Nice to Meet You, Belize City & Cozumel plus the Atlantic Ocean! [II]
Finally arrived in Belize City after two days of cruising. It was a perfectly sunny day. We quickly snapped a photo of us and the view. 🙂
Side story: Photo-ops were set up at the pier, including a dolphin. This costumed dolphin welcomed me with open arms, but I was not interested in a hug on a summery day. I dodged him and continued to walk across the pier. We stopped at other photo-ops. This dolphin obviously did not like the idea of us skipping him. He quickly ran up to join us at the last photo. Goofy dolphin man 🙂 Too bad we couldn’t find this picture among the many pictures they captured of us.
Teams of tour guides lined up at Tourist Village waiting to prowl. Overwhelmed by the eagerness of the tour guides, we decided to explore beyond the fence. We had no idea what was coming. The world outside of the gates was different. Aside from more tour guides, people are also pulling you in every direction.
“You have such pretty hair, come have your hair braided?” “Oh sir, let your girl to have her hair braided.”
Just a few minutes out the gates and we were warned to not to venture further or we would be swarmed by a lot more people. We took his advice and turned right back in the tourist village.
We were sitting in the shades to regroup for Plan B when we overheard a tour guide explaining his tour to a group of fellow cruise mates. We hopped on board and off we went on a city tour of Belize City . 🙂
This is Junior, our tour guide. He is a Belizean native who know just about everything about Belize. He was hilarious and keep us all laughing the whole time.
Quick Fact: There is no actual beach in Belize City even though it’s right by the coast. The water near the coast is very shallow and muddy which explains why our cruise ship can’t dock. The only beach is man-made.
First stop: Cucumber Beach
It was definitely shocking and see the water is not crystal clear. The man-made beach was attached a bar/restaurant. We got to try the local Belizean beer – Belikin.
Junior explained the local advertise Belikin Stout to be a man’s beer and a real man only drinks that. Instantly, the sales went up the roof for Belikin Stout. Effective advertising! 🙂
After a quick beer to refresh, we continued our tour. Next stop: Liquor tasting.
We tried cashew wine among a number of other liquors. I am not a wine drinker, but cashew wine was different. It was a bit sour with nutty taste. Nothing like I have tried before.
Next stop: Junior’s Hood…
He had to stopped by his house to retrieve a package or something. We were a bit nervous when he left the van. The area we were in reminded me of the refugee housing in Hong Kong with clothes hung outdoor to dry and gathering outside.
A couple facts I also learned from the tour:
- Foreigners are a large source of income to the country; therefore, people would not harm tourists to ensure their countries’ reputation is maintained.
- Junior joked that in the US, we have too many signs and traffic lights while in Belize, we don’t have enough. There are only two traffic lights and no stop signs.
- Many of the commercial buildings are essentially just houses with a sign posted outside to indicate they are a business, including the post office.
- No McD, Starbucks, KFC. If residents want typical American fast food, they’d drive to Mexico (~1 hour from Belize City)
Soon we said our gratitude and waved goodbye to Junior. We stayed outside the fence for a few moments to visited some shops. Before long, coconut sellers spotted us. Chef Bubble has been interested since the day started, it took almost no persuasion before we were paying for it. Once you buy the coconut, you can pour as much liquor as you want. Be your own bartender. Sipping on fresh coconut juice was so refreshing under the hot sun. 🙂
Belize was an eye opening experience. I was in a bit of cultural shock at first, but I am glad I went on the city tour and see Belize beyond the touristy shops. Seeing the residential area made me realize just how fortunate we are and appreciate the everyday amenities.
Thank you Belize, one day I’ll return for more cashew wine 🙂