From caye caulker to hopkins, a lazy boat ride down the coast? Or night mare boat ride from hell? Tune in to find out...
Feb 4, 2010
So after some discussion about our current situation and family bugdet we decide against the fancy 3 day sailing trip that would have kept us on the island for a few more nights and taken a thousand bucks Usd from our bank account, and decide to travel via skiff with captain Lyle or loyd as he is also known as. We did some research on our would be captain and the people that know him say “ya nothin wrong with loyd, he is an asshole though, rips you off if he can, but he can drive a boat and hasnt made too many enemies in this town”. So loyyd it is. We had to go searching for him to let him know we were back to our original plan (cause mom got confused about the currencies and thought that the fancy sailing trip was just a bit more than the skiff ride when really it was more than twice the cost). Silly mommy. ($1 usd = $2 belize dollars)
Evan and I find loyd yelling and swearing about a bad lock. He is drunk because evan bought him a bottle of rum to make him feel better after we changed our minds on him. But there we were, having changed our minds back to the original plan, asking him if he would still consider our request. After complimenting me on my beauty and sexyness, he agreed and me and evan skampered off back to our hostel.
The next morning we woke up around 8, which was our original departure time, and packed up. Around nine the boat pulls up to the dock in front of our hostel. Its a small boat mom notices. Our improvised island guide, manuel, waves to me. I tell him we are just about ready for take off. Turns out we aint quite ready though,as mom has to run to the bank and im thinking real hard abot investing in the rental of some flippers. Cause you see Manuel has this nice plan that entails snorkling and lobster catching and spearfishing and Sebeache, or conch salade with tomatoes and onions. I want to be prepared so when mom gets back from the bank, i run to the snorkel shop and get 4 pairs for $20 bucks belize.
I run back to the boat, ignoring the island motto of “Go Slow” and jump on the little 12 foot motor boat and off we go.
The boat ride to belize city is amazing, we pass little islands of mangrove andthe sea is a gorgeous clear blue topaz. We stop in a little channel surrounded by mangrove islands and smoke a little/ big joint. Besides the fam and our captain loyyd, there is a young man named Hakim with us. Dark skinned with muscly arms, he is from cally but has lived on caye caulker for about a year now and has picked up quite a bit of creole he tells me. After the joint we travel onward over the glassy turquoise sea.
We reach Belize city and travel up the river that runs through it. The bank didnt work on the caye so she is trying her luck in the city. There is a little hang out where we were moored that gave us some shade, some creole buns ( yummy buns reminiscent of hot cross buns from our homeland), hot sweet corn and a toilet where i took a wee tinkle. Also there was a hot boy
Mom returns after wut seems a long time and off we putter up river to the gas station. Belize city has alot to look at. Unlike in winnipeg where our river runs through fancy peoples backyards, this river is well used. There are boats going up and down it with many a place to dock in front of cafes and hotels. Everything looks makeshift, which one might interpret as poverty, but i like to see people making use of the things around them. If you can make a good fence out of bits a scrap metal and shit, why wouldnt you? It saves trees, money and space in the landfill. People dont seem to be too hung up about things being new and matching around here. And it makes for much more interesting scenery.
Some houses are deff falling apart though, and there is damage on almost everything from the hurricane that swept through here almost a decade ago. We come up side snd side with a 25 foot red boat full of rastas. For a fleeting moment i imagine them hijacking us with the help of our captian lloyd but i submerge that fear and accept wutver fate is instore for me. No point worrying about things that havent even happened yet.
We fill up at the gas station as planned and the big red boat is there with the rastas pumpin out the reggae at full volume!!! Sweet. They seem alright.
So down the river again and out into the blue. But first through the yucky brown water surrounding the mouth of the river.
Its nice to be on the ocean again, but it dont last too long. The waves are getting bigger and bigger and we are getting pitched higher and higher into the air with each one. Then, WHAM a big one hits us and us and our packs are flung right into the sea. We lose all our shit and have to work together to bail out the boat as the waves continuously top up the water level.
But the waves do get pretty big and its gettin kinda scary and our captain decides that it is too sketchy and we go right back up the river from whence we had come. Luckily Mom paid our $800 Blz in advance (nicely done eh?).
We stop under a bridge and the guys pop out of the boat and hold her close to the bank. They say there is a bus station just a couple blocks west. But mom comes round and assesses the situation. “No!” she says, i want a full refund! Unfortunately, a full refund isnt really available cause a couple hundrd bucks has been turned into gas for the trip!
But mom holds her ground like a hero and then someone comes up with the idea of getting a bigger boat to take us where we need to go. So back to the gas station. I know we are close when i hear that reggae booming down the river. And there it is. The bigger boat. And a handful of red and green and black clothed men with maybe a hint of yellow thrown in. Lloyd and this guy with huge dreds chat in creole and mom tries to understand what is going on. But things seem to be going well and the dred guy agrees to take us to hopkins in exchange for some of the gas we bought and our left over 500 dollas. we wait for a bit for a guy to buy the fish off our new boat crew. There is some much needed shade on the shore and so i hop out of our little boat and try to cool down. My face is already sunburnt, despite my attempt to wear a hat and cover myself in sunscreen. Next to me is a woman named Jarjah or Jarjar, with a little 6 month old baby boy on her knee. Turns out his name is avery and his daddy works on the boat that we just hired. Its nice to see a dad who takes responsibility for his sperm. On the island, it wasnt uncommon for a man to have kids with several different women and not be responsible for any of them. As our friend and guide, manuel, says, “the men dont have the children, the Women have the children, men just make them.” His ex wife has two kids.
Good to know.....
And so we sit.... mom dances on the dock and a stream of fish juice makes its way to where we are sitting as the fish exchange goes down. 300lbs of fish lighter, the boat is given a wipe down and then on we get. Our crew is made up of the baby avery’s daddy, our captian Jermaine, and two young whipper snappers named Jason, or the Columbian, and Larry, a fine young rasta if ever i saw one. The columbian, who may or may not actually be columbian is very beautiful. He looks like an exotic mix of spanish and some other things. I was admiring his tanned and tattooed chest only moments ago, while he washed and weighed those fish. Unfortunately he would have his shirt on for the remainder of the journey.
When we hit the waves, its pretty rough. This aint no relaxing cruise! We are bumped and josled around, but this boat handles it all pretty well and i decide to trust our captain. Its really bumpy for the first 25 minutes or so, we have to hold on for dear life a few times as our boat and its contents are flung into the air and then crashed down again and flung into the air, and then brought back down again. Ow my bum. Despite the pain, we are all laughing Mom sings some songs at this point to relieve the tension as we are crashed about. I think it was a good choice. I join in a bit and its fun. No one else sings though, but im sure they were just shy cause they deff knew the words to River of babylon and Three little birds! Despite the pain
As we come around the back of an island the waves smooth out a bit and the big ones are farther apart.
Turns out im on the wet side of the boat. Our captian explains that there is a bumpy side, a smooth side, a wet side and a dry side to the boat. At times when we are all bumping about and the spray is comin up over the edge it is hard to decipher which side is which. But im deff on the wet side and am soon totally soaked with the briney brew!
Halfway there. Time for a Spliff! We stop the boat, blast the tunes and enjoy a fairly dry joint. And some of us, me included get to empty our bladders into the sea. Tell me about awkward. Sometimes it would be nice to have a penis. I pull down me drawers and stick me white bum over the edge while me mum holds a scarf around me in an attempt to sheild me from the eyes of all my male boatmates. Im a bit shy so it takes me awhile. But its nice to have a bit of a breeze on the behind. Eventually i squeeze out my pee, which turns out to be quite a long one, and shimmy back into me soggy pants.
I think we had about 45 mins to hour left ahead of us at this point. But time seems to stand still when your on the sea. You dont think about much beyond when the next big wave will hit and cant look at much sept the ever stretching blue.
20 minutes left and i really have got the hang of it. Following the lead of the columbian we all shift our weight onto our knees and thighs and lean forward so the bum gets a bit of a break. If you sit up a bit when your up in the air, the fall aint so hard. But by this time im deff looking forward to reaching the mainland.
That last 20 minutes goes by without too much complaining from the bum department, and finally “LAND HO”. We see the shore. Our captain points out dangriga which is a town just north of our destination. When we finally reach the shore and pull up to the dock, who is waiting for us but two men in uniform. “the popo’s are here to greet us” says mom. Uh oh trouble?
No, turns out they are just a couple of cable guys chillin on the beach. They are actually really nice and they offer to take us and our stuff to a hotel. We reach a place called Tanias but it seems to be full.
But it seems our luck holds true cause tania has a house that her mother in law stays in sometimes that happens to be empty. We get to stay there. Its a nice house. I pretty much crash the minute we arrive, im fucking exhausted. But i see a couple of geckos first! They are soo cute and little and speedy fast.