From the Archives: “Going Slow on Caye Caulker” (Belize)

The following was originally published on July 30, 2010 in “Seeing is Belize-ing”, a chronicle of my trip to Belize and Guatemala, which was hosted on the TravBuddy blog site that shuttered in April 2018. 1029791_128053456655931029791_128053456230021029791_128053457051831029791_12805345807571

It was nice to sleep in for a change. In fact, we really did move slow on our first full day on the island. We had a late breakfast at Coco Loco Cafe, where I fell in love with the blended caramel coffee and more of that Belizean breakfast food (refried beans and eggs).

We strolled around the main drag for awhile, stopping at a little fruit stand called Julia’s where they were making orange juice. Beautifully arranged pineapples, mangoes, bananas, starfruit, avocadoes, papayas, melons and cucumbers lined the shelf. They were selling pre-squeezed but fresh mixed fruit juice so we bought a liter of it cold. It was a lot to drink, but actually between us we managed to drain the bottle by the time we got back to our room.

The tranquility of the breeze, the way the palm fronds swayed in the wind and the ocean waves gently rolled onto the shore through the seagrass put us in the vacation state of mind. We’d really been moving fast and furious prior to this, so to have a day of nothing suit us just fine. We didn’t do much but wander around the island. We did walk out to the pier across from our guesthouse and stare out at the water, enjoying the calm winds and warm sun. We had intended to spend only a few minutes, but no one else was around and we ended up lying on the deck and resting in the sun. This would be the foundation of a good sunburn for me later. The soft wooden planks of the pier were actually not uncomfortable.

What was to be a short walk turned into a 20-minute stroll, which proved to be plenty for my weak Irish skin. The walk turned into a quest for a sleeveless shirt, not just for a souvenir but out of immediate necessity (in a rare instance, I had decided not to wear a shirt on this jaunt). We found Toucan Gift Shop, where we bought more than just shirts: coffee, magnets and honey. Partially covered at least, we headed back to the hotel where I could apply some much-needed lotion. On our way, a big lizard crossed our path, stopping enough to give us a “whadda-you-lookin-at” glance before scurrying into the shade next to a clapboard building.

Our next stop was a lunch, er, afternoon snack at Femi’s Cafe, a waterside restaurant where some of the seats were actually swings. Still, it was very hot so we chose a bench under the thatched roof. We were the only customers there at the time, although in fairness it was an odd time of the day. We chose ceviche, which we hadn’t had since Cayo, and a couple rum drinks. Why not, it’s vacation! Both went down easy and the ceviche was half price!

In the evening we went to Healing Touch Spa for massages. My masseuse was Eva, and Mark had Manuel. We were both very satisfied with the results, which left us feeling very blissful and unraveled. The massage oil they used was quite slippery and had been applied heavily. Immediately after the massage, we went to a beachside bar to watch Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, which was free as long as you bought a drink. We ordered the $16 (Belize money, but still) mojitos and watched the movie outside, while the ocean breezes whipped sand onto our greasy bodies. I wasn’t impressed with the movie, but the experience other than the sand, was nice and relaxing. When we got back to the hotel, we needed to shower the grit and slime off, although that proved difficult. That oil wasn’t easy coming off, and for me it was quite painful as the sunburn was setting in hard.

I’m sure we partook of food and beverage later that evening, but for all the brain cells under the kingdom of God, I can’t remember what we did. I will, however, disclaim that whatever it was was perfectly legal. And good night on that!

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