PAWing on Caye Caulker’s Tarpoons

First day in Caye Caulker! My new friends and I grab our luggage and are quickly greeted by overeager ‘taxi’ (LOL!) drivers. This is funny because the taxi car on Caye Caulker is a golf cart. Caye Caulker is so small that there is no need for cars. There are a handful of golf carts riding around the island, though. Trish and Nathan are exhausted and don’t know where their cabana is so they take the man up on his offer of $2 BZ each (aka $1 US). I’d prefer to walk but Nathan and Trish insist on me tagging along. Trish and I quickly enter a bar to use their bathroom. Within seconds we are greeted by local Belizeans watching a game on TV. Trish buys two more Belikins 🙂

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Nathan looks a bit odd when we return. He later tells us the two taxi drivers got very aggressive with each other and almost got in a fist fight over their customers (us).

The frequent night showers on Caye Caulker left the ground full of chalky potholes and puddles. The taxi driver skillfully swerves to avoid them and I arrive at my hostel: Pause Accommodation!

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Madi, a Belizean, dedicated her life to take care of the cats and dogs on Caye Caulker. After finding a moving trash bag in the ocean one day and opening it to find abused kittens inside, she devoted her life to help the animals. She owns a cat sanctuary on Caye Caulker (PAW Animal Sanctuary) that runs on donations and money made off her accommodation offerings, which are located in the back. All over Belize there are so many stray dogs and cats. Many are malnourished. Some are abused. A dog lover myself, it was a painful sight on my vacation. A simple way to help the animals on Caye Caulker is to stay at Pause Accommodation—all profits go to animal welfare. Madi also has a wish list, buy a simple animal product listed and bring it with you when you come to stay with her to have a direct impact on the animals! Volunteering is also encouraged and can even get you discounted accommodation.

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There are different accommodations depending on your budget and preferred style of travel. Since I’m a budget traveler, I stayed in the Jaguar Beach Cabana for $20 BZ a night ($10 US).

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I open the gate and walk through the territory of cats and dogs. They were everywhere! Sitting on the cages, sleeping in a tree, hanging out on the pier, yay animals!

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The cabana was tiny (which I didn’t mind at all, I’m not trying to stay all day inside, anyway!) and next to a tiny private shore.

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I quickly discover kayaks for use by donation! I made plans to get dinner with Nathan and Trish around 5, so I decide in the time being I try one of them out. Madi tells me if I go a few minutes to the right, after passing a No Fishing sign, I can see giant fish!

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I take the small kayak for a spin. I’ve never been on one before, I’m a bit nervous. I have potential to kayak into the endless horizon of blue water! Why not! Maybe theres another small caye nearby?

I’m a bit shaky at first but I get the hang of it. A couple minutes later, I see the sign. I paddle to the middle and wait. All of a sudden, I see a fin skim the top of the water. What the hell—I look around and there are 2ft large tarpoon fish all over the place! Right next to me! I’ve never seen fish this big before so I was shocked. Several more skim the top of the water, showing off their shark-like fins to those noobish to fish (me).

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When these creatures start circling me, I decide it’s time to turn back. Recently watching Blackfish, I am a bit afraid they are all going to gang up against me and flip me off my puny kayak because of some sort of repressed anger. *I later learn this location is the entrance to a HUGE underwater cave of Caye Caulker! People have died here because of its deepness, lack of light, and murkiness! Giant Cave is said to be one of the biggest underwater caves in the world! According to www.belizedivingservices.com they are working on making this a tourist attraction.

I return to our private shore and see two large canoes come in after me. Hello! I greet a very friendly Italian couple–what do you know, we’re hostel mates!

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