The Wrath of Richard

Trip Start Jun 29, 2010
Trip End Apr 07, 2012

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Flag of Belize  , Cayo,
Sunday, October 24, 2010

We woke up today to find that the final few people staying in the hostel were already on the dock ready to leave...hmmm...maybe should get out of here?? Chris woke up and went to check things out, he found Susanne the manager busy tying up the last few loose items  and looking very frantic!  Apparently the storm had taken a turn for the worst and was headed straight toward Caye Caulker, oh dear!  So we jumped into action and packed the last of our things up, making just enough time for a yoghurt and pineapple breakfast before heading to the water taxi station. 

On the way out of the hostel Susanne warned us to make sure we got onto the water taxi as the "Nemo" warning system had been activated and all tourists had to be evacuated from the island!!   It seems that the taxi we had planned to take originally would be the last one anyway, luckily for us.

We showed our ticket and jumped in line as we had arrived 30 minutes early to make sure we got on board.  Around 8.30am the boat arrived just as the wind started to whip up, by this time the queue was massive and full of locals as well as the last few tourists to leave.  We formed an orderly queue and as tourists we were directed to queue on the right side with locals on the left.  We had heard that tourists were allowed to board first so were happy enough to wait, that was until the next order came from the evacuation crew.  Women and children first... what was this – a scene from the Titanic???  Nevertheless Annabelle plodded onward as directed and left Chris confused on the jetty.  More confusion ensued as the group of men left on the jetty were asked to get on a small boat with no roof and told that we would get to the same destination and not to worry.  As Chris usually follows the rules he decided that being separated from Annabelle was not a good idea, to add to this being on a small open topped boat in the pouring rain was just not happening.  With that Chris ran past the guards just in the nick of time to grab one of the last seats and was quickly followed by some other guys trying to join their wives / partners.

Once on board we had a 50 minute journey to Belize City but that did not bother us as we were just happy to be heading away from the storm.  Once on dry land we jumped in a cab to the Novelos bus station in Belize City centre.  Most of the guidebooks Chris had read said that Belize City was a bit of a dump and boy were they right!  It is awful, dirty and very shabby - probably the worst place we had see so far. 

Anyway we had to get a scheduled bus to San Ignacio from the bus station, this all sounds easy but as we arrived at the bus station there were so many people scrambling to get on the buses it was crazy...had we missed something (possibly the arrival of Hurricane Richard – but we were oblivious)  We had a brief chat with a Dutch couple who were trying to get to Belomopan (en route to San Ignacio) when luckily a bus arrived, this was not your usual bus, it was an old American school bus!  We quickly ran toward it and saw people also running to the back of the bus, with that Chris ran to the back doors to throw the big bags onboard.  The back of the bus was rammed full of bags and people were trying to jump on board at the back and front, luckily Annabelle managed to jump on at the front and a guy helped Chris on at the back so we grabbed a seat and were good to go!

The journey lasted around 2 hours and we jumped off in San Ignacio where we planned to stay at the Barton Creek Outpost, we had a telephone number to call the owner who was going to try and help us get there as it is around 15 miles outside of the town.  We called him up and agreed to meet him at Rosas hotel, when we arrived he informed us that the storm had now turned inland and was heading straight for Belize City, ahhhh, suddenly it all made sense, we had thought that the storm was heading out to sea, so that's why everyone was going nuts, we had a really good laugh as we had been so unaware of what was happening..

Anyway the owner told us we would be ok to go to the outpost but that he was staying at the hotel .. we thought that this was enough evidence of the problems to come so we booked into the hotel and tried to take it as a positive that we could see a bit of San Ignacio.  On entering our room (which was crap to say the least) we turned on the TV to find the weather news all over the TV, it had hit the Cayes (where we had come from) and was heading inland and straight towards us ...

So what were we to do next ... well what we always do ?  We went off to buy supplies and have some food.  We bought some fig rolls and a bottle and fanta – so at 8pm when the hurricane was estimated hit we would be ready!!!  Luckily we then managed to find a fantastic Indian restaurant (the one food we had been craving) so in we jumped and had a lovely lunch!  Then we popped back to the hotel and locked ourselves in for a TV fest....
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