We’ve now settle for a couple of days in a town called San Ignacio near the Guatemalan border in Belize. Following my previous post we crossed the border from Mexico into Belize by speedboat after a very thorough search by the Mexican military and sniffer dogs!!
We then headed out to a little Belizean Island called Caye Caulker which was absolutely gorgeous. I think Belize is a little hidden jewel of a holiday destination, entirely under-rated. As an ex-British colony English is the first language which makes life easier. The Islands dotted about the coastline are all essentially little Caribbean islands. Incredibly beautiful, incredibly laid-back and with fantastic marine life!
Caye Caulker is incredibly small – you can stroll the length of the island, along the sand roads, in around 20 minutes with reggae music filling the air from the local shops and cafes. I particularly enjoyed somebody calling out to me as I rushed to get my camera from the hotel before leaving on the sailing boat “Where you goin’ in such a hurry girl?” In a heavy Jamaican accent. They’ve probably never seen somebody running in their life! They’re certainly unaccustomed to even the slightest stress!
Unfortunately we were only staying in this little paradise for two nights so we booked a days snorkelling excursion for our one whole day. It was certainly worth it. In one of our stop-offs the local nurse sharks had become accustomed to being fed by the sailing boats full of snorkelers so they surrounded our boat. In my excitement I jumped straight into the water in my snorkelling gear and startled the others by screaming loudly in my surprise at being surrounded by numerous large sting rays! The nurse sharks themselves are toothless so I was able to get incredibly close to them, even stroking their bodies and feeding them by hand! At one point around 12 of them were gathered in a feeding frenzy supplied by our captain throwing sardines into the sea. The current in the water pulled me right into the frenzy itself so I had the metre and a half long sharks thrashing all around me! It was an incredibly experience.
The captain, who is also the equivalent of a ‘park warden’ for the marine conservation area which we visited, was catching the sharks and the rays for us to ‘pet’! Seeing how docile the creatures were I then dived down in front of one of the rays so that it slid up and over my body!
At our next stop we also became acquainted with three of the local green turtles, again ridiculously accustomed to humans to the point where I could dive down and stroke their smooth shells!
For any enthusiastic snorkellers or divers out there I would definitely recommend Belize as an interesting marine destination!
An inquisitive Green Moray Eel!
A beautiful spotted Eagle Ray