Belizean Ramblings

SONY DSC Welcome to the jungle!

SONY DSC The private island, again–good place for a first timer to go snorkeling

SONY DSC The palapa at our hotel

SONY DSC St. John’s Cathedral

SONY DSC Belize Swing Bridge

SONY DSC Lubaantun

SONY DSC Lubaantun

Not a single low flow toilet was to be seen.

Not a single speed limit was enforced. (One of the taxi drivers said that they were “speed suggestions”)

The three establishments of Belize are, in no particular order, Belikin Beer, One Barrel Rum, and Marie Sharp’s Hot Sauce. All are praiseworthy efforts for their categories.

Why is every supermarket run by Chinese folks?

Placencia is charming. Belize City is… sketchy. It’s a definite case of “This is your city. This is your city on drugs.”

Very odd to be driving through the jungle, running into acres and acres of orange orchards, and then was looks like a dilapidated mining company town–to find out that it’s not a mining town, it’s an orange juice town.

Mayan ruins are even better when you are given a tour by the little Mayan guy who has been working there since 1975, and knows all the professors who have been there.

I’ve listened to lots of Jimmy Buffett over the years, but I’ve never actually lived in a Jimmy Buffett song before…

People in Central America also have no idea what to call a Mountain Lion. Is it a Mountain Lion, a Puma, a Cougar, a [etc.]… I guess it’s even harder when you don’t really have any mountains.

I was told that you are allowed one (1) bottle of rum in your luggage before you have to pay a duty on it, but no one was really asking when we came back in to the country…

I was told nothing about hot sauce, though. Nothing, I say!

Going into Belize, every customs agent and airport security worker was either a really good actor or a just plain friendly happy person. Coming back to the US every customs agent and airport security agent acted like I had two tons of cocaine in my carry on, and that they wanted to beat me up for the horrible crime of breathing. “Land of the Free” my ass.

If you are offered a chance to do a “Bird Watching Tour” of the jungle, make sure that their definition of “bird” doesn’t include mosquitoes and/or those tiny evil black jungle wasps (ask me how I know).

Opt for the room with air conditioning if you are on the side of the building that doesn’t get the sea breeze (ask me how I know).

The most fun I can remember having on an airplane was the flight from Placencia to Belize City. Hop on the little Tropic Air Cessna Caravan (with crew: 1, the pilot–one passenger gets to sit up next to him!), who says, “Buckle your seat belt, and there’s a life vest in the pouch in front of you”, zip off into the sky, follow the coast only a couple thousand feet in the air, land at the next little town to pick up a few more passengers, and zip the rest of the way to Philip S. W. Goldson International Airport (which is about the size of my home town’s regional airport). If we could have taken that plane all the way home, I wouldn’t have complained too much, as long as we were following the coast. The 737′s were nice (and more importantly, not Airbuses), but lacked character.

Speaking of flights, out of the 7 that I was on to get there and back, only one of them wasn’t full to capacity. Having a 37 inch inseam, I, of course, didn’t really appreciate this. Especially when I sat next to the bowling-ball-shaped fellow from Houston to Denver.

Not such a bad vacation, after a record-setting cold January.  Nice to be home, though!  Gotta whip my puppy back into shape, she was lacking adult supervision for most of the time and has gotten a little bit bouncy…

4 Comments

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4 responses to “Belizean Ramblings

  1. Mmmmmmmmmm, Marie Sharp’s.

  2. kx59

    Speed “suggestions”. I like that. made me laugh too.

    • And rather than paroling in cars, they have the occasional checkpoint that you slow down for and wave at the poor slop manning it. I was told that even if you don’t slow down they don’t have enough money for the gas to chase you, anyway.