Caye Caulker 2006

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The Split

 

It's February, 2006 in Virginia and we haven't been in Belize for a year.  It seemed like time to venture back for a short visit to Caye Caulker.  It was down on Wednesday and back on Sunday but it seemed like we were gone for three weeks.  That's a lot vacation for not too much money.  My wife and I were coming back and we brought my brother who was there for the first time.

Jan's PlaceWe wanted a place on the beach and in a cabin or cabana.  Most places that had two bedrooms were full.  We were going to get two cabins at Shirley's but stumbled onto Jan's Place instead.  Neil and Molly Bradley have a 3 bedroom house over their hardware store and two apartments beside it.  We were in the house and it had a big porch.  Since it was on the second floor, the view was great.  In fact, we liked pretty much everything about the place.  My wife liked the porch so much that a picture of the view from there is hanging in her office.  Its very near Don Corleone's and is near the split.  There weren't any noise problems other than an occasional cat fight.  I'm not sure how new Jan's Place is but its not been in this nice shape for too long.  In 1998, Hurricane Mitch battered Caye Caulker.  The link has a picture of Jan's Place and other Caye Caulker spots right after the storm.  Its taken some work to recover.

Caulker from the pier

We took the water taxi to Caye Caulker.  The weather was good so it was a pleasant ride.  I still enjoy the view you get on the ride in.  We met a backpacker from Sweden and directed her to Tina's.  As you would expect, we also ran into her several times during our stay. 

After we got settled in, we went shopping for Belikin and rum.  After that it was time for dinner.  We were off to Habanero's.  The restaurant is very pricey for where it is but is very good.  I hope they open a branch where we are in Virginia.  Not likely, I realize.  Dinner went very well and started the week on a positive note.

StingrayThe next day was snorkeling.  We did the full day tour to Hol Chan with lunch at Cannibals in San Pedro.  We had fun people on the boat and lots of fish where we stopped.  My brother had never been snorkeling before so it was an experience for him.  He's more used to paddling a kayak in muddy water than snorkeling in clear water.  I got some decent pictures when I could keep the camera from fogging up.  If you'd like to see a little more information about the camera and case used, click here.Herbal Tribe

That night we had dinner at Herbal Tribe.  It was good and reasonably priced.  Happy hour prices were in effect to so that was even better.  We met a Canadian couple at the table beside us.  We told them they should try Coco Plum for breakfast some time. 

The next morning was goof off and hammock day so we went to Coco Plum.  We hadn't been there long when our new friends wandered in and joined us.  After breakfast, we took them on a walking tour of the island looking for iguanas.  It made for a very pleasant morning and is one of the reasons we like Caye Caulker so much.  The tourists are generally as friendly as the locals.  By the way, breakfast was very good.

The SplitAfter a day of wandering and shopping, my wife wanted to snorkel at the split.  She didn't stay in long but reported the snorkeling to be very good.  The water is very clear but you do have to fight a current and watch for boats.  The snorkeling from land was better than I thought.  At least at the split.

 

StingrayOur last day there, we went snorkeling with Carlos Tours.  I enjoyed Carlos last time, and now Michelle too.  We did the all day tour again.  Before we actually got started, we stopped where a fisherman was cleaning his catch.  There was more action there than anywhere else we stopped.  Rays everywhere and an assortment of fish.  There's several pictures on the snorkeling pictures page.  All in all, it was a fun day.

That evening we had dinner at Wish Willy.  We'd walked by there a few times and always decided to pass.  Beer bottles still on the tables in the morning.  Chairs and tables looking like they might collapse.  All inWish Willy all not impressive.  We went anyway.  Willy (turns out his name is really Maurice) came out to wait on us.  He doesn't have a menu and we didn't know what to get for an appetizer.  He said he'd make us something and left.  He came back with Red Snapper in a tangerine sauce with pita bread.  Tasted wonderful.  Presentation was good too.  Dinner was lightly battered, grilled conch.  Also very good.  We found out later that there's more to Willy than meets the eye.  He's actually been trained as a chef!  All together, it was a very good dinner at a more than reasonable price.  At one point, they ran out of Belikin and had to send the beer bike out to replenish the stock.  Shortly after, the beer bike came back with a case of beer on the handlebars.  I'd never seen a beer bike before but we were sure happy to see that one.

Betta No LittaOne of the things we noticed was how clean the island is and stays.  Everyone seems to rake their piece of the street every morning.  Everywhere, it stays clean.  Very nice.

Our last dinner was at Habanero's again.  We had Pina Coladas at Seaside Cabanas before just to ease into the meal.  They almost eased us past the meal.  After dinner, we walked Front Street for a while.  We managed to see everyone we met while we were there.  It was nice to be able to tell everyone goodbye, even though we'll not likely see them again.  Remember what I said above about liking the people when we visit here?

Storm ComingSunday was time to leave.  Not much to tell other than there was a big wind blowing in Belize and a big snow in Virginia.  My brother suggested just waiting until Tuesday.  I think he just didn't want to leave.  The flight to Belize City was an adventure but we got there.  The rest of the trip was pretty tame.  I did prove that scraping snow in sandals and heavy socks is not nearly as warm as boots.

We look forward to returning next year.