Belize Expedition–Day 4

April 15

I’m up early and meet the Di the cook bringing the coffee pot to the raised dining pavilion at 6:00 A.M. She and the staff drummed and danced till midnight and then went swimming, and she got up at 4:00 to start breakfast.  In answer to my questions she tells me some of her story, less carefree than her joyous presentation as cook.  She’s about to go home to her tiny village in the interior to see her grandson and three children.  Thirteen years ago she left her abusive husband after he hit her and she stabbed him with a kitchen knife, taking her kids and making her own way. Her sister, who was at the party last night and cooks at the adjoining resort, had a similar problem. After she saw her husband punch her, Di smashed his hand with a rock and won when the case went to court.


I hear screams in Creole and loud laughter from the men’s dormitory above the cook shack.

Our last activity at Glovers is a paddle out to the reef and more snorkling.


On the first dive, I find the right setting for underwater stills and movies and suddenly I’m surrounded by a school of beautiful blue-black fish zigzagging around the gorgeous coral outcrops.


The ecstatic dancing was unexpected, but this is what I came for.





After lunch we pack up and reboard the big boat which carries us fifteen miles back to the barrier reef at Tobacco Caye, where we find the kayaks and provisions for the remainder of the trip.  Somewhat disoriented by the contrast between the immaculate facilities of Glover’s and the dense funky development on this island, we are conducted to our first camping spot, a small open space between the brightly lighted gift shop and the ramshackle showers.  We are told to keep away from the bases of the palms whose falling fronds and coconuts can be lethal.  Rather than uninhabited wilderness, this seems like a bit of Dangriga transplanted from the mainland.

DSCF1356.JPGPhoto credit
We consider paddling elsewhere, but the wind is coming from the wrong direction.  However, after pitching tents, setting up a little kitchen, downing drinks at the palapa bar, entering conversations with Belizean vacationers and young European adventurers and interacting with kids playing everywhere, most of us relish the surprise.

DSCF1364.JPGPhoto credit

DSCF1377.JPGPhoto credit

DSCF1380.JPGPhoto credit
Some of us make our way to the dock on the south of the island providing access to the barrier reef, again surprised by the millions of large conch shells piled along the shore to stabilize the banks.   Once underwater, I am thankful we stayed.




Back in camp, we cook for the first time, Joe and I appreciating the tastiness of the Mountain House freeze dried Chicken Teriyaki and Rice which requires only a couple of cups of boiling water to be poured into an envelop and let sit for five minutes.  After sunset some of us walk back to the south wharf and watch a spectacular display of lightning storms twenty miles to the west over the Maya Mountains on the mainland.

More photos and movies here
Slideshow here

Leave a Reply