May 30th, 2010


Caye Caulker - day 3 - La Isla Bonita

The icy rain pelted down on the fishing boat in direct contrast to the warm spray coming off the bow as they sped across the open ocean in darkness. 12 apostles huddled in the boat before their captain, a sun bronzed rasta Jesus in a Flyers' jersey standing tall in the rain.

I put my shoes on for the first time since arriving, yesterday. After a relaxing morning filled with roasted pig.

We chartered a small fishing boat to take us over to San Pedro, since the last water taxi ran at 4:30, and that was much too early to come back.

The ride over was about 45 minutes. We were joined by two friends of Jeff's, some ladies from Norway, who proved to be terriffic traveling companions.

Eventually, the rambunctious singing was squelched by the water from above and below, and the mood shifted slightly.

First stop, beach side bar to watch some sand court volleyball and test the local rum. Wandered up to a restaurant up the beach that had a drink special called the "fussy nabel." We stuck to the Belikin and Rum Punch.

A couple of the guys picked up Cuban cigars, and stood out on the roof to smoke while the rest of us drank on the inside of the rail.

The light of the moon barely broke through the clouds, and as the lights of the city grew smaller and smaller, the boat full of travelers looked more and more like a band of refugees escaping some random tropical dictatorship.

Dinner was a huge platter of jerked chicken, pork, shrimp and fish with red beans and rice and veggies. Super tasty.

Another round of drinks and we were on our way to another bar, The Fido, where there was a wedding reception or two going on. Many rounds of beverages, shots and Jäger bombs later, we were all dancing to live music and toasting each other's health.

The boat grew quiet when the engine stopped well out of sight of land. The captain's voice was the only thing besides the patter of rain. "I just need to put more gas in the tank."

There were audible sighs of relief.

After 1AM, some of us went exploring and found some fantastic burritos at a street vendor's stand.

Good, intelligent, slightly drunken conversation permeated the evening in fits and spurts. Laughter was the language of choice, but eventually it was time to get back in the boat and go home.

The lights of The Split were as welcome a sight as an oaisis in the desert. The long, wet boat ride in the dark was nearly over, and after they'd tied up at the dock, the laughter returned.

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