Monday, April 25, 2005

If you are looking for a romantic get away and you won’t be frightened by things like lizards in your toilet at night, Ek Tun is rustic and fabulous. It is also a fabulous place for nature lovers. We are quite amateurish at animal spotting but we managed to see (and remember) a pair of otter in the river, white hawks, bats, green parrot, king vulture, toads, toucans and a dying coatamundi and it’s accompanying (extracted for our viewing pleasure) botfly.

Due to various circumstances that occurred while we were staying at Ek Tun, we were not able to do any trips so we just enjoyed ourselves on the property. We still had not seen any ruins so we arranged to quickly visit Xunantunich before we headed back to Belize City. We went early so there were hardly any people.

We then took a taxi from San Ignacio to Belize City hoping to fly to Caye Caulker. We had heard rumour that the airport at Caye Caulker was open and we were being hopeful.

We arrived at the airport and just after we had unloaded our luggage, one of the staff told us there were no flights to Caye Caulker. Disappointed we started loading up again to be told that they had changed their mind and there would be a flight! Hurrah! We then discovered that the airport on Caye Caulker was not open officially and that we would be the test flight before the opening. We flew in a little four seater. It was great and we arrived at Caye Caulker airport with no fanfare or champagne despite requesting it as the first flight. Never mind.

We went off and booked into our hotel, the Tropical Paradise. It was the cheapest and most basic of the hotels we stayed in. But it was adequate and clean. But if you are planning to spend your day outside, they are fine for sleeping. I think they have better rooms available but we just took what we were offered.

Caye Caulker has it’s charm. We saw a fantastic art gallery there, the best we visited in our trip. We had the hottest meal there too. Just a bit too hot in fact. We couldn’t eat it. It was the only meal we didn’t enjoy. We swam at the cut and had a few beers at the bar there. I have to say that I was harassed by guys and this was the only time in Belize we had experienced this. It usually went like this ‘Hey pretty/sexy lady’. The guys were usually so stoned that even if I had been interested they couldn’t have done much anyway. There was much more open drug taking than I had observed anywhere else and a much more international crowd. We watched a man fishing in the cut. He just waded in and pulled out fish after fish. We then went for a little walk around the island to see the sun set. During this walk we explored a little nature area near the airport, which was lovely with some trees labelled.

We did not spend much time on Caye Caulker, but it was not really our cup of tea. We caught the first water taxi in the morning, which we shared with a number of school children. One of the many things that amazed me in Belize is how the school children can wear pristine white uniforms and look so clean! Kids in the UK wear black uniforms and still look a mess.
As we arrived back at Ambergris Caye our hearts lifted. We really loved the island so much. As soon as we got there, we quickly headed back to Mata Rocks for our last night. On this night we had a suite and spoiled ourselves. We had to try to ignore the fact that we were going to be going home the next day. But we are already planning our return trip.


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