Happy Saturday Everyone!
Yesterday was an exciting day, I officially have my first visitor accompanying me on my journey for these next few weeks. I met Traci in college at many collegiate water ski tournaments, she skied for Purdue, and we’ve met up several times in Chicago since we each graduated. Our plan for the next 2+ weeks is diving, relaxing, snorkeling, and having fun in Caye (pronounced: “Key”) Caulker, Belize. The number one highlight of the week will be diving the Great Blue Hole of Belize!
The Blue Hole is a massive sink hole about 40 miles off the coast of Belize. I will dive to the deepest depths I have ever dove, upwards of 140 feet (35m) into the subterranean caverns filled with massive stalagtites.
Hopefully I’ll be lucky enough that hammerhead sharks will be visiting the Blue Hole that day too! After this dive, we dive the ‘aquarium’ and another dive site nearby, which I’ve heard from fellow divers have some of the most marine life I will ever see.
Later day, Traci and I plan to swim across “The Split” – which literally is a divide in the key, caused by Hurricane Hattie in 1961 – it literally “split” the island in two. The north half of Caye Caulker is uninhabited by humans, solely loads of flora and fauna – with our biggest fear / excitement being the crocodile! We’ve heard of some unspoiled beaches as well – I’ll let you know how it goes!
The previous four days, I’ve been exploring the ancient Mayan city of Lamanai and two lazy days in the sleepy peninsula village of Placencia in Southern Belize.
I journey to Lamanai via a 26 mile high speed boat ride, it was very much like the Everglades – we saw loads of Mangroves and plant life as we winded through the river on the way to our final destination.
Lamanai was really cool – the largest ancient structure in Lamanai, is actually the third highest structure in Belize today. (Photo 1,2,3 above) The highlight for me however was seeing Olmec carved into stone. One on each side of the final temple we saw:
I really enjoyed Lamanai. I experienced my first rainforest downpour while we were exploring the ruins, and had fantastic views from the top of the ancient temples.
Lamanai, meaning Submerged Crocodile, was a great day trip. After exploring the village of Orange Walk, I trekked to Placencia the following day, to the only place in Belize with ‘actual beaches.’ The entire Peninsula was sandy, less the one road in town. The second main ‘road’ in town is called “Sidewalk Street” – which is literally a sidewalk through the sand, and the Guiness Book of World Records has recognized it as the narrowest main road in the world.
I spent two days here lazying around on the beach, hanging out with fellow hostelmates, and exploring the island with a local met. I also took the opportunity to have some fun with this facial hair that I’ve been growing out for quite some time.
What do you think?
I think I look ridiculous, but I also find it hilarious. I’ve been rocking the “Hulk Hogan” for two days now, I can’t even take myself seriously, and I’m probably going to make it a full blown Movember-stache later today, I’ll post pictures for your laughter later. I’m off to enjoy Caye Caulker now, just have to pry myself out of this hammock first.
I’ll leave you with a few more pics of Placencia and HAPPY WEEKEND EVERYONE!!