Monday, March 27, 2000


The one thing I have regrets about is that we didn't swim as much as I had hoped to. At Hopkins we did go in but I was stung by little jellyfish so hightailed it to the beach in a hurry. One actually got inside my suit and I was ready to rip it off there and then! Caladryl took care of the stings but it put an end to the swimming.

We met Mike, the owner and passed on Benjamin's message. Mike has an organic poultry farm out on the highway and the cooler in the back of his trooper was filled with fresh chickens that he was taking to other restaurants. Small business entrepreneurs are who make Belize run!

We took Charlie up on his offer of Mum's cooking and drove out in the direction of his house. It was dark and nothing looked familiar. After creeping around the streets, we asked some kids on the road if they knew where Charlie lived. Suddenly we were surrounded by a clamoring hoard! They shouted and danced around the car and led us to Charlie's house where, after dinner we were treated to another drumming treat.

The little 10-year-old drummer was amazing. I hope we can hook the group up with Emmeth. Charlie has the dream of keeping the drumming and traditions alive and I think that if he and Emmeth get together they could really make a difference. Although we enjoyed Hopkins, we found it expensive and also not as friendly as other places. There is a lot of development to the south where the British American Cattle Corporation had a large platted area that is being actively marketing some international publications.

Originally we had planned to go out to the cayes, most likely Caye Caulker but we had heard that it was becoming a bit touristy so we took other's advice and went to Tobacco Caye, a five-acre coral atoll out on the reef. The boat out to the caye leaves from Dangriga right near the River View Café where we had eaten lunch on our previous visit to the town.

As soon as we drove up, a young man, Rudolpho directed us where to park and started negotiating to take care of the car while we were gone. We struck a bargain with him that included having him wash the car as it was so covered with dust and mud you could barely tell what color it was. I couldn't even see out of the back window. Not knowing him, I paid him half up front, and promised him the rest when we returned, praying that it would still be there with our belongings intact. I took the cameras and laptop with me - just in case!

The trip out on a panga, a 20-foot fiberglass outboard was exciting. Fermin, the boatman open the throttle and we sped out to the horizon. He obviously knew exactly where he was going although we couldn't see anything to steer toward and he didn't have any sort of navigation instruments. Pretty soon we saw the islands appear on the edge of the glassy water and as we drew nearer, we saw the mangroves growing down to the waters edge. At one stage we appeared to be heading directly into the mangroves but at the last moment, the boat veered left and an opening appeared and we sped through, mangroves kissing the sides of the boat. The water had turned to that glorious, tropical turquoise. And it was warm!


Post a Comment

<< Home