Going slow on Caye Caulker

It was so FANTASTIC to be back in Belize since our last trip in December, 2013!!!  We usually go for a week, but Paul and I discussed and decided on 2 weeks this trip. Planning began way back in April with thoughts and ideas of where to go and what to do.  Because of this being a longer than usual trip, we have a LOT of fun stories and pictures to share with you.  So, this trip will be broken up in to several different posts.  To view them all, click on the hashtag “trip4” at the end of this post.

During our first trip to Belize (December 2012) we stayed on Ambergris Caye for a few days and took a catamaran sail to Caye Caulker for the day. We had such a fun, albeit, short time there, we decided this trip we had to make staying there happen!

Saturday, December 20, 2014
With our alarm clock set at 4:00am for our 5:00am ride to the airport, we could hardly sleep the night before (kind of like kids on Christmas Eve)!  Our 7:00am flight took us to Charlotte, then off to the international airport on the main land in Belize City.  After gathering our bags, we ventured over to the Tropic Air gate for our quick 15ish minute puddle jumper flight to Caulker. I’m a HUGE fan of the jump seat, so I asked the other 9 passengers that were on the plane if they mind that I take that coveted spot.  Win!

After landing we had to grab a quick snap by the hand painted airstrip sign.  So many fantastic hand painted signs here and on Ambergris!
Ahhhhh! It’s so warm…so tropical! So lush and green! …and so ITCHY! What a mistake that was trampsing through the growth. Here we were being extra careful to keep an eye out for red ants, scorpions, tarantulas and snakes. Instead we stirred up a bunch of tiny island pests know as “No-See-Ums” (or sand flies) which are pretty nonexistent when there is a breeze. They decided to feast upon our pasty white, newly arrived flesh. It was then that I wish I had a secret “bug spray” a local woman had told us about during one of our trips. It’s a concoction of 1/2 bug spray mixed with 1/2 baby oil in a spray bottle. Pure magic and not so much a secret anymore.  Paid forward! I digress… After “recovering” from the itch fest and appearance of red bumps, our bags were loaded onto the red golf cart taxi (you can see it in the video) and we’re off to Seaside Cabanas (we highly suggest room 1 or 2).  Check out these views from our rooftop!
Upon arrival, we noticed that Paul’s dive bag was left at the airport. The driver zipped back to the airstrip and returned before Paul had downed his first Belikin.  After checking into our room and unwinding a bit, we decided to go exploring.Here are a few shots in town before grabbing dinner at Rainbow Grill and Bar.

Sunday, December 21, 2014
Today was a completely lazy day of exploring, seashell hunting (very scant I might add), paddling around in a 2-up kayak, checking out the “drive-in” movie theater, strolling drinks (open containers permitted) and hammock naps.  We ended up asking the locals for a good place to grab food…they didn’t steer us wrong!  Breakfast was at The Lazy Lobster, lunch at Rose’s and dinner at Habanero’s.  Here are some shots of the day.
My beloved Dirty Banana!
When the fishermen come in to clean, so do the moochers.
Snow Flakes for sale? Heck, we’re trying to avoid them!
Freshly made and deliciously sweet doughnuts. My mouth is watering just thinking about them!
Lovely front yard Christmas tree. We need to make one of these when we move!
Island motto. When we went there for the first time in 2012, we were “yelled” at by a local for walking too fast…too funny!
Last time we saw this, it was an open area with benches, a few places to pull up your golf cart (like a drive-in) and a gigantic white sheet strung between 2 palm trees. This is the entrance to what looked to be a concession stand. There were carpenters inside working.
And this is what will be showing tomorrow. $6.00US is pretty comparable for a ticket.
Out on the kayak.
One of Raggamuffin Tour’s boats.  Some day we plan on going on the overnight tour that they offer…sounds amazing!
Street vendor selling Pupusas. There goes the mouth watering again!
Sunburnt, a bit “marinated” and enjoying bar swings. SWINGS AT A BAR!
Quaint little art gallery.
Hilarious condom packaging found at a gift shop!
Cook at Habanero’s putting all of the good stuff together.
Beautiful ending to a fun day!

Monday, December 22, 2014
After breakfast at The Lazy Lobster again (it’s that good!), it was our last day on Caulker and we wanted to do something fun and memorable. We decided on a manatee sanctuary tour with Harry from E-Z Boy Tours.  The trip included a visit to Swallow Caye, where those sweet creatures hang out, a stop for lunch on St. George’s Caye, a quick tour, then off to snorkel at the second largest barrier reef system…the Belize Barrier Reef. Starting off with shots on the way out to Swallow Caye (pictures, not alcohol).
A lone fisherman’s shack in the middle of no where.
Manatee! Harry dropped anchor and used about a 12′ long push stick to maneuver about. Manatee are shy by nature, so this is about as close as they got to the boat.
As we approached St. George’s Caye, we couldn’t wait to eat lunch, explore and have a short history lesson. Harry wanted to show us the shape of the caye since it was hard to tell from the boat, so he whipped out a $5.00BZ ($2.50US). Such beautiful currency with an image of St. George’s Caye on the back.
What a view! I can’t make this stuff up!
Here’s a cannon used during battle and the sign that reads “This cannon is the property of Mrs. H. W. Pearce and is a relic of the battle of St. George’s Caye, Sept. 10th, 1798. It has been mounted in remembrance of the glory of Saint George’s Caye, by those of us who love this island. July 1972.”
After checking out the VERY desolate St. George’s Caye, it was time to test out my new Nikon to see what lies below the water. Although I’m a strong swimmer, I forgot to buy one of those floaty attachment thingies for my camera, so I went the slightly lazy route and attached it to a life jacket (it’s a well known fact that I’m a complete klutz and the last thing I want to do is to have Paul dive down for it!  SO very impressed with its performance!
Here are a few shots of a Sergeant Major fish
And some stunning coral. The shallower the reef, the more bleached out it becomes because of the sunlight.
and a sea star (not starfish, people!)
Harry managed to find a few treasures, one of which we ate about an hour later.
Goofy with a sponge.
After parting ways with Harry, we made it back to our cabana and got ready for dinner.  A handful of people raved about the fried chicken at Syd’s, so we had to check it out. It was obviously horrible. Just terrible! #cleanplateclub For dessert we grabbed a slice of caye lime pie from Scoopd’s. Deeee-LISH!
Here are some beautiful masks decorating one of the walls inside of Syd’s.

And there you have it…our little stay on Caye Caulker. We absolutely LOVE it there and will return. Tomorrow, it’s off to “home”…Ambergris Caye! Although these two cayes are about 10 miles apart, they vary vastly. Caye Caulker more laid back and “Rasta” feeling than Ambergris and has WAY fewer cars and taxis. Although there are plenty of golf carts and bicycles available for rent, we decided to go it by foot since the island is very navigable.  See you soon and thank you for reminding us to “Go Slow!”

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