Belize

After our summer of kayaking, I bought a book called “Fifty Places to Paddle Before You Die: Kayaking and Rafting Experts Share the World’s Greatest Destinations.”

My husband and I have not been on an actual vacation since we got married in Prague back in 2004.  We have been on weekend trips occasionally, usually to New Orleans.  We saw the Cure and Sigur Rós in the last year, and both were amazing.

After looking at some of the closer places, I saw Ambergris Caye in Belize as being a cool spot for kayaking.  The book also suggested staying at El Pescador.  I got it in my head that we were going there, so I contacted El Pescador to reserve a villa and using my frequent flyer points, we booked two flights to Belize!

We both travel for work, but we never seem to go anywhere together.  Having four dogs and two guinea pigs, it is just easier for us to stay at home because boarding is so expensive.  This time, though, we went for it, and honestly it was the best thing we’ve ever done for ourselves.

Our flight left at 6:00 am from Memphis, and it was 8 degrees Fahrenheit with a 2 degree windchill as we walked from the parking garage to the terminal.  We just had to remind ourselves that we were soon to be sunning on the beach in 80 degree weather.  We got through and boarded, and I immediately put on the Trtl Pillow  my dad gave me for traveling.  Winn was embarrassed, but it was comfy!

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Belize is really not that far from Mississippi!  We were surprised at the short flights (Memphis to Atlanta is about an hour, and Atlanta to Belize City is about 2.5 hours).  We were on the ground in Central America by noon!

We transferred to a Tropic Air flight that was arranged by El Pescador.  Tropic Air is fun.  We were able to see so much during the 15 minute flight to San Pedro.  Winn got to sit with the pilot!

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There he is in the baseball cap!

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Have you ever seen water this blue?  I hadn’t!

El Pescador arranged for us to get to the hotel by boat!  Ricardo gave us our first of many Belikin beers on the ride to the hotel.  Winn was very happy.

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We were met on the pier by Marlin and Ken, the General Manager, who gave us the tour and told us about the meals at the lodge, activities, and amenities.  We then got settled into our VILLA.  It was beautiful.

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Our package included three meals a day plus drinks!  We headed down to the bar for some tropical drinks and to plan out our week in Belize.

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We met an amazing biologist studying and working on conservation of the fish in the area.  He travels around the Caribbean studying and tagging bonefish and spreading knowledge about the fish, their habitat, and how conserving the fish is so very important.  Check out the organization Bonefish and Tarpon Trust and get involved!  We enjoyed every night hanging out with Aaron and learning about fish – honestly I learned so much from him, and it turns out we have a friend in common!  Such a small world.

During the week we did so many different activities.  Kayaking in the lagoon, kayaking in the open water, snorkeling, fly fishing, swimming, exploring San Pedro, taking a golf cart into town (a real experience to drive down there), eating such good food (I’m looking at you, pupusas).  Take a gander at our pics!

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Kayaking the lagoon.  We saw lots of birds and fish!  We were all alone on the water, eerie but also pretty awesome.

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Bonefish!

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Captain Michael was our guide.  He was amazing!  Such a great teacher.  He had me fly casting and catching bonefish in 20 minutes.

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Don’t worry, he was only out of the water for about 10 seconds.  Keep ’em wet!

Before we left, we bought Qalo rings.  Neither of us wanted to risk losing our wedding bands while snorkeling or fishing.  I also try not to be flashy when traveling abroad, so they were perfect!

I bought the purple laurel Qalo ring,  and Winn bought the black classic Qalo band – links here:

QALO Women’s Lilac Purple Laurel Q2X Silicone Ring, Size 7

QALO Men’s Functional Wedding Rings, Classic Collection

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There were at least two very colorful Jesuses in San Pedro.  This is on Front Street at the Catholic Church in town. 

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Last dinner at El Pescador.  Piña coladas made by Jaison!  Dinner at El Pescador is with all the other guests.  It was great to meet so many wonderful people from around the world.

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Squid.

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Winn’s little friend, a Sergeant Major.

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Reach for the sharks!

Belize gave me so many firsts:

  1. Snorkeling
  2. Fly fishing
  3. Conch-eating
  4. Riding in a prop plane
  5. Touching a shark

Thank you, Belize and Ambergris Caye!

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