Three days and 57 mosquito bites later, I am living the dream on Caye Caulker in Belize. It was pouring rain when I arrived on the island. I showed up drenched on the doorstep of the Bluewave Guesthouse. I opened what I thought was the front door of the office, only to scare the living daylights out of a couple watching tv. I eventually found the real office, and was led to a nice room with air conditioning, tv, and a queen size bed.
The second day on the island was incredible. I signed up for a full day snorkel tour that stopped at three different locations. There were 4 couples, a pair of siblings, and another lone traveler on my boat. Out of all 4 countries I've snorkeled in, I have never seen so much amazing marine life on one tour. Immediately after I jumped in the water I turned around to find two eight foot long manatees staring me in the face. They were very gentle and didn't move at all. Throughout the day we also saw huge sting rays, loads of jellyfish, dozens of sharks, two sea turtles, a fat eel, barracuda, and hundreds of incredible fish. our tour guide actually held the sharks and sting rays. I met awesome people from Holland and all over the US. Later that night I met up with four other lone travelers and the five of us had a family style dinner in the open air cooked by an awesome guy with huge dreads named Willy. Willy actually sat down wish us, and the 6 of us enjoyed great food and converstaion together for a good two hours. After, we went out to a place called I & I that had hammocks and ropeswings on the roof. All of a sudden I was feeling very dizzy and my vision started going. Willy got me and ice pack, and the others I just met gave me cold water. Willy said I had 'sun stroke' from being in the heat all day. I felt better after a while, and have been drinking A LOT more water since.
Within the first two days of being here I was swinging on a palm tree with another girl from Boston traveling alone and meeting other lone travelers from all over. I started to realize that there were a lot of people here on the island just like me. The people on the island don't have much, but they love their simplistic lifestyle. Everyone knows everyone, and if you find the right people they are happy to share their story. Willy even offered to make me sunburn medicine from plants in his backyard, but I didn't see him around when I went to find him today. When I asked Willy why there are so many stray animals, he said that they let their pets run free here...like the people. Everyone travels by foot, bike, or golf carts. Kids are biking in the sand streets, and some are selling fresh fruit. At night, everyone goes to the beach on the end of the island to watch the sunset. There is great music playing, and tables and hammocks in the water.
Tomorrow I plan on spending the day in the water and renting a bike again. I also have a jungle riverboat and ruins tour planned for this week. I can't believe all that I have experienced so far. I'm off to hang out on the hammocks on the roof!