Ya Da Fu We Belize: Dangriga, Belize
Trip Start Aug 09, 2007
47Trip End Jul 29, 2008
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We arrived into Belize on Friday (7th) to a place called Dangriga. It is a super chill laid back town that bases its economy on tourism and fishing. We found a place called Ruthie's Cabanas, they are seaside cabanas that have palm leave rooves and we stayed here for an entire week. Ruthie is a Garafuna woman who is about 60, grandmother and real nice lady. We were feeling pretty lazy to go out and eat so all of our meals she cooked us, she offered first so we accepted
We lazed around Ruthie's for a few days; kicking back in a hammock, siestas and strolling around Dangriga. It was a pretty nice break from Spanish Central America, we could speak english and didn't have to barter for a lot of things. We noticed that a lot of prices were pretty set in Belize and the people didn't really negotiate (it was nice, but, also expensive)
On Monday 10th Belize celebrates the day the English defeated the Spanish off the coast of Dangriga. So on Sunday night around 7pm they have a Ambulance/Police Car/Firetruck siren parade. The town basically gathers up all the emergency vehicles and then turns on their sirens and lights and drive a zig-zag pattern down every street in Dangriga (It is dark at 6:30 every night). Then they usually have the locals on their bikes riding really fast in front of the sirens, pretty funny
Tuesday we hired these fisherman to take us to Tobacco Cayes (keys). We showed up to the dock area around 9am to catch a boat out to the key. Our friend Clifford who had stopped us the day before assured us that he would get us out there around 10:30am...but he couldn´t find any more white tourists to make the trip worthwhile for him so we caught a ride out with some fishermen headed to the keys. The waves were choppy and the ride was about 35 minutes directly into them. Our boat (only 4 of us in it) was long and shallow and fairly sturdy, though we were still tossed around pretty good...The nose of the boat would heave way up and this may or may not coincide with a wave tipping us sideways a bit too - when we broke over the wave the boat would drop to the water with a huge crash...and repeat 100 times. A bit crazy but worth it!! The key was beautiful and we were the only visitors to it!
We got let off at the dock where we met Tobacco Key George - a resident of the island who loves rum and snorkelling. We got some gear and went out on our own for a bit - we saw a beautiful school of the blue flat fish (like Ellen in Finding Nemo) and later went out with our new friend George
Wednesday we went to Marie Sharps Hot Sauce and Jam Factory. This factory is down the longest and worst dirt road I have ever seen!! Along the way we passed an oddly out of place really built up complex...turns out this is owned by one of the rich Belizean families. Apparantly, as is the case in most of the CA countries, this one family controls virtually all of the wealth in the country - and also controls the government. Anyways, hit the factory and our taxi driver did the tour with us which was sweet!! Very simple factory but it produces jams, juice, and tons of hot sauce and exports private orders as well. All the peppers and fruits are grown on Marie´s plantations nearby and all ingredients are natural...result = delicious. We got to sample everything after the tour and left with most of our tastebuds unharmed by the deadly `Belizean Heat`.
Thursday we went to Blue Hole National park. We took a chicken bus from Dangriga towards Belmopan and woke up the warden from his nap when we arrived
Early Friday we had to leave for Punta Gorda, BZ. Meto, Ruthie´s husband, said she was pretty bumed out about us leaving. She said goodbye at breakfast, but, didn´t really see us off when we finally left because she was too sad. We headed for the bus station and then took the next bus to Punta Gorda (south part of the country)
It was a 5 hour ride from PB to GC and then we did a quick bus-line change to a company that had the most buses per day to Xela...So, we are about 1.5 hours into our ride which so far has been a bit noisy due to a very aged bus, but no problems...well, our bus driver pulls into a gas station and takes off for a bit until we all figure out that the transmission is toast and we`ll need another bus for the next 3 hours. So, he figures we`ll drive back towards GC to meet the bus coming to pick us all up. So, 0.5hours back towards GC the bus is done. We hang out eating corn from a road side grill until the next bus comes. There is a mad dash for the bus, but why we ask - isn`t it empty for us?? Assume nothing!! The bus is full and we are standing along with many others for the next 3 hours so far as we can see. 1 minute later a giant gunshot noise is heard - the tire is now blown. So our loaded bus is now delayed another half hour or so. It was a hilariously long day - when we arrived here and met up with our host family, they were like `why did you take that bus line?? They are the worst!!`...yes, we know that NOW!! But all is good and our Spanish school is off to a good start - more on that later.
Much love, Niko y Sarita.