Gilly I've really enjoyed Belize. It has been so different from Mexico and I think will be very different from what we are going to see in the next few months. The harmonious mix of the five main ethnicities make for a very friendly population. It has felt so Caribbean at times with both the culture and the mellow accented English. I've also loved trying to understand what people have been saying when they speak Kriol to each other. It sounds so, so like something I should be able to understand completely but absolutely can't. See the yellow writing on the chicken label to get an idea:
Admittedly the weather hasn't been great.....
And don't get me started on the jungle insects....
(Steve's ankle not mine, I'm not that hairy!) I've loved seeing my Mum and Else here. Placencia was a great relaxing break on the beach and it was great to go off for 3 days to explore the jungle and the zoo. We were very sad to see them go. You've got to love a country whose two main dishes are 'rice and beans' and 'beans and rice'! The former is the two ingredients cooked together with coconut milk and the latter they are served separately with the beans being more of a soupy consistency. We've also eaten some great seafood at the coast. Lucy We are living on a farm it is great there are lots of turkeys, chickens, ducks and goosey lucys.
I also loved the zoo and feeding the tapirs at night. My favourite animal to feed at night was the deer, they ate peanuts. They had little nibblely lips. I loved the tiny red brocket deer best. In the day, I got to get really close to a jaguar and it did 'roll, high five' with me and got a treat for it. The jaguar's name was Fieldmaster.
Alisha We saw Grannie and Else at Christmas at a nice hotel and we got to swim in the sea a lot. We got lots of lovely presents for Christmas and l've been reading all the Harry Potter books on my kindle since then.
I loved following the jaguar, tapir and deer tracks in the jungle and trying to work out what they had been doing in the night. But I HATE mosquitoes and biting insects, I wish they had never been invented. Steve Belize has been very different to Mexico. It has felt like a Caribbean Island and the coast has all the same things as you would find on such an island. With the 2nd longest reef in the world we had some great snorkelling experiences swimming with nurse sharks, rays and a large turtle. We also had a wonderful Christmas with family at a perfect hotel for the occasion, Belizean Nirvarna which was set right on the beach in Placencia. We also took full advantage of the great seafood and whilst not very traditional barbecued lobster, red snapper and prawns made for a tasty Christmas lunch. Gilly's mum even brought Christmas pudding and cake with her, so we still had some traditional fare.
We then saw the other side of Belize away from the coast. Heading inland we experienced the jungle, tracked howler monkeys and saw the footprints of big cats before getting to easily see Belizean native animals at the Belize Zoo. There were a number of consistents though throughout the country, friendly people, ice cold beers (Belikin) and rain. Whilst we saw plenty of sunshine during our 2 and a half weeks we also had lots and lots of rain. And when it rains here it really rains. We were told one night on Caye Caulker we had 9 inches of rain! We have now driven 25,000kms and it is 6 months since I retired. Whilst a lot has happened in that time I can not believe the trip we were planning for so many years is now well and truly underway. It's going very well and is exactly what I want to spend 2014 doing. HAPPY NEW YEAR everyone.