Belize City

Sunday 24 to Monday 25 May

Belize was to be our R&R time. No more temples or pyramids, no more churches, no more national parks, no more exploring cities.

The flight from Flores in Guatemala to Belize City was perhaps one of the more interesting. A small Cessna Caravan 20 seater single prop plane, with two pilots looking after us and about 8 passengers. We flew over the forests between Guatemala and Belize. I really enjoyed the flight – the low altitude, the clear visions and the friendliness of the pilots.

Immigration and customs was about as lay back and we were soon in a taxi for the 25km run into Belize City.

After 6 months in Spanish speaking countries and most of our travel time last year in non-English speaking countries, speaking English was something of a novelty.

We couldn’t help but throw in the odd ‘hola’, ‘uno mas’, and ‘cuánto cuesta‘.

In fact, although Belize is officially an English speaking country, the local people speak anything but. There is an unintelligible form of Spanish, probably akin to a Scottish or Irish accent, there is the local Mayan language and Creole imported with the African slaves. Most people however spoke English.

The taxi driver was surprised we were spending even one night in the city. It was Sunday night so whatever life there may have been certainly wasn’t visible on Sunday.

We wandered into downtown and on the way came across Prince Charles Perez, a self proclaimed raconteur, historian and mango salesman. He had also managed to corral a Jamaican couple and he kept all four of entertained with his sing song story telling. Of course this was a complimentary performance and he asked for nothing, except some money to support his family.

Armed with our new knowledge, we set out to explore Belize – the ‘beautiful place’.

The only activity was around the river where fishermen and beggars were gathered and at St John’s Cathedral, a 15 minute walk to the other end of town.

A group of teenagers had a ceremony on at the cathedral, and they were dressed in pristine white.

Satisfied with our exploratory efforts, we checked out the location of the most popular restaurant  in town The Celebrity Restaurant & Bar. We didn’t see any celebrities there, but we had a pleasant meal.