Belizean sunrise

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Slickrock Island Adventure, Long Caye, Glover's Reef, Belize

I'm doing this blog post while in Peru since we had no Internet out on the island. I've been busy in Peru and the Internet here at this hotel is very slow but it is raining and cool today so it's a rest day.  It will be a short post and hopefully will be edited when I get a better connection.  I will post a few pictures here but you can see all the pictures of Slickrock and Peru on the link to Shutterfly via my web site:   There was a professional photographer in our group on the island so when I get home to Calif I will borrow some of his pics which he sent to the whole group.

Slickrock was a super great time.  I flew into Belize City from San Salvador on Friday Feb 15th.  Our group met that evening at the Biltmore Hotel for a briefing and then we stayed there overnight.  The Biltmore is on the NE edge of the Belize City on the Northern Highway not far from the airport.  It was a very nice hotel....nice pool, very comfortable beds, etc.  I got lucky and had my own room.  They usually try to pair up same sex single people but I guess I was the odd number.  There were 3 families of 4, 2 married couples, and 3 single guys.   Never a single woman...drat.

The next day Saturday we loaded up a van with our luggage (I left my big bag at the hotel since we were coming back in a week) and we walked across the road where the boat was waiting for us at a house on a canal that went to the sea.

A northerly front was moving in so the sea was rough.  The first couple hours we were inside the reef so the ride wasn't too bad.  Then we made the cut through the reef and into the open sea.  What should have taken 30 minutes probably took 3x that time.  The seas were following so it wasn't a lot of spray but the roiling waves made for an unpleasant slow ride.  Most people were feeling a bit queasy but only one boy actually got sick.  Fortunately his mother was a dr who was prepared.  A bag of fresh cut up ginger helped the rest of us.

Finally, inside the atoll - what a relief.  Long Caye was in sight so everyone was excited.  The trip was usually 2-1/2 hours but we took probably close to 4.. ugghh.

Long Caye is a small private island in the Glover's reef atol - actually owned in 3 parts.  The largest area is Slickrock, then a small dive operation area, and at the end is bare land not developed yet.  Here is what Slicrock says about the island: "Our place is an adventure eco-resort. We have our own island, we never have more than 34 guests at a time. We don't use generators, therefore we don't have standard electricity. We are powered by the sun and wind with a little bit of propane to chill the beer. We don't have flush toilets or heated showers. 

Our cabanas sit right on the beach, very very private, very exclusive, but not fancy at all. You have to walk to your shared bathroom. No maid stops by your room, ever. At the end of the week when you leave, the boss cleans it for the next person. 

We have the best collection, without any competition at all, of sports gear in the country. We have expert, enthusiastic guides and we teach and guide sea kayaking, snorkeling, scuba diving, windsurfing, kayak surfing, kayak fishing, paddleboarding, kitesurfing, and board surfing."

All that is true.  It takes awhile to get used to the system out there but it works well.  The most important thing was all the cold Belikin (local Belizean) beer and Fanta drinks.  Lucky for me my cabana was right at the edge of the water so I could pee off the deck.  

The week was great.  After a short intro to each sport we could pretty much use them with buddy system.  I did some windsurfing on the first day but the storm created too many waves so I gave up.  A few days later when the wind shifted to SE I could do much better.    The kayaking was great.  After a short lesson we headed out to the small surf break.  It was a bit rough timing the waves and getting back into the kayak while being pummeled by surf but was lots of fun.  I had bruises all over my legs and sides.

At 430 every evening it was happy hour and sand volleyball.  Some of the staff joined in and made it fun and competitive   My mind played like I was 20-30 years old again but my body suffered dearly.  I had abrasions all over my feet and legs.  But the fun made it all worthwhile.

The week ended too fast and on Saturday Feb 23d we headed back to the Belizean mainland and to hot showers and soft beds again at the Biltmore. 

After a great night's sleep I had a few hours Sunday to hang out by the pool and review the week's events with my fellow islanders.  I even met 2 young ladies from Chicago who were going on a 10-day Nat Geo tour of Belize.  They loved hearing my stories about Belize and I think my enthusiasm generated even more anticipation for them.   One of the many fun things about travel is meeting new people and sharing our life stories.

About 3pm Sunday Feb 24th I was off to the airport and my flights to Peru.  More posts later on that whole ordeal.  Stay thirsty my friends.

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