You betta BeliZe it!

25 Feb

Here we are, in reggae counrty! Just a short bus ride to the east of Tikal, Guatemala but world’s apart! And a welcomed change from the Latino world! No more spanish, no more Raggaton, no more Tacos and frijoles. Only reggae, rum and fish. Sweeeeet!

Jump in the bus for a 4hr ride. The bus is full of Rasta men of all ages, from babies to grey haired grandads. And you’ll be entertained by everything from the newest punta rock mix to oldskool roots reggae. A dream come true.

People still speak spanish but Kreole, the funky carribean pidgeon english prevails in the streets. You feel like walking through a live set of “The harder they come”. People are actually of african descent, ancestors of slaves. They have their own culture, music and way of life, which they preserved over the centuries. And they love it, just as much as we do!

A lot of people told us not to go there, it’s too ecxpensive, but sofar it doesn’t turn out a penny more expensive than Guatemala, just loads more relaxed! Everybody still tries to sell something, but no one tries to rip you off. I have to admit though, the amount of people who want to sell me the best and cheapest marijuana in the world on a daily basis, is quite annoying. Back home in Munich people cut their dreads to avoid the daily terrors of the pigs. Here, the police is driving around in golf cars, smiling and cruising and I would consider cutting my head roots for not being hasseld to buy weed all the time, haha! NOOOOOT!

Right now we’re chilling on a nice little island, Caye Caulker, a 45min water taxi ride north of the old capital Belize City. Paradise. Nothing to do but the 4 g’s, the few things that the whole world evolves round: Getting tanned, getting st***d, getting laid, getting barrelled. I managed to fullfill three no worries. But as always the fourth one is the one that’s missing to reach enlighment. Depending on your point in life and location on the planet, the order can be changed and one or more might simply be impossible.

My sideways slipping friends all sang the same song, ain’t no surf in Belize. But belize it or not, I sure did go surfing. This is a diver’s and kite surfer’s paradise. The second largest barrier reef system in the world and constant easterly winds. But no known break.

However, upon arrival I felt the swell rocking our boat and one could clearly see the white water on the reef. The channel had potential, just a amatter of the right wind direction. These waters don’t egt a lot of ground swell, excpet during hurricane season. The rest of the year it’s wind swell. It gets big quite regularly but the wind needs to back off to turn it into surfable walls.

I ran into Octavio. Hailing from Argentinia he’s a keen kite surfer and spends the season on the island. He had a sign outside his shack stating “wave riding” among others. Turns out he’s just been surfing the other day and pointed me the way to Henry the island’s and probably the countries only local.

Henry’s eyes lit up, when I turned up at the dive centre. “Sure brother, we’ll go surfing this arvo when I get back from diving!” I got back to the jetty at 2pm and we assessed the conditions. Windy, onshore, about 3 feet of waves. He passed it on the way back. It wouldn’t be great but what the hell. Surfing in Belize! So, I got the board ready and went on my first boat trip to go surfing in the Carribean. Sweet! Just a 3min boat ride lies the barrier reef, streching some 200 km’s north to south with multiple channels and passes. We layed ancor at one spot with no name and well, what can I say. Spot the error!

We looked at what I would refer to as “ofos”. One foot onshore slop. A common phenomenon in the waters off Cornwall, just that you would be wearing a 5mm wetsuit, boots, gloves, gimp mask and be frothing to get wet. But here we stood with nothing but our boardies and anti-sun combat painting on the face, mesmerized by the tropical sun and dreaming of perfect barrels.. And so we spent the next three hours screaming at each other at the top of our voices, if one actually managed to execute a complete maneuver. No barrels but still having fun!

We checked another spot on the way back, that is normally bigger but the same mess. I had waited for it all the time and finally it came. One of the most classic expressions in surfing but again and again it defeats you. “You shoulda been here yesterday!” It was bigger, less wind and so on and so forth. Whatever. I didn’t fullfill the fourth g this time, but hey,
I surfed Belize!

 

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