On Day 2 of our Trip in Belize, after settling in to our resort and getting a feel of the city, we woke up 6am Saturday. Had breakfast downstairs to-go from a friendly local lady and got a ride to the local San Pedro town Aeropuerto. There we took a 20 minute jet to Belize City, and met with the rest of our group the hotel had arranged for our Belize cavetubing and zipline adventure tour. We drove 2 hours inland to the Jungles of Belize which is a whole tour of it’s own, riding through Belize city life, seeing schoolchildren and policemen and local workers.
After a 30 minute drive through town, we started driving through the countryside which was mainly all green lush land. As we got closer, the pothole roads got extremely bumpy in our van of 10 – including 2 50 year old couples from South Carolina who befriended easily along our day. We learned that majority of travelers to Belize, especially during high season are Americans or Canadians from the East coast, since it’s such a short flight away.
We finally reached the jungle after a bumpy ride and stripped down to just our bathing suits and shoes. Took what seemed like an hour trek through the jungle with our friendly guide and group. We stopped every few steps for him to give us jungle survival techniques, such as using Aloe to heal cuts or sunburns. He pointed out poisonous plants and sharp plants that can be your best friend when used as tools or your worst enemy when you use them for balance and they cut your fingers. He also showed us ancient healing plants that treat certain diseases. Also, he cut us some all-spice leaves that as we chew, numbed our mouth just like the dentists office.
Belize Cavetubing and Zipline
After about a 45 minute walk, we arrived to the river bend and each hopped on our tube. One by one, the calm stream glided us down towards the Mayan caves. Each of us had a flashlight strapped on our head, nerdy to the max. What a surreal feeling. Away from it all. Floating down through spectacular cave systems, which the ancient Mayas regarded as a sacred underworld and home to many powerful gods. The cave erupted with echos and squealing bats. The subtle adrenaline rush of cavetubing in Belize could not be described. But I would have loved to do that for a whole weekend. It’s always been one of my favorite pastimes. Laying around on tubes or floatys on a river or lake. This time it was an ancient journey exploring caves adding to the relaxation.
Lunch was served at the only restaurant on site upstairs in a bamboo shack buffet style. Afterwards, we would pack on our dry clothes, and hike to the Zipline entrance. I had ziplined in Monte Verde, Costa Rica before. But this zipline in Belize was not as high on the crazy scale as that one. Nevertheless, it’s still an adventure rush swinging through the jungle on a hook. We went through about 7 ziplines, and ended our day by mid afternoon. We headed back to Belize City, all relaxed and serene, the whole family packed in the van. There were still some time left before our jet would fly us back. So the friendly driver toured us through Belize city. We drove by a funeral procession at a local Christian church, passed by a Stadium being built (with donations by former Olympic champion Marion Jones), humble government official houses that was the size of my house back home, soccer fields and more.
Once again I’m brought back to the simplicity and purity of people living in underdeveloped areas and smiling, going about their days. It really comes down to that simple core foundation of why I travel. Reminded that when my day goes bad, there’s someone somewhere else living in different conditions, but passing their day with a smile. In relating to people, to individuals across the world, strangers by fate, humbling us by being acquainted, even for a second through a smile.
Once we got back into town, we slowly walked back to our hotel, about a 20 minute walk. We stopped by Maria’s fruit market, a local organic market owned by an old Belizian couple to buy some fruits and fresh juice. Took a nap and woke up at 9pm, realizing that most the restaurants near the resort were all closed, as bars/clubs were opening up. We decided to wander into downtown to see what we could find. Unfortunately all we could find were 3 stalls in the city center selling bacon wrapped hot dogs and taco’s from carts. Bf looks at me and says “I would never doubt that you’d find bacon-wrapped hot dog anywhere you travel.” One of my guilty pleasures indeed. I decided though instead on some carne asada tacos. Though I watched the woman re-fry the beef or whatever it was, pack it on the tortilla as an ant appeared in the midst of my taco. I mentioned it to her, she giggled, flicked it off, and went on making the taco. *Shrug* I’m sure I’ve eaten worst things.
After that luxurious dinner, we followed the bumpin’ 90s music into a beach front bar near by. The scene was perfect, the type you see in movies. Oceanfront bar with a live cover band, an American Bachelorette party and a few local solo creepers at the bar. We each ordered a shot of rum, and a Belikin beer to start the night right. We danced a bit and when the party started to die down, we walked down the street to another bar with techno music. I felt like I was on College spring break in Rosarito again. Bar hopping down these dingy Latin streets. It felt safer than Rosarito though. By the end of the night, we settled at Cito’s restaurant/bar which happened to be 70s theme where we ran into a cute 80 year old man we met earlier, who had found his way there too dancing with young pretty local women. We called it a night by 4am.