Monday, April 25, 2005
After a gruelling journey from London to JFK, then a ‘lovely’ stay at an airport hotel at La Guardia, followed by a flight to Houston – we were finally on our way to Belize. It was a quick acclimatisation to the heat, which involved me going to the ladies toilet to change into my shorts and sandals and then a panic when I realised I had left all my money in the toilet. Fortunately no one took it and we saw that as a good omen on which to start our trip.
Maya had never been on a small plane before and was a bit apprehensive, especially when her seat belt didn’t work. This was followed by a conversation with a lady sitting near her who said ‘Don’t worry, I’ve been in this plane when it’s crashed before. It was fine, everyone just got out and walked back to shore’. Never mind – we made it to AC, grabbed a cab and headed for our first destination. Mata Rocks.
We were greeted by the wonderful staff there. I cannot praise them enough. We dumped our stuff in our room, dipped our feet in the sea and headed off to Elvi’s Kitchen. The food was good, the staff were lovely but it felt expensive and geared towards USA tourists.
We got up for every sunrise in Belize. In fact on the first few nights we got up at 4am and hung out with the hotel’s security guard, communicating as best we could with our limited Spanish and her limited English. Nevertheless we had fun exploring under the pier with our torches in the moonlight.
The Squirrel’s Nest is Mata Rock’s fab little beach bar. It is usually buzzing with people and we met some truly gorgeous people from the northern USA and Canada who were escaping the freezing weather.
The beach at Mata Rocks is small, cute and perfectly formed. We enjoyed paddling and we took the opportunity to snorkel at Victoria House Hotel’s pier, which has a surprising number of interesting fish under it. We ate at their bar restaurant a couple of times and while expensive, the food was superb. We had our first conch ceviche there and loved it.
We walked to the south and hired a golf cart for the day to go to the North. Up north we saw some great houses, bounced around a lot in big potholes, visited the Palapa Bar and ate some BBQ at Hammock House. We watched the ferry traffic jam. On one of our crossings a local dog joined the group on the hand ferry, but when it wasn’t moving quickly enough, he jumped off and swam.