San Ignacio to Caye Caulker – December 8, 2010

I got up for my last morning in San Ignacio at a reasonable hour and headed to the French Bakery in town.  I don’t know why I kept going there; it really wasn’t that great.  I guess I hoped that eventually I would either get French pastries or at least something similar to Mexican pastries.  It never happened.

I swung by to say good-bye to Jamal and Bob at Pacz Tours.  I enjoyed chatting with them through-out my trip and they hooked me up with some fantastic tours.

At around 9am my shuttle driver arrived to pick me up.  I was paying a bit more than usual for the ride because apparently no one else was headed to Belize City and he wouldn’t have anyone to pick up for a fare back.  We swung by his house to get a more fuel efficient vehicle and he asked me multiple times if I understood the cost.  He explained that one time he took a group all the way to Placencia and they insisted that the fair had been quoted in Belizian, so he ended up getting half of what he expected.  I promised I understood over and over again.

We arrived at the Belize City water taxi terminal around 11am and I was bummed to find out that the next water taxi didn’t leave until 130pm.  I guess I should have done a bit of research.  I just figured they ran every ½ or so all day.  Lesson learned.  Fortunately I ran into Peter from Hungry who had been with a separate Pacz Tours group touring ATM the same day I was there.  During the hike from the cave back to our vans we had chatted a bit, but never exchanged names.  He was waiting on his shuttle to Guatemala (he was just coming back from Caye Caulker).  Peter had one more week of his month long holiday.  It was nice to have some company during part of my delay.

After Peter left, I checked my bag with the water taxi company and went outside to see if I could find something interesting to do.  The area felt very run down and I didn’t see anything close by, so I just went back inside and read.

The water taxi ride to Caye Caulker was nice.  It was a bit packed, but the ride was still comfortable.  As we left Belize City I noticed four cruise ships anchored outside the barrier reef.  Here is my two cents about visiting Belize via cruise ship…DON’T DO IT.  There is just too much to see and do.

We arrived in Caye Caulker just before 3pm.  I asked one of the golf cart taxis how much it cost for a ride to Mara’s Place and he wanted $10US.  I then asked how far and he said a 20 minute walk.  I had done my research and knew you can walk nearly the entire island in 20 minutes.  I said no thanks and even though I had a very heavy backpack I headed to the north end of the island.  It took me less than 10 minutes.

I changed clothes and decided to walk around the island.  My first stop was Chocolate’s to see about setting up a Manatee tour.  They thought they might go on Friday, but I was going on a 3-day sailing trip that day so I left my name and said I would love to go either Monday or Tuesday if they got enough interest.  I also stopped by Raggamuffin to introduce myself to Charlie with whom I had exchanged several emails about the sailing trip.  She was so sweet.  I also checked out some other tours that I might want to take.  I was then on the hunt for a place that would do my laundry.  I tracked down Miss Maries; she came recommended by some locals (eventually I just did my own).

Next on the agenda was to check out the Lazy Lizard which was near the place I was staying and was said to be the place to go for fun.  It sits right on the Split…so named because of a hurricane that cut the island in half in 1961.  The North half is not really inhabited.  It’s also the only real swimming area on the island.  The water nearest the island is crowded with sea grass, but the Split is nearly free of sea grass.  I really wasn’t very impressed.  I ordered some nachos and they were literally the worse thing I ate in Belize.

I did see some folks that stayed at Midas in San Ignacio, but I didn’t know any of their names.  As I headed to find another place to eat, I ran into Alisa whom I had met in San Ignacio (she was on the Tikal and ATM tours I took).  We chatted for a bit and she filled me in on the scuba lessons she was taking.

I did finally find some decent food, but I was disappointed to discover that the food in Caye Caulker was not nearly as good as the food in San Ignacio and it cost quite a bit more.  I did discover they had wi-fi if you sat in the right section so that was a happy discovery.

My evening ended early so that I could do some laundry and read my book.