Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Belize City, January 17, 2017

Happy second anniversary to Jane and Mitch!  

I left, or rather tried to leave San Ignacio, the same way I got there, via shuttle bus.  When I got off the bus 4 days ago, the driver said he was at the same place every day at 10:30 if a person wanted to go to Belize City.  So, there I sat, from 10:15 until 11:00.  No bus.  I knew there were alternatives and so ended up riding a Belize style chicken bus for $4.50 instead of probably $20.  

It's 113 km from San Ignacio to Belize City-

The ride was hilly through jungle until about 20 miles from the coast where the landscape flattened out.  There are a few trees but the soil is sandy, so nothing is planted.  Vegetation is scrubby bushes and the odd palm tree.

From the bus station, I walked to the Black Pearl Harley Davidson shop which must be closing because it was pretty much empty.  I was told to go to the Tourist Village to get a t-shirt.  So, I walked to my hotel, which is beautiful:  I am in a corner room with great airflow and there's a balcony out front with cool breezes.  Okay, it's not 'that' beautiful because I have to share a bathroom, but only with one other room so that's not too inconvenient.

The Tourist Village is duty free and only for cruise ship travellers but I begged and cried my way in, although I had to wear a 'visitor' sticker which meant if I wanted to buy something, they wouldn't sell it to me anyway because I'm not leaving the country.  There wasn't anything in the HD shop anyway that piqued my interest.  It was funny to see all of these white people, wearing what white people wear when they are on a cruise!  They are pretty different travellers from the backpackers I've been hanging around.

Belize City comes with a warning that it can be dangerous.  It is poor and seems kind of thrown together.  There seem to be a lot of people on the streets with mental health issues- talking to themselves, picking at themselves, yelling, pacing, staggering etc.  Another thing I've forgotten to mention:  I have always wondered where all our old cars end up.  We have a few used car lots in North Battleford, but where do those cars end up when they're no longer wanted?  BELIZE!!!!  Minivans like the one Heinemanns drove for forever are here!  As are Oldsmobiles like my parents had.  You name it, it's here - clunking along, and I mean clunking.

Some of the architecture is colonial and made from wood-

Older homes are on stilts for two reasons:  floods from hurricanes and air flow to keep cool-

Tomorrow I'm going to check out the National Museum of Belize, then get on the boat to go to Caye Caulker!

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