I wish I could tell you every single detail of what living on Caye Caulker has been like day-in and out but honestly, the most I’ve stayed here is two or three days in a row so far.
I spent the holidays in Belize City, went back again for a photo shoot (for an exciting magazine cover coming out end of February), day-hopped to San Pedro and tomorrow, I’m off to Mexico for a few days for a family reunion. Basically, January has been full of back and forth.
But, that’s the plus side to Caye Caulker. I can get away from the noise of the city and the hectic pace whenever I choose. Or I can get away from the “go slow” mode – all I have to do is go thirty minutes one way by boat (to San Pedro) or 30 minutes in another direction (Belize City).
Still, I’m hoping that February provides more time to stay still in one spot.
Here’s a quick overview of life on Caye Caulker, when I actually am home. >>
My Studio Apartment
My apartment complex is in “the back” of Caye Caulker – close to the airstrip – which ironically is only about a ten minute walk from the “front,” also known as tourist-land. I like that I get to escape the crowds (which aren’t even that bad).
My studio is basic but spacious, with everything I need – a powerful fan, a kitchenette (I’m awaiting a stove but with food so cheap I’m sure I won’t be cooking much) and more importantly, awesome wi-fi (it’s only gone out once). I get a nice breeze because I’m on an upper level. At this time of year, I can deal with not having air-conditioning.
I feel safe and can leave my door open in the daytime if I choose. One of my neighbors’ two dogs don’t skip a beat every time someone approaches the building (they just need to get to know the residents though, that barking is getting a little tedious, as is my neighbor’s constant rants).
If I walk out of my apartment complex, it’s just five-minutes for me to reach the water front area.
I got a super deal on my studio in exchange for some blogging lessons (see below).
I could definitely live in it for longer than a month, that’s how cozy it is. I’m still debating renting a bike – walking daily with my SLR is exercise enough!
The Caye Caulker Bakery
It’s my new favorite stop. I’m normally not inclined to eat sweets but hello, freshly-baked cinammon rolls. I heard they were quite popular so I showed up early at the bakery one day just to sample them. It was worth it. Not too sweet, and so soft (and bad for your thighs but heck, I do walk off my calories every day. I just took a break from this post to go get some, I’m in trouble.)
You can also get a fresh baked loafs of wholewheat bread (if I remember correctly, one loaf goes for BZD $2.50 or US$1.25).
Recently I got one cinammon roll, and two cheese and sausage rolls for US $2.50 total.
Fresh Food, Fresh Drinks
I can get freshly made food for just over a dollar – like a delicious corn and chicken “tamalito” or “dukunu” from the mobile vendor. It was spicy and enough to fill me up for lunch.
A large bottle of freshly squeezed fruits from Julia’s stand – like a mix of banana, pineapple and orange - goes for US $2.50. There are all sorts of combinations, like carrot and orange. Or if I want bananas, it’s 50 cents for 4 bananas.
The Water Taxi
I seriously wish the Belize Express had a mileage program (am sure the taxi drivers would agree, they already greet me with a “welcome back” when I get off the boat).
A ten-minute walk from home gets me to the water taxi stop. There’s another water taxi service too – the Caye Caulker Water Taxi – about the same distance from my place. Between the two of those, it’s super easy to go to Belize City or to San Pedro, for a day or more. Their schedules and rates are online, but stop by the kiosk to get a more current schedule as it can change.
One day a week, I provide Blogging lessons and training to a hotel owner and staff (part of the trade I mentioned above). We started this week and I’m enjoying teaching all I know about WordPress and helping set up an exciting, interactive blog for the hotel from scratch, as well as discussing the uses of social networks for marketing. It’s great to be a part of something productive and to share knowledge and experience to help others succeed even more. I’m considering offering these classes as part of my services in 2012.
It’s nice to see familiar faces where I live – like the friends I made during my last trip here as Road Warrior.
Photo Ops, Every Day
Caye Caulker inspires me to get my camera out and shoot a little daily. There are so many interesting quirks and charms to this island and how it runs every day. I have yet to have a day where I want to take a break from taking a photo. There’s just so much material here, as sleepy or “slow” as it may seem. If anyone’s on Instagram, friend me to view my one-photo-a-day from Belize stream.
Three weeks in Belize and believe it or not, I haven’t even been in the water (gasp!). I blame that strange cold front in early January, but then it’s been so hectic that I haven’t had time to really go slow for a couple of days. I head to Mexico tomorrow and ironically, that’s probably where I’ll get to relax and sit still!
When I get back, I’ll be starting on my blog revamp (introducing new content), preparing for ad and affiliate space (as my blog stats are growing) and researching work opportunities long-term, while also pursuing travel blogging & photography gigs short-term (drop me a note if you’re interested). I’ll also continue getting a feel for what it’s like living in Belize.