Thursday, April 11, 2013

Belize City

Lauren and I flew into Belize Airport on April 4th. Belize was everything we thought it would be besides the unwelcoming heat and humidity, which we were not prepared for. That day was one of the hottest days.

Traveling to a foreign land can definitley have its challenges. Besides waiting an hour in the hot long line for customs, we found out that the hotel van was not at the airport. We asked one of the ladies who worked there and apparently we had to reserve the van and pay a fee. Luckiliy we had a plan b, the taxis. We were placed in the taxi with a nice young couple who was heading to the same destination. Just a couple minutes into the 15 minute ride we found out that there are not as many safty rules in Belize as in the states. Cars were allowed to pass each other on a two lane road and the mirrors of the cars almost touched the pedestrians and bike riders. There were no stop signs or stop lights besides 2 which were located on the outskirts. We also found out that honking here means hi or thanks; a complete opposite from the American meaning. We finally made it to the hotel. When we reached our room, we had some other cultural suprises that were waiting for us.

The first thing that Lauren and I noticed were that the floors consisted of tile. There was not a clock within sight, which is very common in Belize, you easily lose track of time, the air conditioner stuck out of the wall and the majority of the tvs stations were very staticy. We were bummed to find out that the hotel was not located on a beach, but literally right next to the ocean with rocks and a cement wall between us; the advertisors for the hotel did a great job covering that fact up. Once we were situated with the room, Lauren and I found one of the hotel taxi workers to take us to a local store in order to buy bottles of water. The water in Belize is not as purified as the states and no one drinks the tap water here.  We ended up buying 28 bottles of water and the crate it came in for 28 Belizian dollars or 14 US dollars and discovered poweder milk. After that we headed back to the hotel in order to eat a fresh salad in the hotel's restraunt and relax for the night.

The next morning we woke up for the complementary breakfast the hotel offered. Fresh fruit and juices were served along with refried beans, olives, cheese, johnny cakes etc. We then headed to the city where we walked all around for hours. There were vendors, guards at every store we passed, people selling jewlery and dogs roaming the town. We noticed that all the buildings (including the hotel) are older and not remodel. We took 160 pictures and headed back to the hotel to relax and get away from the heat. On the way back to the hotel we met our first aquaintance a security guard who worked at a bank and lifted the bar with his hands in order for cars to pass through. Once we reached the hotel and had our first break, little did we know that our 3 to  5 o' clock break would turn into a daily occurance where we would nap and watch tv. After our two hour leisure time we headed to the bar and grill Hour Time. There we met our second aquaitance and had our first Belizian drinks.

(Afterthought that happened on the second day): The rain here though would last for 3 minutes, then stop raining then a while later rain again; it was very strange. Lauren and I took the chance and headed into town though, we ended up going into the Belize museum for 10 US dollars and spent the afternoon there learning the history and culture of Belize.

Our third day in Belize City, Lauren and I experienced the sun and its strong rays by laying out at the hotel pool. We took a break from the city and spent a few hours in the breeze and sun. The breeze was strong and cool and covered up the effects the sun can make on people. When we finally decided to go in we were happy that we were not burned. When we reached the elevator we noticed that parts of us looked more red than usual. I am not kidding when I say this, by the time we reached the room and took our cool showers my sun burn literally grew! It was so bizarre, I am still trying to get rid of the burn.

The fourth day was our last full day in Belize City. On the last day, Lauren and I decided to splurge a little go to the Belize Zoo. Early that morning we met up with David the taxi driver. We paid him 70 US dollars to take us to the zoo there and back which was a total of about 2 hours of driving. Seventy sound pricy but thanks to my bargaining skills, we saved $55 dollars from his asking price. While riding with David through Belize City and Hattiville, he gave us a tour of Belize. He pointed out his familys homes, hostiles for misbehaved kids and the different landscapes and history the cities have had. When we finally reached the zoo, David waited for the next two hours on us. The zoo costed 15 US dollars to get in but it was money well spent. The animals were either sick or given up by their owners; they were never taken out of their natural habitats and were always released back to where they came from if they could survive. The zoo was incredile though. You felt as if you were actually walking in the animals habitats. There were several different animals and all had cute sayings that asked for people to save them from construction etc. There was literally chicken wire inbetween us and all of the animals; maybe the wire was a little stronger than chicken wire. Lauren and I actually petted a Tapir, or the mountain cow. Those were our favorite animals along with the sea otter that was talking to us and showing off his swimming skills. When we walked away from the otter he would talk until we came back and then showed off again. When we met up with David he showed us a resort like place that had a man made beach and restraunt. We finally made it back and were ready for dinner. We wanted to try The Celebrity restraunt but after a hot walk found out they were closed. We then tried Thirstys and another restraunt and found out that they were closed at 6 pm on a Sunday. Walking by the restraunts though we passed a park in which tents, grills vendors were set up. Familys were all throughout the park talking with each other and eating. Asking the waitress at the hotel restraunt, which we ended up at again, the stores and restraunts open early and close around 1 so they can spend the day with their families. After eating a whole bowl of pasta and splitting a dessert (and finding out that they do not serve house salads in Belize) we headed to bed and some how became addicted the tv show Duck Dynasty.

When we woke up the next morning, our true adventures awaited us.

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