From Crooked Tree we drove to Belize City where we parked behind the Radisson Hotel, at the sea wall to the Caribbean Sea. Just as we were about to take a walk along the sea wall to the downtown area a guy pulls up and asks whereabouts in Alberta we are from?
Turns out his name is Bob and he’s from Lethbridge, Alberta. After talking for a while he asks us if we would liken to stay at his wife’s families property which also has a restaurant just north of the city. We said we would love to, so he gave us the direction on how to get there.
Once Bob left we continued into the downtown area to grab some local food for lunch.
Belize City at one time was the capital of Belize and is where the county gets it’s name, Belmopan is now the capital. In 1961 Belize was hit by strong winds and storm surge from Hurricane Hattie, more than 70% of the buildings in Belize City were damaged and more than 10,000 people left homeless. The devastation was so severe it prompted the government to move the capital inland to the new city, Belmopan.
On the way we ran into Prince Charles Perez (Google him), he gives us a quick run down of the history of Belize and how it was named. The below is from Wikipedia but is basically what he told us being very accurate with his knowledge.
Belize (/bəˈliːz/) is a country located on the eastern coast of Central America. Belize is bordered on the northwest by Mexico, on the east by the Caribbean Sea, and on the south and west by Guatemala. It has an area of 22,970 square kilometres (8,867 sq mi) and a population of 387,879 (2017). Its mainland is about 180 mi (290 km) long and 68 mi (110 km) wide. It has the lowest population and population density in Central America. The country’s population growth rate of 1.87% per year (2015) is the second highest in the region and one of the highest in the Western Hemisphere.
The Mayan civilization spread into the area of Belize between 1500 B.C. and 300 A.D. and flourished until about 1200. European exploration campaigns began in 1502 when Christopher Columbus sailed along the Gulf of Honduras. European settlement was begun by English settlers in 1638. This period was also marked by Spain and Britain both laying claim to the land until Britain defeated the Spanish in the Battle of St. George’s Caye (1798). It became a British colony in 1840, known as British Honduras, and a Crown colony in 1862. Independence was achieved from the United Kingdom on 21 September 1981.
Belize has a very diverse society that is composed of many cultures and languages that reflect its rich history. English is the official language of Belize, while Belizean Creole is an unofficial native language. Over half the population is multilingual, with Spanish being the second most common spoken language. It is known for its September Celebrations, its extensive barrier reef coral reefs and punta music.
Belize’s abundance of terrestrial and marine species and its diversity of ecosystems give it a key place in the globally significant Mesoamerican Biological Corridor. It is considered a Central American and Caribbean nation with strong ties to both the American and Caribbean regions. It is a member of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), and the Central American Integration System (SICA), the only country to hold full membership in all three regional organisations. Belize is a Commonwealth realm, with Queen Elizabeth II as its monarch and head of state. (Wikipedia)
There was some street art also.
After our walk around Belize City we headed out to Bob’s families place. When we arrived, we find the restaurant (Captain Hook’s) is located within an organic shrimp farm, there is also a swimming pool (which they said we could use if we wanted too) that they open at the weekend, all owned by the family.
Bob gave us a tour of the property, within its boundaries there is a small Nature walk, there is ample opportunity for bird watching as there are many species of birds within the property. There are Mayan ruins, in the area, around the ruins the ground is strewn with Mayan pottery shards. I believe there is going to be an archeological dig performed in the not to distant future.
They also have a couple of Crocodiles, the male being around 15ft/5M long with the female being smaller at around 2M/6′-6″ long. The male was relocated from living under someone’s house on one of the offshore islands. They feed the Croc’s daily.
Can you see the male Crocodile near the mangrove bushes in the middle of the photo?
There were other smaller (4ft/1.3M) croc’s in the channels between the ponds that had wondered into the property.
We left here the next day and drove in a westerly direction to the Belize zoo.
All the animals in Belize Zoo are either rescued or rehabilitating from some trauma, some will be rereleased into the wild, others that cannot fend for themselves will spend there life being be looked-after at the zoo.
Hey, don’t get lippy!
After we left the Zoo went travelled a short distance along the highway to a Restaurant called Cheers (owned by Canadians) where we had dinner, they allowed us to stay the night in their parking lot. It may not have been very pictesque in the parking lot but there was a nice sunset this night.
Next: Southern Belize