From the moment I got off the boat and entered the customs office, I knew this was going to be a laid back location. With the floor covered in sand, and a single question asked by the customs officer, it was no time before I was ushered through the doorway and greeted by the lone security guard.
“Welcome to Belize”
The Island motto - oh and this is the main street
Once on the island of Caye Caulker, things only got more relaxed. There are no cars on the Island – only golf buggies – and the roads consisted of some roughly smoothed out mud where pedestrians were only occasionally having to move out of the way of traffic – which was mostly of the pedal variety.
After being told off by a local for breaking the island's law by walking too fast, I knew this was a place I would come to love.
Tell me how you leave a place like this
They don't like to do anything fast there. Your meal might take 90 minutes to come to you, but its all ok, but what else are you going to be doing? Just have another drink.
When you're on the road for any length of time, you sometimes need a break from the actual travelling. You can't spend 12 months going at 100% checking out attractions and monuments. I'd gotten to that stage of my trip where some time in Caye Caulker was the perfect option.
Chilling at the Split
Initially intending to spend only three days on the island, I couldn't seem to leave. I couldn't even tell you what I was doing during my time there. The Island is known for it's amazing snorkeling and diving and yet I did neither. I spend my days by “The Split”, where the northern and southern parts of the island are divided by a short waterway, with beers and my nights at the reggae bar with rum and before I knew it my three days had turned into a week. If it weren't for an offer of a ride down to Flores in Guatemala, I might still be there. It's just that laid back and chilled.
“Go Slow” has become a bit of a motto for my trip so far. As well as Caye Caulker, I've overstayed my initial expectations on the beaches of Playa Del Carmen and the beautiful Mexican colonial town of San Cristobal De Las Casas. “I'm leaving tomorrow” has become something of a catchphrase for me.
No seriously, how do you leave this?
I sometimes worry that all of this extra time spent at this end of Latin America may mean I'll be limited towards the end of my trip, but the way I look at it, if I', having a great time and hanging out with some great people, why move? I've met more than a few people who seem to be trying to pack too much into too short a time, and for mine, I'd rather err on the side of taking too long in one place than not long enough.
Sure, I'll get to South America eventually – the World Cup will make sure of that – but until then, I'm definitely enjoying going slow.