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After all the Mayan ruins, we made a stop in Belize.  We went caving.  (Caving?!?)  Not what I would have chosen but it was quite an adventure hiking through the jungle, wading across rivers and finally climbing around and wading through caves up to my armpits in water.  The cave was a sacred site where many Mayan sacrifices were made.  There were calcified pots and even skeletons in this huge chamber deep in the cave.  No cameras were allowed inside after some tourist dropped one and chipped a skull. 

We finally arrived in Caye Caulker, Belize. This is a tiny island with only 3 streets "paved" with sand. Everyone instantly relaxed in this wonderful country with laid-back, friendly people.


Our first view of the island.


An animal shelter. Even the cats are laid-back! This place was right next to the restaurant where I was having shrimp curry. If I had been one of those cats, I would be hopping that fence every day begging for seafood. I asked a guy and he said there was only one who came over for treats. That would have been me as a cat!


We went on a snorkeling trip and at one of our stops, the Nurse sharks were literally swimming on top of one another to get at the bits of fish they knew our guide would be tossing them.


Then he lowered the ladder and said, "Time to jump in." Um, did he say jump in?


We did and the guide held one upside down for us (that puts them into tonic immobility). I got to pet one! The skin felt rough, like sandpaper. I also got to pet a stingray, whose skin did feel smooth. We then were treated to a guided reef tour where he actually pointed out the different fish and what they were. At the end we got to see a large sea turtle feasting on sea grass!

After we had lunch and rum punch. This photo shows how clear the water was. It was maybe 4-10 feet deep and you could see the bottom. Also, those waves breaking in the background are hitting the world's 2nd largest barrier reef.


We had a great time in Belize. I previously knew next to nothing about the country but the Caribbean feel, the English-speaking people, the inexpensive seafood cooked in grills right on the beach, all offered just the breather we needed after so much traveling. Reggae music played everywhere, and it sounded just perfect in that context.


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October 2013

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