Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Belize it or NOT!

Getting to Belize was a bit of an adventure. The 7am morning ferry crossing was thankfully smooth as glass. A taxi to the wrong bus terminal didn't help but soon we were on route to Puerto Cortes but missed the last ferry to Belize. Instead we headed to the Guatemalan border and got an overcrowded sweat bucket minibus to Puerto Barrios. It was like the old joke of how many people can you fit in a mini, only it was NO JOKE!

When we arrived at the port we had missed the last ferry to Belize yet again so we boarded a tiny flimsy 'launcha' (small boat) for 1 hour to Livingston on the north coast of Guatemala. Me arse is still sore from being slapped by the seat of the boat as we were tossed and turned every time we hit a wave.

Livingston is only accessible by boat and is very different to the rest of Guatemala with a very Caribbean chilled out rasta vibe.

You have to get your exit stamp from immigration the day before you leave as the boat goes to Belize at 7am. We were a bit put out when the customs office was closed but it turned out they were just on a siesta. After spending the night we went to board the boat and were told there was a little problem as apparently Argentinians (the missus) need a visa to enter Belize. It all worked out in the end as a $50 fee got you a visa on arrival.

We headed for the southern Cayas of Placencia which have a decent beach and good snorkeling and diving and it is whale shark season. Belize is part of the commonwealth of the UK and is very different to the rest of Central America. English is the first language but it´s more like a dialect as it´s like listening to rasta dialect and can be difficult to follow along.

We had a strange experience as some of the people were very friendly,but some were completely unsociable. The people in shops, restaurants are generally the worst and seem to resent having to work. The fact that you are asking them for something seems to piss them off as if they would rather just be left alone. If you ask for directions or advice it´s way too much effort for them and they will say they don´t know. It seems as if the locals are simply lazy. One couple went thru 80 staff before getting 3 permanent employees. Having sent one girl for milk on her first day, she returned with the milk but handed in her notice saying the work was too difficult!

p.s. picture below of me watching poor ol´Chelsea get beat on penalties by Man Utd in the Championship final :=((
Next stop Guatemala!


RED MOJO May 27, 2008 1:09 pm  

Sounds like the kind of relaxing vacation I always end up taking! Wow! Glad you finally made it there.
Love the photos!

Nick May 27, 2008 2:38 pm  

You're certainly having more wild adventures. Liked the story of the girl who thought going out for milk was a tad onerous. Clearly the locals think relaxed working conditions means permanent day dream!

Baino May 27, 2008 4:48 pm  

Loving travelling with you and the pics are a treat! Sounds a bit like the outer Society Islands (Tahiti) they don't care too much for tourists even if their livelihood depends on it.At least it's warm! Chilly mornings in Oz these days.

Quickroute May 28, 2008 11:29 am  

Red Mojo: Thanks - sounds like you could do with a vacation yerself!

Nick: Maybe it´s the heat but thay sure are lazy here!

Baino: Trip is coming to an end :-(( and I hear it´s chilly back in Buenos Aires too!

Queen of clean May 28, 2008 12:07 pm  


I'm really enjoying your travels....I only get to Cork these days!! No, tell a lie, I did get to Portlaoise last week!!

An old friend of mine was posted to Belize with the Army, that was years ago, don't think the laid back attitude has changed much.

80 staff??? Jesus, I thought I had problems!!

Quickroute May 28, 2008 12:28 pm  

Queenie: Welcome back! - I thought you were M.I.A. for a while! I don´t think anybody will be outsourcing to Belize in a hurry!

Caro May 29, 2008 5:36 am  

This sounds like a fantastic trip, I'm sitting here watching the rain and wishing I could just head off!

Do you think he'd give me a job if I went to Belize? Seriously, I'm really good at going out for milk...

Shaunj May 29, 2008 9:30 am  

Poor auld chelsea me ar&$!
Yeah passed through Belize on a shuttle and it seemed extremely poor on the mainland anyway-loads of chinese shops though for some reason:/. The first guy we meet shouted into our shuttle bus, "welcome to paradise, who's staying in paradise?"
I thought he oversold the place a bit.

Quickroute May 29, 2008 11:48 am  

Caro: Glad to see you back! Now about your milk experience - It's not just about going out to get it - you have to come back too!

Shaunj: Seems to be a lot of Chinese all over Central America - they usually own the supermarkets. Hmmm Paradise is a bit of a stretch alright!

Nomadic Matt May 30, 2008 5:36 pm  

it looks like placencia hasn't changed much since I went....good...

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