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Belize

What to Pack for an 8 month trip... if you're me

Because Laura asked, here is my answer. Please keep in mind that I may not have made the most practical choices, but it's what seems to be working for me. The difficulty in packing for this trip is that we will be in both very hot climates and very cool ones (i.e. Bolivia and Nepal).

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Somewhere in these piles include 3 sundresses, tank tops, 1 long skirt, cargo pants, hiking pants, 3 pairs of shorts, tshirts, pjs, 2 weeks worth of underwear, 3 bathing suits, a sarong (YEAH TISHA AND KATRINA D!!), socks, a scarf, 2 long sleeved shirts, and a rain jacket.

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I bet you all thought I'd bring at least 8 pairs of shoes. Of course I was tempted to but my deterrent was my incapability to carry an extra 25kg on my back! So here are some nice platform sandles, flip flops for the shower, walking sandles (I call them my "old man shoes" because I'm pretty sure my Lolo -- that's "grandfather" in Filipino -- had the same ones! but WOW they are sooooo comfy), hiking shoes, and yes those are crocs. I can't believe I bought crocs either but I needed them for walking around in a cave where you have to climb over rocks and swim through pools. Just recently I left the crocs -- they were only $3 USD -- behind somewhere and purchased a pair of "water" shoes. If you've been white water rafting you'll know what I mean (no Milena, not the hideous ones we bought for white water rafting in Costa Rica!)

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These are all the other stuff I brought to help me look less haggard on days I have time or when I am required to look less haggard. There's also a water purifier in there (thanks Andrew and Diane!). My e-reader is great because it's compact and we have some lonely planet guides on it. I still prefer books but they're too heavy. Of course I have my first aid kit and a ton of meds for a ton of different reasons.

So after packing everything, this is what it looks like:
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As soon as we find a post office I'll be sending some unnecessary stuff home so hopefully I'll only be walking around with 2 backpacks minus the shopping bag!

(Note: My Lululemon shorts are all withstanding washers and dryers so YES feel at ease when travelling with your Lululemon gear! I will use this as my defense when purchasing my next Lululemon item to Derek -- "... but Derek they are soooo durable for travel!" haha!)

Thanks to Laura for the question! And thanks to Haze for helping me decide what to pack!!

Posted by krisses 05:29 Archived in Belize Tagged packing Comments (6)

Obeying unofficial walking speed limits in Caye Caulker


View World Trip 2012 - Actual on dariusz's travel map.

"Whoa man, where you walkin so fast? Slow down!" - This an actual sentence a local Caye Caulker resident said to me in a thick Caribbean accent on my first day there and it probably describes the place better than any words I could invent. The place is CHILL, it's so relaxed that if it got any more relaxed, you'd never make on or off the island.

The weather on our first day was patchy, it began with an ugly overcast day, but then eventually it got sunny. In the end it wouldn't have mattered though because Caye Caulker is all about the vibe and the people. Everyone knows everyone in this tiny island of 3 streets along and maybe 10 across, and after a couple of days there, if you're not a complete douche, you can't walk down any of those streets without running into someone you've met or a random person sparking up a conversation with you.

This is a panorama of the entire island
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We spent most of the afternoon once it got sunny at the "split" which is the tiny beach where a hurricane split the island in half a few years ago.

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There is great little beach bar called the Lazy Lizard here where we initially met many of the people we'd be hanging out with for the rest of our stay.

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There was Wayne from Calgary. A great "young at heart" guy who is thinking about building a house here. There was Phil and his wife Abbey from Texas from whom we learned everything we would ever need to know about Austin. They also introduced us to "Wish Willy", a great island character and restaurant owner who decides on a whim who is and isn't cool enough to eat in his place. If you're a douche prepare to be kicked out no matter how much money you have. Then there was Dennis from Virginia who was an awesome source of information about Nicaragua and through pure coincidence also happened to be our snorkling buddy a couple days later.

Speaking of snorkling or diving, this is probably one of the best places to do so in the world. It's expensive, even very expensive, but it's well worth it. The cheapest point of departure in the area though is Caye Caulker so at least you know you will get a good price for the area. We decided that the "Blue Hole" is a bit too challanging a dive for us since we just got our open water licenses and we only have 3 dives each under our belts. Apparently it's unbelievable and you can see all types of sharks including hammerheads but you do have to go down to 40 meters which is way further than we've ever gone. Instead we chose to go the snorkling route and man was it worth every penny. Rather than talk about it ill show some pictures and videos, but first, the picture of the awesome underwater case for my old camera I was using to take the pics..
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It worked like a charm until I slipped and fell in the boat and broke the camera (no, don't worry, it's not the same camera that I just replaced, it's an old backup camera that was probably ready to die anyway). Thankfully the pictures were all intact!

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After a day of petting sharks and swimming over giant stingrays our guide Vito suggested we go to a restaurant called "Little Kitchen" for dinner. We all saw hand drawn signs for this "little kitchen" place all over the place but they always led into back alleys and other dodgy areas so we never really followed them. However emboldened by having our buddy Dennis from Virginia and our new friend Janet from Hong Kong with us, and of course Vito's recommendation, we decided to go for it.

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It was the best meal we had on Caye Caulker! That's saying a lot, since every place we went to was good, but the lobster tail here, which cost 10USD, was unbelievable. The 7USD Barracuda our friends had was awesome too as we all shared a bit of our food with each other and marveled at how tasty everything was. The rum punch deserves high praise too as it was a combination of many delicious fruits that made the rum very hard to detect but very potent. As if that wasn't enough our cook AND server was a super nice Belizian lady who made sure we felt welcomed and satisfied with everything.

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Thanks everyone in Caye Caulker for making our stay there absolutely unforgettable! We WILL be back one day!

Posted by dariusz 16:32 Archived in Belize Tagged food beach friends bar sharks belize snorkeling split caye caulker turtle stingrays caye_caulker Comments (2)

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