Guatemala and Belize 14 Jan - 24 Feb 2015 travel blog

Puerto Barrios loading a small boat - amazing how much they got...

Another happy balloon boy with his mother who looked after the loos...

Welcome to Belize

simple room - well, too much luxury is good for nobody

Downtown sign - rather an exaggeration

Flip flop selling

Old market stalls soon to be replaced by new EU finded market

Cant get the precise map location but am north of Livingston and south of Placentia. Best look at the Explore trip maps I loaded on Day 1 as they are clearer.

This morning was able to book a hotel in Dangriga, 3 hours by road from here, and further up the barrier reef. It will be nicer to have that experience than lingering in Belize City, especially now I have read the trip notes – more on than in due course. I now have a Plan and at least have managed to insert an extra stop to make up for my lost days on the Pacific side.

I had a lazier start than usual as the skiff left at 10:30. (rather overladen with people, luggage and packages) to Punto Gorda via Livingston which I only saw from the boat this time. Got through Immigration quickly on arrival and walked to the little hotel I had booked. I loved this sleepy little place on sight – it’s like travelling in ‘the olden days before tourism and cruises took off, there are just a few backpackers around and the place is unspoilt by tourism although it does have an excellent tourist office and quite a lot to do.

The Reception was closed until 2pm, as was everything else but I found the old father swinging in his hammock and eating lunch so he gave me my key after having a chat and I was able to dump my stuff and find my way to a bank.

The hotel is budget and modest and I really like it. Carlo, the owner, is exceptionally helpful and friendly but, then again, so is everyone here. It seemed they all knew me as I dumped my stuff and wandered about. There are quite a few restaurants and it seems they all cater for vegetarians. Everyone speaks English even though ithere is a predominance of Garifuna people who settled here when the British evicted them from St Vincent. They speak a hybrid of Spanish, Fench, English, Creole and everything in between and is incomprehensible.

It’s wonderful being able to walk around without looking at the pavement, no holes to fall down, tree roots lifting up slabs.... for such a small town it is well maintained and follows a familiar ‘British’ orderliness dating back to its British Colonialisation. The streets are King Street, Queen Street, Main Street etc. all rather quaint.

Carlo’s father was born here and one of the first to start developing the town, building up his businesses which are now the hotel, shop and cable TV company (run by his son) and later being the person who invited banks to come to the town – there are now two and both with ATM’s. He is interesting to talk to, lying back in his hammock and giving side orders to the gardener on which pot to use and how for a rather dead looking plant. I suppose he can afford to.

Have been to most places today and walked myself into the ground so not sure what I’ll do tomorrow. It's very hot during the day but a slight breeze helps cool down and the evening was really pleasant. I had dinner at a quaint (an overused adjective here) restaurant overlooking the sea - beautiful with a full moon hanging over it.

Just hanging out in a hammock on the balcony sounds good with, every now and then, a short walk to another veggie restaurant although I'm waiting to hear back from a snorkelling company and if that isn't possible I can hire a bike.

Yet again, I think I could stay longer but I'm sure Dangriga will offer me lots of similar things, as does the Explore trip. apart from it being halfway to Belize City.

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