Sunday, June 28, 2015

I can't Belize I ate it all!

Lobster Fest...

© Christopher Moeller
Lobster Fest @ Caye Caulker

After relaxing for a bit to get down to the island speed, I headed into 'town' where the motto is 'Go Slow'. It was tough to do at first, but after some practice, I think I am getting better. I rode my bicycle in and found a coconut tree to lock it up at. Then I started to wander around. I started about halfway up the island and headed north towards the 'Split'. Lobster Fest is the opening of Lobster season in Belize. The festival started Caye Caulker about 20 years ago and has spread into a three-weekend long party. One weekend on the mainland, one weekend at Caye Caulker and another at San Pedro. By pure timing luck, I booked my trip to Caye Caulker the same weekend as their Lobster Fest.

Here, all of the local restaurants cook the lobster that came in off the boat that morning to celebrate. The weekend is full great food, great drinks, and a lot of music and dancing. My first stop was a local street vendor that was selling Lobster Kebabs. The woman in the back was preparing the kebabs and the gentleman out front was grilling them up with a simple butter sauce and some fresh pineapple. I think I paid two dollars US for mine...
Fresh Lobster Kebabs
After devouring my Kebab, I thought about getting another but decided against it. I had a lot more vendors to get through. So I kept heading north. Everywhere I looked, I thought I was meeting the Bubba Gump of Lobster. I had no idea there were so many ways to prepare it. Lobster Kebab, Grilled Lobster, Lobster Ceviche, Lobster Stew, Lobster Fritters, Lobster Dip, Lobster Burrito, Lobster Quesadilla, Lobster, Lobster, Lobster...
© Christopher Moeller
One of the many boards announcing the specials of the day. Those are prices in Belizian Dollars. the exchange rate is 2 BZD for 1 USD
Once I made it as far north as I could without getting wet, I had worked up quite a thirst. So I stopped at what is called the 'Split'. The split is where the island was cut in two by a hurricane many years ago. It has created a natural mangrove reserve north of the split and has kept the town from expanding any further north.
© Christopher Moeller
Looking north across the split from the second floor of The Lazy Lizard
© Christopher Moeller
Quenching some Lobster induced thirst at the Split. Belikin has a lower alcohol content, making it the perfect all-day beer for the sun...
© Christopher Moeller
An old collapsed pier creates a break from the surf
After hanging out here for a little bit and watching the sunset, I headed south with the plan to pick up some more lobster, then head back and enjoy some more of the hammock before going to sleep. As I walked south, I passed one of the more popular swimming spots on the island. The beaches here are of the hard packed sand variety, so most people enjoy the water rather than finding a spot on the beach.

I passed another little stand that had just put a fresh crop of lobster on the grill. They also had just made a fresh batch of lobster fritters. I order one of their lobster quesadillas with a lobster fritter on the side. I paid about 15 USD for a quesadilla packed to the brim with fresh chunks of lobster, the fritter and another Belikin. I ate them too quickly to get a photo, but I did get a photo of the grill and the little storefront the guy owns with his wife and their child.

© Christopher Moeller
Fresh Batch of grilled lobster

© Christopher Moeller
The storefront where the owner sells fritters, fresh juices, fresh tortilla chips and much more

After finishing my food, It was time to head back to the apartment. It had been a long day and I was stuffed with a ton of delicious, inexpensive lobster. I spent some time out on the pier and am now finishing this up. I am going to sleep very full and excited for tomorrow. I plan on waking up early to see the sun rise through my front door and then head to the dive shop for my first open water scuba dive. Not a bad day to start the trip.

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