While packing for Belize I was in the midst of midterm papers, turning 21, and dealing with craziness in life. It didn’t give me all that much time to think about what was to come or to day dream about what I expected Belize to be like.
Therefore the flight down was very exciting. I finally had a chance to read the guide book my dad had sent me more thoroughly and talk to fellow travelers about their past experiences here.
Upon arrival into Belize City, I realized in customs, I had no clue where I was staying. This is definitely a rule number one when traveling to a foreign country: know where you are staying. Luckily I was a nice, naïve girl and the man at customs let me through, but I have heard stories about them not letting you through here in Belize for less than that. I recommend you have more than the name of the island you are staying on when you arrive in a country, I wish I had.
While waiting on my brother and father to go through customs since they were on the flight right behind mine, I grabbed my stuff and stood in the sun, after all the warmth and the sun never feels quite as wonderful as when you are leaving behind slush and a 5 degree morning in Philadelphia.
Once we all had been reunited (nothing like not seeing each other for months on end in the US but meeting up in other countries) and figured out our water taxi flight out to the island, we went exploring a little and caught up a little. As there is nothing to see by the Belize City airport, our exploring did not take long and we ended up sitting waiting for the flight in the airport for about an hour and a half just people watching. All three of us were running on less than 3 hours of sleep and felt like zombies.
After landing in Amberguise Caye after a beautiful flight over watching the sunset and seeing the islands come into view amongst the reef below, we met a taxi guy named Noel. Noel knew where we were going and took us there right away helping my dad get the keys and information about our condos settled.
Our rooms were simple, yet perfect. Two one bedroom condos with kitchens. Since we had arrived in the dark, we weren’t one hundred percent sure what was around but we knew where the closest grocery store was and where our beach and our dock were.
While dad was figuring out room keys after a little bit of grocery shopping in the local store for breakfasts and lunches and such, Brendan and I went to the beach bar, Crazy Canucks. I had to buy my little brother a drink as soon as possible because this is the first place both of us have been where we both are legal!
The nice older couple beside us who are locals ordered for us and we began chatting with them and the bartender, Kevin. Asking about where dinner should be Kevin pointed us down the road to where he owned a restaurant. Brendan and I walked over there and order us three things to go and we came back to our condos and ate before all three of us crashed at 8:45 from pure exhaustion.
After 11 hours of sleep I awoke chipper and feeling human again. I put on my running clothes, went over to dad’s condo and had my first morning cup of coffee with him since last year this time in Arizona!
Two cups later we had decided we would go try and figure out where would be a good place for Brendan to finish up his dive certification and for us to grab local coffee. Going off a guy’s recommendation and very rough directions we began walking down the beach. Stumbling upon the dive shop, we came out with a plan on how Brendan would be certified and had planned my first fun dive in Belize! I was ready to run by this point, left Papa to order at the café and took to the roads.
The dusty, dirty, unstable roads were music to my feet, and the heat kept the smile on my face. After running since December with my Garmin and music, it felt weird, simplistic, and wonderful to go back to the basics: me, my runners, and a love for running.
After a beautiful, yet difficult run due to the heat, I returned to the café and had a coffee overlooking the water with my dad.
Returning to the condo, I showered and got ready for the day while my little brother got ready for his first day of diving.
While Brendan was deep under the sea, my dad and I explored the town of San Pedro by foot, all the little shops, the mercado, and the fun art stores. I even got a nap on the beach near a hostel I had borrowed a book from. It was a beautiful afternoon that came to an end when we returned to the small airstrip to pick up Chris, who was getting into the island on Sunday.
His flight had been delayed so instead we sent Noel to pick him up and returned to our condo.
We all ended our night reuniting over a delicious meal in San Pedro town recommended by Noel, Caramba’s.
A delicious way to end a relaxing day.