Postcard from a Me Break: Belize

I love it when a friend rings up to ask if I’d like to fly halfway around the world (thereabouts) to spend a week on a gorgeous beach with her. 

‘Definitely’, is my first response, quickly followed with, ‘How the doodahs am I going to make that happen?’ 

Said invitation was to Belize, for her wedding.  And, handily, I’d just begun a new job, when she asked me.  We’ve previously traveled around Thailand together in our twenties, and as she lives in Toronto and I in the south-west UK (one of the furthest points away from a decent airport), the last beach we met up on was Waikiki, Hawaii, and that was eight years ago (that’s what new relationships, careers and having a baby – me – will do to an itinerary). 

My toes could almost feel the sand.  

Which would be funny if I wasn’t such a staunch flip-flop wearer, such is my fear of anything biting my feet.  And I don’t swim, so I’m a strict paddler; I’ll sit down if the water is clear enough, and free of territorial crabs.

But who doesn’t love a week in a proper sun, skin kissed by its rays, with lashings of SPF50, cool showers and inevitable aloe vera slathering?    

After lengthy talks with Mr S15S, consultation of maps, Kayak-checking for the quickest flight options, not to mention the mention of a four-seater plane to travel from Belize International airport to the southern town of Dangriga in 20 minutes (as opposed to a 24 hour bus journey) it was felt that that the trip would be most enjoyed by me and me alone.

Considering I had an:

  • overnight train journey to Heathrow
  • a forever-walk to the right terminal (probably only about 30 minutes but I was tired!)
  • an 8 hour flight to Chicago (that was delayed by two hours) 
  • an early flight onto Houston (there are only 4 cities in the US that travel directly to Belize) 

AND then ...

  • another 2-3 hour flight to Belize, before I’d even stepped onto the wonky steps to the small plane to Dangriga
  • a 30 minute bumpy van drive to the dock
  • a 45 minute boat ride trying to avoid the rain to the gorgeous island of South Water Quay

well.... I’m sure Mini Stylist will one day understand why she wasn’t on that particular beach with me.  

Oh, and I repeated all that a mere, albeit very relaxed, four days later, with another two hour delay; thanks, United....


Besides, we’ve got Butlins and Disneyland Paris adventures coming up in the next few months (mummy-guilt, eh?) although we’re not telling her until the day of the trips; Mini also loves to pack a bag for an adventure the moment it's announced.

Anyway.  Belize.

Belize-imo; Belize? Yes, please!  

I’ve seen all the souvenir slogans, and they're all true; Belize was well worth the expedition.

From the UK a trip to Central America is a might of a haul, but for North American residents Belize is de rigueur, especially during Spring Break (Easter school holidays).

We stayed at the Blue Marlin resort, on South Water Caye (pronounced quay, which itself doesn’t sound like it is pronounced key), who have a sister hotel, Bonefish, on Dangriga.  

Only around a mile long, and connected to the second best barrier reef in the world, the island is a paradise for snorkling, kayaking, diving or just watching the sea birds (actual pelicans), sea life and the sea.  

Pretty spectacular sunsets, too.

The eco resort uses solar energy during the day and rainwater for the showers, so although I was initially shocked to stay in a hotel room without a TV, I understood why.  

And though I’d only packed one novel (and read that before I even got to Chicago), and the Internet connection was more haphazard than my body clock, I had packed my faithful Archos, which allows me to watch around 50 hours viewing; whilst I’m all for a gorgeous beach, my alabaster skin means I’m inside most of the day.  

So I caught up on napping, chatting with my friend and her family, and Skyping Mr S15S and Mini Stylist.

The wedding was beautiful (kudos to my friend who wore a traditional gown in 30 degrees, and posed for photos for several hours!) and it was wonderful to be part of my good friend's special day, even if I missed my own family.

The catch-up with Me was kinda overdue, though, and mummies, like gadgets, need a recharge every now and then (I'm anticipating another gorgeous beach catch up - with Mini and Mr S15S next time - in another eight years).


Fab Belize:

The resort staff, the friendly ray; typical of Belizean people.  The water.  The sea breeze.  The wedding (obviously!). 

Not-so-fab Belize:  

The boat ride from Dangriga to South Water Quay was very choppy, but the Captain was only trying to get us there before dark!  A pair of neoprene shoes to paddle in the water would have been awesome, too.

Return flight from UK to Belize, via 15 hour shopping trip layover in Chicago and quick Houston transfer ( I still managed a 20 minute shop) Around £550 GBP (on United, booked through STA Travel; you don’t have to be a student to book with them!)
All-inclusive accommodation and flight/boat from Belize to South Water Quay, around £1600 GBP.

So, when was the last time you caught up with you?
Share your thoughts in the comments box and perhaps you'll inspire my next trip! 

I received no money or products for this post, all thoughts and opinions are my own. I  am more than happy to travel for a reasonable fee should a company wish me to, however :-) 

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