Saturday 26 Nov
Caye Caulker, Belize
You better Belize it baby!
Another day, another country. We went straight from Flores to Belize City and on to Caye Caulker: an island populated by a very friendly Creole Carribean community and famous for being near the great "Blue Hole" (more on that later). There are no cars here and everyone gets around on battery powered golf buggies or bicycles.
On our first night we went to a restaurant called "Wish Willy's". I say restaurant, but it was really this guy called Maurice's front garden. He served us delicious barbecued lobster and got us drunk on free rum punch. A guy we were with asked him what he did and he proudly replied: "Nothin! I do nothin man! I wait for the boat to come in and I chase women round the island!" Later on he took us to a local bar and it dawned on me that I had met him before. Simms had lent me a book by a guy who travelled around Central America with his girlfriend and although my poor memory had forgotten most of the details this guy was described perfectly. I asked Maurice and he'd only just finished telling a girl we were with the same thing. Maurice and his friends were so friendly it was disconcerting after being chased around for your money for a month.
After a day of doing "nothin!" we got up at sunrise to go the the Blue Holw. This perfectly formed circle in the sea is supposed to have been created at the thaw of the last Ice Age when the weight of the water made the roof of the cave collapse. Jacque Cousteau was the first to explore it in the 60's and he blew a huge whole in the side of the coral ref to get his boat in (you thought "The Life Aquatic" was a joke).
It was with great trepidation that we jumped in as we were going to be taken down to 40 metres (neither of us had gone deeper than 30m before), but we had little time to think as thw water got darker and murkier as we dropped of the side of the reef. At the cave we swam through huge stalegtites. I felt the effects of nitrogen narcosis (called being "narked") which was quite like being drunk on spirits and certainly took my mind off any danger!
On the way back up one of the divemasters made the sign for shark and we looked down to see 3 or 4 grey silhouettes emerge from the inky blue. This was the first time I had seen any type fo shark diving and these were whopppers! Maybe up to a dozen 5-8ft Reef and Bull shark followed us up to the edge of the reef wall, but our air had run low and we had to leave.
We did two more dives along reefs with alien coral in any shape and colour you could possibly imagine. At lunch they took us to Half Moon Island to see the Booby and Frigate Colonies. The Frigates puffed out red balloons on their chests the size of rugby balls and spread their 7ft wings in the breeze.
As I write this we're at yet another beach (I wrote this in the shade of a coconut tree, but you didn't want to know that) and will be heading back to Guatamala in a few days.
Respect a y'all mon.