Friday, April 21, 2006


Now, this was a place we really enjoyed. Never really knew where it was until we found out we were going there, and there it was. Used to be British Honduras until 1973. We were surprised to find that the country has a Jamaican vibe to it, not a Mexican, even though Mexico borders it to the North, and it has Mayan ruins of it's own. So, you come ashore on tenders, because the water is very shallow until quite a ways out, maybe 10-12 miles offshore is where they moor the cruise ships. You can see the tenders in the picture below, but they're nothing like the tenders we rode in to Grand Cayman on last cruise. No, the one we rode in Belize had 3 (count `em - 3) 600HP outboard engines!!! Those suckers went so fast, that even with 40 or so passengers in them the bow lifted out of the water! So it didn't take very long to get ashore, that's for sure. And at the dock was the tourist shopping village, where all vendors had to be specially licensed, and you weren't overwhelmed by dozens of crazy people (that came later).
Also at the shopping area was a great little restaurant called 'The Wet Lizard'. Restaurant was on the second floor, with no outside walls. It was preety much all wood, and everyone who ate there wrote something on the dividers, rails, ceiling, etc. Yes, including us. I guess next time we go we'll have to see if it's still there. They had really good wings there, not sure what the sauce was, but it was spicy hot, not burn your lips hot-pepper hot. Very tasty, built up slowly the more you ate, definitely one of the better wing recipes I've had. And hopefully, they really were chicken! (I've read stories...)
And how do you cool off your mouth from them hot wings? Why, with Belikan Beer, brewed right there in Belize (by the same folks who bottle Coca-Cola). And only $2/bottle at the 'Wet Lizard', so you can't go wrong. Quite tasty, not an outstanding beer, but a great thirst quencher. And, in Belize, they still use returnable bottles, because it's cheaper than using throwaways and always having to import new bottles. Though I was able to keep one as a souvenir.
So after leaving the protected tourist area, one ventures out into the real streets, which are much less organized than the picture below, at least the one wer were on. People all over the place, some cars, apparently driving down the middle, and everyone trying to take you on a tour or sell you something (including one fellow who I'm pretty sure was trying to sell me ganja). But we found a small open air flea market, that had some neat stuff in it. Upstairs in the building it surrounded was a little pirate museum (everyone has pirates in the Caribbean!), including a pirate who let you taste his rum, and pretty much any other kind of exotic liquor.
They had a local cashew wine, which was really nasty tasting, even if you like cashew nuts; I couldn't say the wine tasted like cashews. However, they had a drink called 'Nance' made from the fruit of the Craboo tree, which was really, really good. No, I mean really, really, really good.

The one I tried looked like the label below, and I brought 2 bottles of that home, saving it for a special occasion, and you know I'll find a special occasion sooner rather than later.

So, much shopping was done, a good time had by all, and hope to get back there next cruise...

But, I wanted to show you this picture, we never saw it, never even heard of it until I was looking online for pix to illustrate this entry. It's the Blue Hole of Belize, and almost perfect circular hole in the ocean floor that's about 1000 feet across and 400 feet deep. Sure looks cool, doesn't it?
So, on to the next stop, Costa Maya, Mexico...see ya soon...

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