After my amazing snorkel trip, I treated myself again to a 5 star Caribbean dinner (voted by yours truly). My hostel-mates from our tiny Jaguar Cabana were not in when I came back. I get a bit bored not having anyone to talk to or do things with, so I decide to do something about it. I remembered reading about this cool reggae bar that was 3 stories high with monkey swings. I made it my mission to find it.
There it is! There’s some older locals eyeing me; I definitely do not fit in here. Most of the customers are 30-50 years old, Belizean, and speaking Creole. Before panicking and giving up, I make my way up to the roof. I climb the stairs to the roof terrace; two guys (tourists) were ahead of me. Once on top, there was a table of a few other tourists talking. Young adults, about my age or a bit older ~24. The boys turn to me and ask if I’m with X tour company. I say no, and they said: oh, were looking for them.
Obviously it was that table there—the only light skinned people in the bar as far away from the locals as possible. If the locals were closer to my age, I would have made more of an effort. As a single young lady traveling alone, it can get complicated trying to make friends in this way.
Anyway, now that I knew they didn’t know the people sitting there either, I felt more comfortable just joining in with them. I grab a seat (before they did, they were still ‘looking’ for them) and introduce myself (It’s honestly NOT that hard! I go out alone all the time when I travel) I get along very well with all of them. They are nice, excited, a bit more naive than I am I feel, and telling me tales of their adventures.
They were on a ~ 7 thousand dollars central American tour visiting Peru, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Belize over a few weeks (some 2, some 3). The funny thing was they were also staying in cheap hostels and hotels and taking public transportation… so basically they were just paying 3-5x the normal amount for having someone else book the same experience as someone who would go alone, and I guess paying for the company of a bunch of annoying young adults. I don’t know—I would totally rather save that extra 5,000 and extend my travel than have someone ‘book’ my hostel, walk with me to the bus stop, and make me stick to their schedule… Like, what if I want to spend more than an hour at a Mayan ruin? Or just want to sleep in, or spend an extra day in Atitlan?! I’m not a big fan of spending more money on something I could do by myself (and probably have a better time)… worst fear would be being stuck with a person I hate…which is bound to happen on a group of 20-30 year olds who think traveling is about getting wasted in tropical lands.
They were okay. We hung out until they closed the roof. We retreated to the second floor, where the walls were covered in green, red and yellow. Dancing poles, a rasta DJ, plenty of Bob Marley posters over the walls. At the bar, they had monkey swings! I didn’t know what this meant until I saw it, and as expected, they were swings at the bar. How cool is that? Clever idea. Sometimes I want to open my own bar/hostel and just take the best ideas from my experiences and mash them into one super cool place J anyone interested in being business partners? 🙂
We ordered some panty rippers and stayed until the bar closed. I met this guy who also happened to be Jewish and went on birthright! Our mass of friends migrated down the island to a very locals bar Oceanside where people were singing karaoke, again with only a few tourists (think they left after new year’s). They were pretty good. Karaoke is a common thing in Belize I realized. The only thing was that it was soo hot and humid in this sea side bar. I wasn’t digging it, and soon after we all split. My new Jewish friend Matt and I didn’t want to end the night so seemingly early, so we decided to see if the Lazy Lizard had anything going on. We started walking down the street when a golf cart drove past us. I waved and they waved back. I teased Matt asking him if he was down to jump onto the back of it and grab a free ride. He laughed and thought I was kidding. I ran over to them and pretended to jump (wasn’t drunk, just being friendly, promise!) and the couple ended up being really cool! They offered to give us a ride so we jumped on the back and whizzed through the potholes laughing.
The couple was married, although the man lived in the U.S. and could only visit her (? What? Lol) He was back and now they were celebrating. So happy! Both been drinking, but were very kind and warm hearted. They dropped us off at the place but it was closed and quiet. Arghhh.
Matt and I ended up sitting at a table looking into the Carribean sea and talking for a while. He walked me home, since the streets are poorly lit and I was a bit nervous about getting lost, and said goodnight.
That night there was a rainy storm. My little cabana was so small I was worried it would fly away! It shook with the roar of the night sky. Trying to doze into sleep…the thought of a tsunami overtaking the island came over me. The rain fell hard and made my trip to the bathroom (located outside in another little shed) was a wet and sandy one. I decided to take a shower since I was sticky and sandy (and came back just sandy). As I got used to the noise, it began to soothe me like a meditation track. I reflected on how grateful I was to be there, and slept like a log. 🙂