13.10.2006 - 03.11.2006
Rob came over for two weeks for a holiday in Mexico and Belize. We decided to quickly skip Mexico (see title) and discover Belize. Chris Zeger told us about the Caribbean atmosphere jungle and great snorkeling over there...Our first night was in Corozal, a nice retreat the LP said, but we thought it was a ghost town, with as highlight some Amish, all looking very angry.
These Amish live very simple and in a closed community without modern comforts, they say. However, we saw them using cars and mobile phones...mmmm. I hope they do not use internet and read blogs too...Following our instincts the next day we already went to the first island: Ambergris Caye. Unfortunately this is still a little bit too close to US state 51, so we ended up in very loud crowds of fat drinking game fishing Americans with sleeveless shirts saying "shut up, just fish". But the snorkeling of a boat trip was great, not so much coral, but nurse sharks and sting rays everywhere. However, a critical note, they came because they were being fed, a very controversial method. It can lead to dangerous situations and their natural behaviour (looking for food) is being disturbed. But now I also know how Steve Irwin died. These rays were so gentle that I could lift them out of the water and they did everything to avoid using their sting. Irwin was good for animals, but he must have annoyed his fatal stingray really badly. Anyway, it was a great gameviewing day, because afterwards we went to the lagoon behind the beach. We took a bike and had to cross the airstrip, looking left-right and again left).There we found a bunch of crocodiles!!! Unfortunately, again they were being fed. So mixed feelings again! Anyway, here are some great pictures and a video from up close.
They say salt water crocs are the most dangerous animals in the water alive, but again my theory was proven that animals do not attack people unless they can not do anything else. I came up to a few meters and the 2-3 meter sweeties just jumped/swam off, looking scared!! Big bird watched the whole scene. So next stop Caye Caulker, more relaxed and again nurse sharks, rays and one crocodile. But in the split (stupid looking bit of sandy water) we found a long nose bat fish (Rob looked up on the web), that looked like a frog that was chemically treated and smashed by a car) and an eagle ray in 2 meters deep water (normally deep water animals).
Then off to Placencia, a beach resort with finally some local night life. We also looked for Manatees here with a kayak, but could not find any. We did not find the time to visit the jungle and inland anymore. To summarize Belize (well the coast part of it), great nature, but the reef is far away and trips are expensive (expec. in low season when they are now other travellers joining). Also, the people are often very very very relaxed and slow, slow slow, a little bit too. Some prefer not doing anything for you, unless the get a lot of money.
So, back in Mexico we spent some days in Tulum and Playa del Carmen (like Benidorm but nice after quiet Belize).
We even met two different people from Den Haag, we knew. Then I said goodbye to Rob and went off for a few days of Cozumel, the diving and cruiseship capital of Mexico. Diving was very good: increadible visibility and 5 turtles, 3 black tip reef sharks and 3 nurse sharks! So now have to run to fly from Cancun to Los Angeles (skating along venice beach?) and then the day after to Fiji...yours, Sander