Belize expectations are a funny thing. Belize is one of the most attractive Central American countries to mainstream American leisure travelers. It is thought of as safer, friendlier, and easier logistically. The exchange rate is an easy 1:2 and USD is valid currency. On the backpacker route, Belize is considered expensive, overrated by the masses, and uninteresting. Most backpackers I meet have skimmed through Belize, with a possible exception of a longer stay at Caye Caulker for diving. I wondered how I would feel about it as I arrived in San Pedro at Caye Ambergris.
|The view from my blogging office.|
The Cayes are more of the Carribean than of Central America. Queen Elizabeth is on the money. Visa is accepted everywhere. It feels odd speaking English and not feeling guilty. There is an easy-going vibe fueled by sunshine and Bob Marley. The people are outgoing and friendly. I have gotten more riffs on “Hey there pretty lady!” in the past twenty-four hours than any other time or place I have ever been. There are most certainly tons of Americans here on holiday. And they love to talk about—this is one of my favorite tourist gripes—how they adore coming here but isn’t it a shame it’s just getting so damn touristy. Um, and what are you, chopped liver?
It is indeed more expensive. Sunscreen is plentiful but outrageous ($15USD for a tube). Out of necessity my snacks are changing: Planters are the only peanuts here and they are not cheap; luckily fresh fruit is. Rum too. And I could eat curry or jerk chicken with dirty rice and beans plus coleslaw every day. In fact, I think I will.
|Yay Maggie’s here! Lunching it on her first full day.|
|Yummmmmm! Curry chicken, dirty rice, and love that coleslaw.|
And that blue blue Carribean water. Can’t say a bad thing about it. Just being near it makes me happy. And I’ve got just the colorful beachy new wardrobe. First impressions: I like Belize already. It feels distinctly different from Guatemala or Mexico and I am delighted by the variety and the island vibe. The challenge: it will indeed be a hit to my pocketbook so we’ll see how long I last, as I am becoming more conscious of money as I consider staying on the road longer than originally anticipated. Oh well, beer is still cheap!
|Yeah Belize, I think you and I are going to be okay.|