BELIZE: 16.05.-19.05. & 05.08. - 07.08.2008

Route I: Belize city, Cayo Caulker                                                                        Route II: San Ignacio, Belmopan, Orange Walk, Corozal

Cycled kilometres: 290 km  Ascent: 650 m

Preface: Small Belize counts just 250,000 inhabitants. It has to owe to British timber merchants and later the admission than as an official colony of the British empire Belize that it is predominantly English-speaking today as the only Latin America country. Just in 1981 Honduras reached In British his independence from Great Britain and was called from now on Belize. Otherwise Belize works rather like the forecourt of the USA. Everywhere the signs of American estate agents and gigantic American cross-country vehicles (from the kind stand already while keeping on more petrol use than a German small car in a whole week) control the street scene. Beside the wooden industry the tourism is the second largest source of income of the country, however, one has specialised here rather very much in American. Although we we without usually usual fences have felt anyhow more freely we have not become so really warm with Belize. This may be maybe due to the fact that Belize is rather expensive all together (according to guide 2-3x as expensive as neighbouring Guatemala), or that we simply were not sometimes even so well on it. After we were staying, nevertheless, before with the really friendly Guatemalans, Belize had to win of course a heavy state around our heart. While Nadine was only on the travelling to Mexico in Belize, Martin was a few weeks before already with his mother within the scope of her annual visit here. Nevertheless, of the simplicity half we have summarised both parts on a side

Belize Teil I: 16.05. - 9.05.2008

Cayo Caulker: Because my mother never have a bath in her life in the crystal clear water of the tropics to or even snorkel was we make for a few days an excursion to Belize. Before the Caribbean coast of English-speaking Belize lies a whole series of marvellous islands and the second largest coral reef of the world (the biggest one lies before Australia). For solar adorers as well as for underwater sportsmen a small paradise.
Sea cows: Here in the shalow waters before Belize sea cows are at home. Sea cows, the sea elephants are not unlike, nevertheless, do not live on fishing separate exclusively from plants. Our guide tells us that sea cows are absolutely peaceful and not even defend themselves if they are attacked. There sea cows mammals are they all have to do pair of minutes to the surface where they snap, nevertheless, only shortly after air to eat the roots of sea grass then again in the seabed. Then the torn out grass floats about the eating sea cow by which one can lighter track down them. We have the luck that one of the shy sea cows approaches even quite near our boat and swims through once even under him, however, as a girl of our group a too loud step makes she disappears for safety's sake.
Snorkelling: The main attraction of Cayo Caulker is about 1 km before the coast situated coral reef. To come with a booked snorkel tour, the only kind to the reef, we become thus a coral reef, a naval reserve and the so-called shark and ray avenue. We have luck and beside gigantic fish dreams and a lot of extremely big fishing we can also observe a green sea tortoise from the next nearness which grazes comfortably in the seabed and swims only to breath every few minutes briefly to the surface. In the shark and ray avenue we come to the pleasure beside a big ray to observe some sharks. Unfortunately, the so-called Nursesharks, nevertheless, are absolutely harmless and show no danger for us. It is a little bit funny feeling, nevertheless, nevertheless, if about 1 m - 1.5-m-long shark glides in immediate nearness fast and silently by water.

Belize part II: 271st weekly report 03.08. - 07.08.2008                                                                                                                      

Route: San Ignacio, Belmopan, Orange Walk, Corozal

Exchange of money: Already on the border we get from a commercial-competent monetary moneychanger 2.1 Belize dollar for a euro offered and with an official exchange rate of 3.10$ of BZ per . Well, then we change just just, nevertheless, at the bank. Then 20 km farther in the tourist small town of San Ignacio I go to the European Scotiabank, however, there they exchange only pound of sterling (with the rest of Europe one wants to have nothing to do in Scotland obviously). So further to the next bank, however, there they want to exchange to me only US $, just as the monetary moneychangers on the street. Then, nevertheless, at the third and last bank one is to be exchanged leniently ready euros, however, for an exchange fee of 15%. Actually, we did not have to remain anyhow before long in Belize, and except maybe of a half day tour by our boats we had also planned nothing else, so that we we also decide at short notice to renounce the boat tour and to leave Belize as quickly as possible again. We still, however, want to exchange 10. When I then my Belize dollar of the cashier agree strikes me that the commission was generously rounded up in favour of the bank to 5$. I make the cashiers on the mistake carefully, nevertheless, to him this means tersely would be right in such a way, because the computer would have worked out this thus. I reckon up for him fast that 15% of 30 can never be 5, however although he the arithmetic mistake recognises he insists on the fact that the computer is right. Now I explain to him that computers are merely machines and can produce easily sometimes mistake, and that we dispose as people, nevertheless, of a brain and discover with it the mistakes of the machines and can correct. His colleagues can keep back a fit of laughter only with effort, however, the cashier remains stubborn: His computer is right, even if the mathematical basic rules are thrown, besides, about the heap. Nevertheless, the boss of the bank is "by chance" just with the "lunch". We can only hope that we do not forget completely like our brain does not function with it at the end computer completely the rule about us take over!
Don't forget Belize: When we we in a small village store a coke grant the older owner means Don't forget Belize" about us ". The nice older owner means this though absolutely differently than us understand, however, we are not forgotten Belize absolutely! We could also forget we the country in most men to those we have met "too cool for this world" were. On friendly "hello" no answer or at most a bored "Yeah" or something incomprehensible came because mostly what changed, nevertheless, when we came to the rather Spanish-speaking north. And then was there still the thing that "nobody wanted our money", or the border officer who still wants some 7.5$ of us beside the 30$ of crossing the border fee. With the entry one had said us the additional 7.5$ would be due only with long time stays and not if we remained only 3 days, however, nevertheless, then with the crossing the border they were required all at once. When we asked then the officer meant with less than 72 hours in the country the fee would not be due. However, we were just 51 hours here and now thus she believed that the fee did not result only less than 48 hours. We have estimated our money, nevertheless, exactly that we do not have the 7.5$ even with the best will in the world and thus we explained to her that we ourselves had crossed the time only about 3 hours with 48h because we could simply cycle not faster and whether she cannot turn a blind eye. Now the officer meant the rule would refer merely to stays less than 24 hours and be valid, moreover, only for Mexican!!!??? Funnily when I with my mother here was we were 4 days in Belize and did not have to pay the 7.5$. Because we had, however, really only 4$ in our pocket and even with the best will in the world not more herzaubern were able at last we may leave for a total of 34$ of Belize again. Beside the very nice owner an Internet cafe the nicest people from Belize were two Jungs whom we had met in a filling station in Guatemala and which hope us with the words "We that will spend her one nice time in Belize!" have dismissed. We will definetely not forget this three



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