Thursday, December 8, 2011

Caye Caulker - Go Slow

In Caye Caulker, Belize, there are no cars. Some have golf carts, most have bikes, and everyone walks. Signs set the speed limit at "Go Slow," but nobody needs a reminder, because on this island of a little over one thousand people, nobody has any reason to go fast. I didn't really pick up on the "slow" vibe until the second day I was there. I was walking to find somewhere to eat and this dreadlocked guy I had never seen before stopped me and said "why are you walking so fast mon?" I said "Um... I dunno." He just laughed and walked away. So for the past few days I've done my best to take it easy.

I stayed in this awesome beach cabana with an Italian guy that I met on the boat ride over. We both went in on the cabana and only had to pay six bucks a night each. Aside from the Italian, I also was living with a family of Iguanas that rustled around all night on the roof as well as an unbearable number of biting gnats (noseeums we call 'em in Tennessee).
One of my roomates. 
I would be remiss if I didn't mention how amazing the seafood was -- specifically the lobster. I had lobster omelets for breakfast, lobster pizza for lunch, grilled lobster for dinner, and lobster ceviche whenever I needed a snack. And it is inexpensive, too. I got this plate of grilled lobster, pasta carbonara, and steamed veggies for only 15 bucks.

I spent most of monday SCUBA diving. About ten other divers and I jumped on a boat led by a few master divers for a trip that would make three stops -- the Blue Hole, Half Moon Caye, and Long Caye. It took about two hours to make the 43 mile boat trip from Caye Caulker to the Blue Hole, which is an underwater sinkhole that measures 984 feet across and 407 feet deep. The dive went down to 40 meters/130 feet, which is 22 meters deeper than I'm certified to dive and 10 meters deeper than anyone is supposed to dive, but hey - this is Belize. If we're paying, they'll take us. This dive was too deep for the camera, so I didn't get any pictures, which is a bummer because there were some really neat stalactite formations and I saw a few caribbean reef sharks each about 10 feet long. Here's a google pic of the blue hole from the air:

After waiting the required time between dives, we made a second dive at Half Moon Caye and a third dive at Long Caye. Here are some pics from these last two dives (Unfortunately I used the wrong camera setting so most of them are very, very blue).

On Tuesday I made two more dives at different locations on the reef (which is the second largest coral reef in the world).

After two days of diving, I spent yesterday exploring every possible meaning of the phrase "Go Slow." I got up, ate breakfast and read until lunch, ate lunch, messed around on the computer, snorkeled a bit, and then went to dinner before packing my things and going to bed to be ready for an early start this morning. Right now I'm back in Flores after an hour boat ride and a 5 hour shuttle. My next bus leaves at 9 PM for yet another visit to my least favorite place ever -- yep, you guessed it -- Guatemala city. It arrives at 6 AM and after that I'll catch another bus to Santa Ana, El Salvador. It goes without saying that I'm getting very, very tired of bus travel. I will, however, try to carry the "Go Slow" attitude with me as I travel and try to enjoy the little things I encounter as I go along.

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