Un-BELIZE-Able: Day 3
My third day in Belize was dedicated to relaxation island-style.
I headed east from the Belizean shore, across Caribbean waters, to the island of Ranguana Caye for a day of snorkeling and tranquility.
These guys greeted me on the hotel grounds just prior to my embarcation. Look closely or you might miss them.
I arrived at the dock, conveniently located on the hotel property, to meet my boat just as it was approaching.
I climbed aboard and we were off to Ranguana Caye. Like "Gilligan, the skipper too, the millionaire and his wife, the movie star, the professor and Marianne" (this reference is going to be lost on many people but those who get it are probably smiling), we were also off to a private, secluded island. Our crew however, consisted of a captain, two cooks, a snorkel guide and a bartender. I think we were better prepared than Gilligan's bunch.
After 45 minutes, we were able to see our island off in the distance.
We slowed down as we made our approach, taking in the crystal-clear, topaz waters.
Upon arrival, I walked along the water...
...met Shadow, the island dog...
...hung out with the chef while he was preparing our lunch...
...and ordered a fresh, island cocktail.
Fresh coconut juice, coconut rum, lime juice and cranberry juice.
When I described the cocktail as "fresh," I wasn't exaggerating. Alex, our bartender, climbed a tree and cut down this coconut to make my drink.
Barbecued chicken, coleslaw and beans and rice with grilled plantain.
Before I knew it, it was time for lunch.
After a full meal, it was time to jump off the pier and do some snorkeling. While the boat ride to the island was traffic free on the water's surface, under the surface of the water, it was an entirely different situation. While snorkeling, we saw lobster, red snapper, jellyfish, sardines, black snapper, amberjack, bonefish, sea sponges, a stingray, turtles and a nurse shark. While on this trip, I learned that Belize has the second largest barrier reef after Australia.
After a vigorous swim in some choppy waters, I took a nap on a hammock and then it was time to get on the boat and head back to Placencia. We rode back over blue waters and under the sunshine.
Then, just as I reached my hotel, a thunderstorm struck which I enjoyed watching while from my deck. After a shower and some down time, I headed into town for dinner, drinks and music with my new friends.
Dinner was at Omar's, a restaurant highly recommended by every local I met.
Lobster with garlic butter, rice and salad.
This lobster was caught just hours before I sat down to enjoy it.
After dinner, I headed to the Tipsy Strip. My first stop was at the Tipsy Tuna to watch some Garifuna drumming. The Garifuna are descendants of Afro-indigenous populations from the Caribbean. Many of them live in Belize.
From there, it was back to the Barefoot Bar to listen to my new friend, Kylon perform. If you didn't get a chance to listen to Kylon Eiley's music in my last post, check him out here.
More to come on the rest of my time in Belize.