It's a Village Alright

Trip Start Mar 19, 2010
Trip End Dec 16, 2010

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Where I stayed
Kismet Inn

Flag of Belize  , Stann Creek,
Saturday, April 17, 2010

Hopkins, a small village, lured me in via Rough Guide, which promised a quaint and charming pueblo where one can enjoy the sea unhassled by bustling tourists and the dangers typical of all elsewhere in that forsaken country. And, its promise stood strong upon my arrival, at least in theory.
It was indeed a charming little town and the beach did offer some gorgeous sunsets and rises, but half the residents were ex-pats from varying Western nations, all fighting to keep their hotel or restaurant or shop open in this 1300 person pueblo. It seemed there lay underneath the surface of quaint beauty a river of ex-pat politics, wherein Westerners viciously fought one another to overtake the other in hopes of not losing their business in a country whose tourism business taxes rise every other week, and land property taxes every month. Who can blame their fears and the subsequent inflammation of their capitalistic tendencies? No one. Unless you got caught in it against your will, as I did.
Now, all in all, this was not too serious or worrying a scenario, but it did leave a bad taste in my mouth - sort of like that fake chocolate that costs half the price but leaves a lingering bitterness on the back of your tongue that you know shouldn't be there. I know, because I've attempted to wane the impact of my chocolate love (or, as some might say, addiction/fanaticism) by economizing my chocolate purchases. But, take my word, splurge the extra dollar and skip over store brand for Hershey's or Cadbury's. Chocolate is a delicacy of life, not a replaceable ingredient to temporary happiness.
Anyway, this blog is clearly not about chocolate, though it's a subject I certainly do enjoy discussing, and even more enjoy experiencing hands-on (or tongue-on?).
So back to the story: The owner had been closed down by the tourism board for reasons the owner claimed were due to a vengeful local , and there was a closure sign posted at the entrance to her hostel where her hostel sign had once been, but having already walked much too far with my massive backpack and purse, I entered anyway. There were several people already staying there, and they all said that we needed to tell anyone who asked that we were friends/family/volunteers there, not paying guests. Fair enough, till a really kind older American couple who owned the local tourist gift shop told me that it was due to her own negligence, and that if the tourism board caught her hosting paying guests, then not only would she be arrested, but so would the guests
I was not please to hear this.... 
Other than that it was a really pleasant small town, with really pleasant and kind people. I really enjoy villages, and this was no exception. It only had about 1300 people, and I went mainly because my book recommended it as an off the beaten path (though it's path was admittedly slightly worn. Darn guide books expose and ruin all the secret spots). However, it was certainly a wonderful change from Belize City. And I slept on a hammock on the beach. Till it rained, then I slept on the hammock on the porch of the hostel. And since the owner was so cheap she told me I had to use the jungle for the toilet and was not able to use their shower because "that's all part of camping, right?" I snuck into the dorm and used their toilet and snuck into the shower my last night. To hell with her idea - if there's a shower, I'm gonna use it! No reason everyone should suffer (by smelling my nastiness) because she's got money struggles and thus runs an illegal tourist operation.
Ok, now I'm going off on her. I'll close up. Anyway, it was a great place, but I don't recommend her hostel. Honestly.
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