Friday, September 21, 2012

places: belize

 1. I love travel.
 2. I hate flying
 This makes the odds of you sharing a miserable, drunken flight with me more likely, which is uncomfortable - for you.
I will be the one asking at any slight jolt of turbulence "is that normal?" and I will probably be crying with a drink in hand.
Of course there is no rational portion of my brain working while 30,000 ft in the air, so you either have to move (which is what many opt for, if the option is available) or you fall asleep (while holding my hand.)
I am not a drinker, nor would my choice drink be a screwdriver, however, it has become my flying ritual and it must not be tampered with, otherwise I will be more unbearable!
 Belize was sort of a random "let's go on an adventure" trip. I had heard only great things about it and I wanted to see a place that hadn't been too severely tampered and tainted in central america. The culture was diverse and interesting, but let's be honest, Belize is all about the cheap lobster and ruins!  Aside from Tikal, (which is in Guatemala) the most memorable portion of the trip was the trek/swim into Aktun Tunichil Muknal (ATM cave.) It was simply majestic and for the first time since my visit to the Amazon Rainforest, I felt like I was in an Indiana Jones film, since that is how I reference the world around me.   
The Mayan's considered the cave systems to be portals to the underworld and where they would have closer access to the underworld Gods. Gods of which they would sacrifice young men, women, children and babies... basically anything that walked on two legs.  Their bones still remain mostly intact over hundreds, some even thousands of years.  The cave was intensely silent (unless you were close to a rapid stream of water) and boy did it sparkle! I recommend this adventure to all!  Just be warned... it is not for the faint of heart, nor the claustrophobic. There is one point in which you have to squeeze your neck between to large boulders, which could give "worst case scenario" thoughts a lot of material to work with. I was fine with this, because I wasn't in an airplane.
The adventure was a long one... after over 1 week in the jungle, it was time for some R&R. That meant visiting the one beach in Belize that wasn't a forest grove, Placenta, I mean... Placencia. 
I took the bait to stay on a private Caye. This sounded marvelous - private home, chef, kayaks, coral reefs. 
All of this was true, however the quality of service was comical. 
The chef and caretaker of the island seemed apathetic and specialized in fried chicken and wasps nesting in the beds. Due to its over priced ruggedness, I opted to only stay one night and resort to a resort, which was too bad... but sleeping with wasps at my head is where I draw the line. 
The kayaking was unreal, especially at sunset - Adventuring to islands that are inhabited mainly by pelicans, sea birds  and rogue sea monsters is a surreal experience. 

All in all, if you must go somewhere... go to Belize!  
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