flight attendant asks me if I would like some champagne. I have one basic rule, time doesn't exist on an airplane. So, even though it was 9am outside the doors, inside it was after 5 o'clock. I told him to pour it on. We took off and I found out that my seatmate is a very lovely woman that lives on San Pedro (The larger island just to the north of where I was heading) and works in shark conservation. We had a great conversation and enjoyed the flight.

© Christopher Moeller
Have to add a photo of the official documents...
Once I landed, I headed through Immigration and Customs, got my stamps, and headed to the cab stand. I say cab stand. What I mean is that I headed to the group of guys sitting by cars telling jokes. I asked one of them to take me to the next water taxi going to Caye Caulker. The shorter of the four guys looked at me intently and simply said, "Get in".

There are only four major highways in Belize, all two lane roads. We took the one heading into Belize City. He either had his foot all the way down or not on the gas at all. We passed bicycles, pedestrians, buses (probably full of the mission groups I left at the airport), motorcycles, coconut carts. You name it, we passed it. We arrived at the port and before the car had even stopped, a very nice young man opened my door and said, "Welcome to the Sun, my friend". He took my luggage, gave me a receipt and directed me to the ticket counter, advising me that I should grab a beer since it was hot out. I did just that.

© Christopher Moeller
Belikin Beer: The only beer brewed in Belize. I like to think it was made an ancient Mayan recipe that Indiana Jones found in a temple. 
 I waited in line and sipped the nectar of the Mayan gods (not really, but it makes for a good story, right?) Once I got on the boat, it was a quick 1 hour jog to the island. The ride was smooth and it was neat to see the mainland fade away and the island come into view.

© Christopher Moeller
One of the boat attendants enjoying the trip along with us.

Once on the island, I grabbed the nearest golf cart taxi (there are no other vehicles besides bicycles on the island) and headed to my hotel. I was able to get one of the last rooms at a place called 'Barefoot Beach'. It is busy this weekend due to the Belizian Lobsterfest. More on that in the next post. When I arrived, I checked in, was shown around my apartment and then left on my own. I promptly put on a pair of swimming trunks, grabbed my book, and headed down the pier that starts about 80 feet from my front door
© Christopher Moeller
Not a bad place to spend a morning, or an afternoon, or a day...
I spent a few hours diving into my book ('Kon-Tiki' by Thor Heyerdahl) before I started to get a little hungry. I went into the office and asked where the best place to experience Lobsterfest was. I was told, 'Well, the best place to experience it is where Lobsterfest is'. I thought that was a pretty good answer. I asked for directions and the very kind woman just told me to 'follow the music'. I jumped on my bicycle and did just that...
© Christopher Moeller
Mr. Heyerdahl and I will be hanging out here quite a bit over the next few days.

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