Caye Caulker Rockin’ New Year’s Eve 2008-2009

We were off on the boat to Caye Caulker, a wonderful day and yet another boat ride.   Jim and I, with our big packs, Laith with his little pack and three fishing poles.  Yes, even one for me.  You did not know it, but I can fish. 

We got to Caye Caulker safe, sound and dry.  So much travel, so many boat rides.  We found our plain white no-thrills hotel, Tom’s, down the beach.  It was well past lunch time, so immediately we went looking for a place to eat.  We walked to the Split because I wanted to see it.  You see I had been to Caye Caulker some 6 years ago, even celebrated my 38th birthday there.  I wanted to relive the memories.  Ah the memories.  No, I just wanted to see how much it had changed.  It has not change tons, just a lot more businesses, hotels, restaurants and bars.  The Split was still there and the Lazy Lizard was as well.  After we checked things out, ate lunch, bought some sardines, and then before we went to dinner, some fishing needed to be done (if you did not figure it out, the sardines were for bait).  Laith got the poles ready and fish we did. 

I was the first to land a fish, a red snapper, an okay size, but a bit small.  The sun started to set and by the time it was down fully, I again pull in a snapper, this time a grey one and much bigger.  I think Jim pulled in some tiny little thing after that and Laith had no luck at all, so I win!  I caught the most and the biggest fish of the night!   What was even more cool was the large manta rays we were seeing in the water.  It was dark, but the shadows were huge!  It was all so fun…yes…I said it…fishing is fun!   Having some ceviche made from those snappers would have been even more fun, but we were not prepared for cooking so we threw them back.

Without ceviche in our bellies and it being later than we thought, we headed out for dinner.  We found this roadside stand, mind you a road here is a sandy beach path, just feet away from the Caribbean Sea.   Many people were crowded around the picnic tables, so we wanted in.  For 30.00 Belize ($15.00 US, a big splurge for us)  you got 2 cocktails, a dinner and a dessert, not bad especially when one of the options was lobster.  It was not a huge lobster, but it was really good.   That was enough for me!  When we got back to hotel, the boys fished more, and I opted to read in bed.  From the stories I heard, Jim caught a big manta ray, but Laith never caught that spotted eagle ray he was after.  All was thrown back in the water, so there was no evidence of the catching of anything! 

PHOTO ALBUM LINK:

http://picasaweb.google.com/henderbalz/CayeCaulkerRockingNYEWeekend20082009?feat=directlink

Ah, New Year’s Eve day on Caye Caulker.   It started out with some breakfast.  We filled our bellies and did a bit of  walking.   Jim and I could not decide if we wanted to dive or do any other day activities, but finally we gave into the island life and went with the flow.  The flow was going back to the hotel for more fishing.  I really did not do much this time around, as I met some local girls that I went swimming with, well, swim is not the word.  They would jump off the dock on top of me, splashing water all over the place.  It was fun.   Jim and Laith (now chest deep in the water fishing) were not having any luck, so we all decided to go to the split.  Jim brought his pole, but when we got there he just found a spot on the wall next to me trying to keep on eye on Laith fishing way out in the water.  It seemed like hours had gone by and we had lost track of Laith.  I got a bit worried.  Jim got in himself to do some fishing and saw Laith close by the shores of the island across the split.   So, all was okay.  Jim did not last that long fishing, so he came back to take photos.  Fortunately enough, he was able to get a great shot of Laith, now closer to the split again, catching this big barracuda.  The Barracuda was jumping out of the water in the photo, perfect!   We waited until Laith came in and found out he had caught another one too, a bit smaller. 

As we walked back to the hotel, with grilling the fish in mind, many locals were asking to buy the fish and he finally sold the big one.  The small one was more than plenty for us to snack on.    They bought supplies to cook the fish and some extras, a bottle of rum and some coke.   The idea to start our New Year’s Eve celebrating later in the evening was dropped due to some fish catching celebrating we needed to do.  Laith grilled the fish and we nibbled at it with our fingers on a picnic table outside our room, good times.      We were not even able to finish the fish, but it was damn tasty!

After the fish, we went to the I & I, a reggae bar that has swings for seats and even hammocks, and is built up like a big tree fort!  We found a spot on the upper level, soon to be joined by 2 Canadian sisters and a Polish, but living in London, guy.   We had great  conversations, and before we knew it, it was count down time until 2009!   We brought the New Year in with a cheers, a sparkler, and a crazy palm leaf hat!  After many laughs, we decided to see what the rest of the island was doing, we made it as far as the very crowded Oceanside Bar and Grill.  We went in for a short bit just to experience the low ceilings, shoulder to shoulder crowds, and steamy as all hell scene.  Then food was calling Jim’s name.  The closest place was a Nazi meat pie maker stand!  No meat pie for you!   I tried to talk to Jim as he stood finally next in line, but he pushed me away because I was in her light.  You see the last person that stood in her light did not get a meat pie.  Jim was that hungry!     After waiting for 20 minutes for Jim to get his damm meat pie, we headed back to the hotel to sleep, sleep, sleep!  

New Year’s day brought us to a nice breakfast at 9:30 with one of the Canadian sisters, the other one was out diving.   More laughs, we did talk about some funny stuff the night before.  We had a nice meal.  Although mine was soft, I broke a toothsomehow.  Now, I had to spend the rest of the trip out of Honduras with a hoopty tooth.  At  least, it was in the back hiding.  Our day was very low key.  Laith slept part of it, and Jim and I played with the girls on the dock.  These girls loved to fish and they usually caught stuff with a hook, some raw chicken skin and a line, that is it!  But Jim let them try the fancy rod and reel that Laith was loaning him.  They were so cute, gathered around Jim.  Jim worried that the pole would end up in the water!  They had fun, but did not catch anything. 

Later in the  day we went back to the Split.  Laith did more fishing, Jim and I snorkeled some.  The snorkeling was nice, star fish, angel fish and so on.  It was just nice to swim and see under the water.  Laith was not out that long, and did not catch anything this time around.  On the way back to the room, one island guy said “Every daysa’ fishing day, but not every daysa’ catchin’ day!”   How true.   Later on we went out to catch some dinner with our new Canadian/Polish friends, we had a nice quiet low key time.  We all went back to our rooms for an early night. 

Our last morning on the island was nice and quiet.  Interesting enough though, I ran into an old friend, Jimmy (pronounced Jimmay).  He was the Captain of the Gilligan / Cheech & Chong baot trip I took from Caye Caulker to Placencia, Belize 6 years ago.  He was doing well, he now has an official business, Ragamuffin Tours , perfectly named mind you.  He had replaced the little ragged around the edges sailboat we had used 6 years ago, and added 3 more!  That trip I took was 2-3 days and cost me $50.00, now it is $250.00!  Good for him!  Well, after that we did a walk around to get a last glimpse of the island before we had to jump back on another boat to the main land.   

What a great way to bring in the New Year…Wow…2009!   HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!

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~ by HenderBalz on January 15, 2009.

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