Pronounced Key Corker (with at least some sort of Caribbean elongation otherwise it’d just be silly), this is slow down central. Life here is slow, slow and chilled, chilled and relaxing. There’s a refreshing on shore breeze which means your don’t get bitten and you don’t break into a sweat just walking around. Tina’s hostel where we are staying for US$10 a night sits right on the beach, and if you really wanted you get spend your whole day lounging in the palm shaded hammocks reading and drinking Belikin. THIS is a holiday.
We arrived in Caye Caulker on Thursday 3rd July, a week after our departure from the UK and a week before Tim and Stu would have to leave for the UK. On initial inspection Caye Caulker wasn’t that far removed from Orange Walk in lack of things to do. There were golf buggies like on Isla Mujeres but pretty much no where to drive them to. We’re talking two roads, and a 20 minute round trip to do the circuit of them. So the prospect of spending a whole week here seemed highly unattractive, if not slightly boring.
But then all that was to change, a few Belikin’s later and a chat withthe people hanging around the hostel and we realised that really doing nothing can be quite fun. All the days have melted in to one with the exception of our snorkeling trip with SeaHawk out to the reef. That was a brilliant day, and one we might not have gone on were it not for the guy who organised it sweet talking us into changing our mind from a half day tour with another operator. The only slightly embarrassing factor was the following day ging to that other operator to get our snorkeling gear, but Stu was quick on his feet and mentioned something about there being girls on the SeaHawk trip which generally seems to be quite an acceptable excuse in these parts.
We had three sites to snorkel, the first we got to swim with manatees. It was a bit sketchy, we were right on the edge of the reef where the water was quite rough and the current quite strong and for some on he boat it proved a little too much, especially for the first timers. Nevertheless a few mouthfuls of sea water later and we were rewarded with the site of three manatees (sea cows), huge things, just very gracefully lying there buoyant about 10 foot from the ocean floor and another 12 or 15 foot below us.
The other two sites were more fish and coral affairs but I did also see nurse sharks, spotted eagle rays and got to stroke some sting rays. Of the fish and coral there were some massive brain coral formations, parrot fish and even a moray eel. What was particularly nice about this trip which both Stu and Tim commented on was being on a sail boat. It was a lot more pleasant a ride than being a speed boat.
Other occasions of note on Caye Caulker included celebrating Independence Day with the Yanks that seemed to have descended upon the hostel en mass. The irony being that more Brits (or the vanquished as we were known) were out for a booze up than the yanks themselves. We also ate some great seafood, highlights of my own being the abundant lobster and an excellent dish of barbecued snapper. Hmm hmmmmm.
It has been decided that 6 days in Caye Caulker might be a little too much. So tomorrow (6th) Stu, Tim and I will travel to San Pedro on Ambergris Caye where I will stay for one night and the guys stay until the travel back up to Cancun on Wednesday (9th). I shall return to Caye Caulker on Monday for the departure of my 3 day 2 night Raggamuffin sailboat trip down to Plancencia!