Belize - How Laid Back Can One Be?
Trip Start Feb 01, 2005
415Trip End Dec 31, 2020
We had left Flores very early in the morning and after 5 buses and a taxi finally arrived at sunset in a little fishing village called Hopkins where we had planned to stay. Belize was a British colony until 1981. The population (only about 230,000) is really all immigrants except for a few remaining pockets of Mayan Indians. As well as Spanish and English invaders there were the Garifuna people ( black Carib) who originated in St Vincent when Africans from shipwrecked slave boats settled and intermarried Arawak Indians, Carib's and combined with some French and other European influence created a new race and culture.
We were sure that Hopkins invented the words "laid back". It is a town of some 1000 people, very few whites and the preferred language is Garifuna while most also speak English. Everyone has amazing hair - from dreadlocks, so big you cannot imagine, to fancy braids with lots of coloured bits intertwined. Places to eat don't have menus. It is usually chicken, rice and beans or a special they tell you about. We actually ate a type of wild rat!! It is a sought after special by the locals. These rodents grow to the size of a cat and are roasted or stewed. It actually was very tasty! We also ate Conch which is the meat from the conch shell but didn't try the Roasted Iguana.
One reason we chose to come to Belize and to Hopkins in particular was that they have the longest reef in the northern hemisphere and it is 2nd in the world to our Great Barrier Reef.
Hopkins is on the Caribbean Sea and just out from shore are many beautiful cay's (tropical islands)
Footnote: The Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System is UNESCO World Heritage listed.