Opening my email a few weeks ago I found a very welcome surprise, an invitation from my Uncle Gary to join him and the amazing Pam 2 in Belize. A very welcome invitation, we were unsure if we’d be able to make it to the house he had rented. Belize might be more touristy than the rest of Central America, but we are still in Central America so transportation information is usually not trustworthy until verified independently by several sources. Finally it seemed like Belize might be do able so we hatched a plan to get there.
Belize was a welcome break for us after moving in rapid succession from Antigua to Copan to Utila to Comayagua. We rushed to catch the weekly ferry from Puerto Cortes, Honduras to Placencia, Belize early Monday morning and in spite of our worries about missing the ferry, the immigration officers held the boat for two hours before letting us leave. If you ever want to take this ferry, be prepared to wait, and wait, and wait. Arriving in Big Creek Shipyard in Belize the captain told us it would be easy to catch a bus from Mango Creek (about a 5 minute taxi ride) to Hopkins. It was sort of like a transportation board game: taxi to ferry in Puerto Cortes, shuttle to immigration back to ferry, ferry to Belize immigration at big creek, taxi to mango creek, bus to hopkins junction, hitch-hike in the back of a pick up truck to Hopkins, and a 3 mile walk walk to the house my uncle rented…but they found us before we walked all that way. By the time we arrived we were exhausted and happy to soak up our first air conditioned space in several weeks.
We spent the next day hiking around Cockscomb Wildlife Reserve, the first jaguar preserve in Belize. Unfortunately we saw no Jaguars, only some bugs, birds and lizards. Besides spending time with family and soaking up the air conditioning, it was nice to be in a country where other people spoke English. We spent the rest of our time in Belize hanging out by the pool, walking along the beach and generally exploring the area. For me it was great to spend time with Uncle Gary and Pam without the rest of the family, we haven’t seen them since our wedding and we never got to spend a lot of time together outside of big family events. Sometimes I have these experiences where I actually feel like an adult. Sounds funny, but often I feel like I’m still just a kid moving along in life. I hardly ever think of myself as an adult, which is probably why I’m on this trip in the first place. Sharing a beer and the sunset with my Uncle was one of those “adult” moments.
A perfect week of relaxation, good food and good company until Thursday at 2:30am. You’ve seen our immediate post about the earthquake, but the earthquake truly was the defining moment of our trip to Belize. For those of you that haven’t experienced an earthquake, Danny made this video to share our experience with you. (No, we did not grab the video camera during the earthquake, this is a “made for the web reenactment. No one has been hurt in the making of this video. :))
Belize was a great re-charging mini vacation for us. Even though the earthquake was scary, we never thought twice about moving forward and continuing our journey. Sometimes things happen and as we keep telling ourselves, things happen every day everywhere in the world. Coming back because of an earthquake defeats the purpose of traveling in the first place, so we’re plugging along, moving forward and maybe inspecting structures a little bit closer from now on!