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Monday Travel Update – Caye Caulker Edition

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Caye Caulker at Sunrise

Caye Caulker at Sunrise

I’ve spent the last week in Belize catching up on work. After two days in Belize City where returned my 500mm lens to BorrowLenses.com and took care of some things I wasn’t able to do on the ship, I headed out to Caye Caulker.

Coming here was a good idea. I originally was going to visit Torres del Paines in Chile after I finished my Antarctica trip. I’m glad I didn’t go, not because I don’t want to visit Torres del Paines (I do) but because, 1) There were huge forest fires in the park, and 2) I’m getting a lot of work done here.

Caye Caulker is about as laid back a place as you will find. It isn’t very big, there are no paved streets (it’s all sand) and there are no vehicles beyond golf carts and bicycles. All the accommodations are locally owned guesthouses or B&Bs as is everything else on the island.

You can buy a whole, grilled lobster for US$10 which was caught that morning. If you really want to splurge, you could get a jumbo lobster which will run you US$25 (that includes all the sides too).

The only thing which I wish were better is the bandwidth on the island. I’ve spent the last few days uploading photos and it is really slow. It is just fast enough that it works, but slow enough that you have to wait several hours for a batch to be completed. My backup plan was to head to Playa del Carmen in Mexico if the bandwidth was really bad, but it is just good enough that I’m better off staying here.

One odd thing about Caye Caulker is that most of the other visitors on the island are American. This is something I almost never encounter in my travels. It makes sense given the proximity of Belize to the US, but it is just something I don’t see very often.

I’ll be here another week editing my Antarctica photos, writing and eating cheap lobster.


Sponsor Updates

Traveling around the world isn’t easy. I am able to do what I do thanks in part the to the great partners who help make it possible. I’m very picky about who I work with. I can vouch for these companies as someone who uses their products on a regular basis.

Scottevest
If you have heard of Scottevest, you probably know them for their jackets. What you might not know is that they also make pants. I recently got pair of Hidden Cargo Pants from Scottevest. When you think of Scottevest you think pockets and when you think of cargo pants you think pockets, yet these pants don’t scream pockets. I have to confess, it took me a while to get used to wearing these. I’ve been traveling the last 5 years with “travel pants”. They type with tons of pockets on the outside and they look like something you’d get at an outdoors store. The SeV hidden cargo pants, however, could easily pass for normal khakis. The hidden pocket is a second pocket, doubled up in the front. The pockets are deeper than normal pant pockets, so my change doesn’t fall out when I lay down. Having worn them for a month now, I wouldn’t want to go back.

They have also released their first new product of 2012: a brand new women’s jacket called the Molly Jacket. Unfortunately, I can’t speak from first hand experience with this product, but my assistant Amy is getting one and will be reporting on it soon.

G Adventures
While I was off on G Adventure’s M/S Expedition visiting Antarctica, they announced a new category of tours called “G-Plus“. The G-Plus tours are like the normal G Adventures tour, +1. They offer better accommodations, include things such as meals and transfers, private transportation and sometimes smaller groups. There are over 200 G-Plus trips that are available around the world, and you can see from the list that the tour prices are very reasonable. If you are looking for adventure travel which is just a touch nicer than usual, then this is a great option for you.


What I’m Reading

When you are on a ship for three weeks, you plow through a lot of reading material. I found myself in Belize having completed the books I downloaded for my Antarctica trip.

One thing I’ve noticed in my travels (especially in Europe and former British colonies) is that there are far more WWI monuments than what you will find in the US. The United States was a late comer to the war and we didn’t make the sacrifices that European countries made. As a result, it often is overlooked in US history. I’ve been looking for a good book on the history of WWI. The Guns of August by Barbara W. Tuchman is a Puletizer Prize winning account of the first months of WWI. It goes into detail about many things I had no idea about: how the Franco-Prussian war set the stage for WWI, or how the war could easily have been avoided if Field Marshal Moltke had listened to orders to stop German troops from entering Luxembourg.


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Comments

  1. Tom says:

    “The United States was a late comer to the war and we didn’t make the sacrifices that European countries made.”
    The way you wrote that just irks the hell out of me.
    Couldn’t you have written, “The US entered the war much later and didn’t suffer nearly as many casualties as the European countries”, and made the same point?
    I read your sentence as we (US) showed up late to the war, and because we were late, Europe sacrificed more.

    • Gary says:

      There is a reason we didn’t enter the war as early. There was enormous sentiment in the US to stay neutral and not be involved in foreign wars. They didn’t want to fight.

      Would the war have been shorter if the US had gotten involved earlier? I think there is a good case to be made for it.

  2. Pamela says:

    Looks like our visits to Caye Caulker over-lapped. I’ve visited twice and just love it. I hope it never grows beyond it’s laid back feel. By the way, I feel for you regarding the bandwidth. Caye Caulker’s slogan ‘Go Slow’ includes their internet access. Glad you enjoyed/are enjoying your visit.

  3. Mike Nolan says:

    So cool… the bar at the cut – the Lazy Lizzard – is my favorite bar in the world. Was just there a few weeks ago. My wife is over in San Pedro working in the school district. If you are hanging around for a while, I can give you her number. She did sales and marketing for hotels there for years, and now volunteers in the school district.

  4. Caye Caulker is one of the best kept secrets of Belize. I was there for New Year’s Eve a few years ago and fell in love with it. And there is some wonderful Chinese food to be found on the island.

  5. That beach looks pretty fantastic. Too bad you didn’t get to Torres del Paine. I would go now that the fire is out and the chaos has died down (you can still trek most of the park), but I arrived to that area right when the fire started. I told myself I would be back one day… maybe even doing Antarctica too :-)

  6. Lane says:

    Look at that beach. How are you getting anything done?

  7. It’s definitely a laid back place, perfect place to get caught up on work, unless the beach calls your name too loudly. ;-)

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About Gary Arndt

My name is Gary Arndt. In March 2007 I set out to travel around the world...
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