More Belize Please
I haven't been able to get to a computer in a few days... but quite a lot has happened.
After an uneventful last night in Cancun, we boarded a three-hour bus to Tulum. There we saw the Mayan ruins and went to one of the loveliest beaches where we all just stood around in the water and got to know each other. Up until that moment in the water, I still really didn't feel a part of the group. The group is somewhat split up between the "oldies" (who have been on the tour together for twelve days) and the "newies," who joined the tour in Cancun. Katie and Katherine are part of the oldies, along with Andrew, Belinda, and Melanie. Sisters Hannah and Ebony (the only white girl on the planet with that name), and couples Nadia & Scott and Brandi & Mark round out the group. Our tour leader is Benjamin (Ben). Everyone is really great and really cool, even if the groups do split up sometimes along the oldie/newie line. The group is all Australian except for me, Mark, and Brandi (they're from Ohio), and Katherine, who's from England. And now that I think of it, technically Nadia is from New Zealand. Anyhoo.
So after the beach in Tulum, we boarded a bus to Chetumal, a city on Mexico's border with Belize. We had a late dinner, went to bed, then left this morning for Belize. Twelve of us shoved both our bags and ourselves into a small van that we drove across the border and into Belize City in. In Belize City we caught the water taxi to Caye Caulker - a bumpy 45-minute ride to a tiny and beautiful island out in the Caribbean. Our hotel is right across from the beach, though putting on the air conditioning adds another $30 U.S. to the bill... so we're praying for a cool night. We had a delicious lunch at Happy Lobster, then spent a good hour walking the island from end to end looking for a "good beach." The island doesn't have any sandy beaches, just a reinforced wall right before the water. The water is warm and beautiful though... naturally I'm already a bit burned and spent some serious pesos on aloe vera gel before we left Mexico.
I think the group is heading out tonight to experience the nightlife here... there are a lot of American and Australian tourists on the island, so that should be fun. I just dropped some laundry off with a woman down the road, and my fingers are crossed that I'm actually going to get it all back - a lot of the shops, restaurants, and stores appear to be run out of people's front yards. Also, it's not as cheap here as it was in Mexico.
Tomorrow morning we are going on a three-hour guided snorkeling trip to three different locations around the island. I think the afternoon is free - we may go back in the water or rent bikes or something. I have to look at my itinerary to see what's coming next - I've hardly bothered to look. I'm just really enjoying it out here and trying to relax after so many stressful weeks at work.