Caye Caulker – Belize
It was a windy boat ride from the Belize City to the island. Wind whipped through our hair and face. Alyssa absolutely dug it. On our way out we passed many small houses on just as tiny islands. How these houses endured the least of winds or tides befuddled me.
Alyssa didn’t know what to do about the wind
Caye Caulker was smaller than I thought. It had no room for cars being two blocks wide and perhaps 5-9 blocks long. People walked everywhere. We found our accommodations right away and headed down tot he beach after some mountain living. We went into the warm Caribbean water where small fish kissed Alyssa’s feet. We walked around a bit to get the lay of the land. Small houses turned resorts lined the waterfront. Many of them were established by “expats” who came down for a spell and stayed. In just a few minutes we reached the north end of the Caye where a narrow channel, perhaps a hundred meters long separated the two. I asked someone if we could swim across. “That current is very strong, especially when the tide changes.”
One of our adventures here was snorkeling. Sharleen and I were fine in the water swimming amongst the rays on the reef line. But Alyssa and Sharleen’s mom were not fine. Alyssa cried and cried when we went into the water, and her mom was not happy with Alyssa crying and being trapped in the sun. Unfortunately, we stayed at the local reef, which was ok, but not spectacular. Much of the reef was bleached and in poor health, but even at this state is is a
UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Afterwards we bought some freshly caught Black Snapper beach side and cooked it up at our place. It was so sweet. Sharleen really wanted lobster so we asked a local where we might buy some lobsters. He led us around the island, asking neighbors as we followed. Finally we came to a home where the homeowner had six frozen lobster tails to sell. At $5 each, it was a fair trade. We boiled it and enjoyed the sweetness. I don’t normally seek out lobster but I highly enjoyed this one.
In the evening, I thought I’d try my luck at crossing the channel. It was a very hard swim, the current pushed me hard away from the shoreline. Each stroke towards the other side resulted in being pushed a half meter or so away from island. After the current pushed the narrow straight, its force dissipated and I swam back to other side pulled myself up on shore. The other island was more sparse. There were some western style residential houses along the walkways, each in living in their own little paradise. The swim back was just as hard. In retrospect, it was one my more stupid decisions. I could have been very easily swept out to open ocean, just because I felt I was up to the challenge.
We celebrated New Year’s eve at a local open air restaurant. It was a great end to a whirlwind Central American adventure. Like other places on our trip our time here was too short. But isn’t this always the case? Life is ephemeral.