Caye Abergris and Caye Caulker (Belize)
Trip Start May 31, 2007
25Trip End Ongoing
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Wedged into the northeastern corner of Central America between Mexico's Yucatán peninsula and the Petén forests of Guatemala, Belize
offers some of the most breathtaking scenery anywhere in the Caribbean.
The country actually consists of marginally more sea than land, with
the dazzling turquoise shallows and cobalt depths of the longest barrier reef
in the Americas just offshore. Here, beneath the surface, a brilliant,
technicolour world of fish and corals awaits divers and snorkellers.
protect the mainland from the ocean swell and offer more than a hint of
tropical paradise. Beyond the reef lie the real jewels in Belize's
natural crown - three of only four coral atolls in the Caribbean.
We arrive in a little town called Corozal. We stay in a lovely guest house run by an Asian couple. There is in fact a huge asian population here as we see about 10 chinese take away.
After relaxing for a day here we go to the Cayes for some scuba and partying.
Although i have never been to Jamaica ever, this place is exactly what i imagine it is like there although alot more friendly.
Belize has a very mixed cultural background, with the two largest ethnic groups, creoles, descendants of enslaved Africans and early British settlers, and mestizos, descended from Amerindians and Spanish colonial settlers, forming about 75 percent of the population. The Garífuna, or Caribs, descended
from enslaved Africans shipwrecked on St Vincent who mingled with the
last Caribs there, settled in Belize in the nineteenth century, and now
form around 7 percent of the population
We stay one night in the village of San Pedro on Caye Abergris and then left for Caye Caulker which is more for backpackers and it also has 'The blue hole' scuba diving site. A top 10 in the world.
We stay in an Indian Restaurant which we pay $2 more which included air conditioning. a real life saver as it is hot here. We arrange our scuba trips for the next day.
I do 3 dives today. 2 at 30 metres and another at 50metres. i have only gone down to 20metres before but the laws are a little less stringent here in Belize so they let people with lesser qualifications go down very deep.
The first dive is 'The Blue Hole"
A feature attraction of Diving
in Belize, Especially for divers with a appreciation of geographical
phenomena, is the opportunity to explore the famed Blue Hole. Part of
the Lighthouse Reef System, it lies approximately 60 miles off the
mainland out of Belize City
It is one of the most astounding dive sites to be found anywhere on
earth, right in the center of Lighthouse Reef is a large, almost
perfectly circular hole approximately one quarter of a mile (.4 km)
across. Inside this hole the water is 480 feet (145 m) deep and it is
the depth of water which gives the deep blue color that causes such
structures throughout the world to be known as "blue holes."
Like a giant pupil in a sea of turquoise, The Blue Hole is a perfectly circular
limestone sinkhole more than 300 feet across and 412 feet deep. The array of bizarre stalactites and
limestone formations which mould its walls seem to become more intricate and intense the deeper
one dives. Near to The Blue Hole, one of Belize's largest protected areas, Half Moon Caye Natural
Monument, encompasses 10,000 acres of the atoll and 15 square miles of surrounding waters.
I am teamed up with Chad from (guess) America of course
On the way back to Caye Caulker there was a barrel of Rum Punch for all the people on the trip and because it was mostly oldies myself and Chad polished off most of the barrel on our own. We were a right mess when we went down to The Split", a narrow (but widening) channel cut by Hurricane Hattie in 1961 and a popular place to relax and swim
There is a diving board and a beach bar there so we continued what we were doing on the boat...drinking.
Its strange how drink can give you unbelievable bravery and confidence. I decided to do a back flip off the 20ft diving board in front of i'd say 100 people. What happened next was one of the best back flops the people of Caye Caulker have ever seen. Just after i pounded into the water and whilst under the water i was dreading the ascent to the surface and to the inevitable jeers. I got what i was expecting and to make matters worse is that the local kids continued to tell me my back very red. I nicely told them to be quiet.
Chad then went up and did a 10/10 reverse back flip perfectly into the water with minimal splash.That was the nail in the coffin......We say goodbye to Sven here in Caye Caulker. It will be sad to say goodbye because although he is German (only joking), he is a great travel companion and a very funny guy.
Next stop Placencia....Just myself and Juliana