Saturday, May 7, 2011

Postcard :: Honky-tonks & busted knees {Punta Gorda}

We caught sunrise our last morning on Caye Caulker. Then we lazed the morning away enjoying the hammock and just doing some old fashioned relaxing. I finally caught up with the birthday girl owner to pay for our room that last morning there. She helped me figure out where to catch the James Bus to take us to Punta Gorda. And she also recommended we take a cab between the water taxi station and the bus station. Belize City is known for having a high density of unsavory individuals and sketchy areas that could surprise the naive traveler.
The taxi ride was a quick one, but our wait for the bus not so much. The express showed up and we were off - surprisingly there was some leg room and the bus was comfortably air conditioned. We watched the sunset from the bus and by the time we rolled into PG it was dark.

We hadn't made reservations, but we hopped off the bus optimistic and walked a couple country blocks back to Tate's Guest House. The dark makes one a bit more leery of everything. It took a bunch of knocking and waiting for Mr. Tate to finally come to the door and for us to learn that they didn't have any room.

As we walked down the stairs Lukas perused the guide book to find us another option. I reached the bottom and turned back to look at Lukas just in time to see him completely miss the last three steps. All of him, plus the 40 pound backpack, landed on his knees! He hopped up quickly and didn't make much fuss so I didn't know how bad it was.

The next place was all full too and our options were looking slim as we walked back to the center part of town. We walked with determination like we knew where we were going just to ward off any opportunistic bad guys. Lukas noticed a sign high up on the side of a building that said "Hotel". The market on the first floor of the building was closed, but light and loud music spilled out of the second story. It looked a bit sketchy to me but our options were check this place out or keep walking around in the dark.

In the room with the music blaring a few people stood around the edges drinking beers under the fluorescent lights. The woman we asked about getting a room for the night didn't smile at all when we greeted her. And she wasn't very forth coming with information either. Maybe there was a room. Cost? Maybe 40, maybe 50. But we ended up with the key to #3 in our hand so we checked out the room.

From what we were expecting it wasn't too bad. The sea green walls were enhanced "nicely" by the bare fluorescent tube over head. There was a PVC pipe for a shower. The toilet was clean. What more could we ask for?
Drying off the towel - tripod style

I ran down to pay, found out the music would shut off at 10pm, and we settled in for the night. Lukas's knees were actually much worse than I'd imagined - two bloody messes. Our showers that night were like standing under a garden hose. The bed was a saggy sack full of springs. The music did shut off and we slept surprisingly well until the middle of the night when a gaggle of birds decided it was a good time to make a ruckus. Next we were woken up by country western music. Sure, the music shut off at a reasonable hour but it started up again bright and early at 7am.

We breakfasted on dry corn flakes straight from the box washed down with a few swigs of chocolate milk. With directions from a Mennonite selling watermelon we found the bus that would take us to the little village of Na Luum Ca. The next adventure was waiting for us there.

{click here for: Postcards #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7, and #8}

*Note: I know when we were planning this trip we were hunting down any details we could find. So, if someone doing the same thing happens on this little blog of mine and would like more information and specific details shoot me an email. I may not have the answer, but I can tell you what we did. megan{dot}a{dot}wenger{at}gmail{dot}com

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