Pictures and stories from Belize pt 1 - Belize City

5:56:00 PM BB 0 Comments

Belize was my best vacay yet. The food was amazing, the people were warm, open, and friendly. And I oddly got good opportunities to connect with the African diaspora. Was not expecting this at all! Belize is a very black country (didn't look up demographics before I traveled LOL). I'm really thankful for the time I got to spend there. Let's talk about my solo travel adventures in Belize!

Belize City 
I booked a flight to Belize City very randomly because I got an awesome hotel deal and I thought why not?

I decided to stay in an airbnb because most hotels were booked (you know, I keep it last minute!). I love airbnb for local travel, but try not to use it internationally because I like the feeling of having someone to account for me while staying in a hotel. There’s always staff and people around you, unlike an airbnb where you’re on your own.

I chose to stay with this wonderful lady called Millie cos her profile just seemed really great. Also, she was one of the few (if not the only) black female hosts on airbnb.  I got to the airport and I immediately noticed that Belizeans were so friendly. Millie arranged for a taxi to pick me up from the airport. The driver (Millie’s friend) picked me up and gave me a beautiful rose petal. So sweet. The drive into Belize City was beautiful. Dwight, the taxi driver, was great. He pointed out things to me as we drove around and told me about his life. Was not expecting such a friendly taxi driver either.  He offered to show me more of the city when I settled in.

I got to Millie’s place and she was so friendly. I showered and finally got to use internet (it had been a couple of hours of no emails, fb, or IG). Dwight came back and him and Millie drove me around the city on a sightseeing trip. I was not expecting such hospitality. The little research I did about Belize City pretty much said “get out as soon as you can, not much to see.” I understand how this can be true. However, the beauty of travel is seeing it through the eyes of people who live there.

Belize City is beautiful and the people are friendly and hilarious! The buildings are colourful, the people seemed really chill and not in a hurry LOL, and the food... We made a pit stop so I could get some food to go. O.M.G. Rice, beans, stewed chicken, coleslaw, plantains. The national dish. While waiting for my food, I got to bond with a 6 year old over her favourite dishes on the menu. Made my day. The kids in Belize are so cute, and remind me of Nigerian kids with their school uniforms and cute hairstyles lol.

After our tour of the city, Millie took me to the rooftop of her house and we had some delicious cake and listened to some really good music. There’s a dj in the neighborhood with a massive stereo system who plays music whenever he wants LOL. The music was good, and lots of Nigerian music was played, so no complaints here.
belize city travel
Millie's rooftop view!

Belize City to Punta Gorda
Flying is fun and convenient, but I think taking public transportation is a nice way to see a country and meet its people. Whenever I travel, I try to take public transportation one way and do something more convenient the return leg. 

Millie’s friend (I don’t remember his name) took me to the bus terminal while showing me around. This is  a running theme in all my taxi/bus rides in Belize City. People didn't just drive me, they explained landmarks and their history to me.  I appreciated this so much!

As we pulled in to the bus terminal, he tells me that since I’m taking the regular bus (the express is twice a day, 6am and 3:30pm), there is going to be a lot of people. And sometimes people have to run into the bus to grab a seat. Also, you pay after you get on the bus. Umm, didn’t know I would have to struggle that much but thanks for the heads up.

Fortunately, people weren’t feeling like running so we walked into the bus. This is what the bus (known as chicken bus) in Belize looks like. Yep, a school bus. 

Those seats were uncomfortable and this was a 6hr bus ride. This was my view for the majority of 6hrs.

Despite my discomfort, people were so friendly and I got to chat with people about life. Many people thought I was Belizean and I thought almost everyone looked West African. These are my peeps! 

The bus stopped EVERYWHERE to pick up more passengers. And just like in Nigeria, when the bus stops, food sellers come in or sell stuff to you from the windows. So delicious. I ate Johnny cakes, salted plantain chips, spicy plantain chips, tamales, and stuff I don’t even know. Basically, it looked good and I wanted it. 

Bus encounters
The Mennonite family who didn't talk to anyone the entire time. Read about Mennonites in Belize.

- This stern looking lady got on the bus and I immediately thought she looked like one of my aunties in Nigeria. The bus was crowded with people trying to find their seats, and she stood right next to where I was sitting but I wasn't sure if she was trying to sit in one of the seats next to me. So I ask her: "are you sitting here" and she just stared and me. I thought she didn't understand so I ask again and no response so I thought "ok, I guess I have to get up". I tried making conversation and she wouldn't really talk. Just a nod. I guess no small talk lol. During the trip she would make random funny comments in Creole about the roads, or people we would see from the window and I would chuckle cos you know, I do appreciate a healthy amount of shade. She gave some major side eye to this guy who was trying to delay the bus and I said a thank you to black Jesus on the inside. 

What's funny is that she made conversations with everyone on the bus She also greeted many people as "cousin" when they got on the bus. Popular lady. The bus made a pit stop and I went in to get some snacks and got some for her. She's very surprised. Long story short, 6 hrs and more than a few shady comments later, we share plantain chips and are all chatty and smily by the time we get to Punta Gorda. Shade, side eye and plantain chips will always bring people together!

I made it!
The bus finally got to Punta Gorda and I was excited to finally leave those uncomfortable seats and do some activities in the jungle. Next day I did the scariest thing I’ve done in my life so far – hiked up an ancient Mayan cave. All that and more in part 2!

*All the photos from my trip can be found here. My sis, google compiled 90% of them into a photo album online. Thanks so much girl!*


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