4-7-2015 (a week after! It’s taken me that long to get on to this one!!) [and until the 7th, at Mexico City Airport to finish it]
So after the long day diving out at the Blue Hole (we had to meet at the shop at 5:15!), I’d wandered along to a quietish bar along the water for a beer and to read a bit of my book, just to recover and get some energy together ahead of the evening, when the festival was going to begin.
I didn’t really know what the weekend was going to be like – I’d realised that there was something on a couple of days before I left the UK, the celebrate the start of the Belizean lobster season, and that it took place in a couple of different places around the country over a couple of weekends, but that was about it. The place had started to fill up though, with the hostel getting a bit busier and (I think) a few people even being rearranged from room to room to accomodate some of the new arrivals!
As I was sat there on a sort of swing-seat at a table, an American woman came up to me to ask what I was reading (a book about the history of Tea), so we had a quick chat about what the book was about, and then she invited me to join her and her husband for a drink, so I over I headed.
We chatted about a various different things for a bit – jobs, travel, diving and various cool places up and down Belize, but then we got on to Burning Man. It turned out they were massive Burners – each year she runs a Buddhist Yoda camp at the festival – and so they started explaining the whole thing to me, which actually sounds pretty amazing, just in terms of the giant city (like 70,000 people) in an entirely commerce free society – as in no money, no barter or anything. Food, booze, everything is just given away as gifts with no expectation of reciprocation! It sounds like a great way to spend a week (with the possible exception of being in the roasting desert for hottest week of the year!)
After (possibly) adding another place/festival/event onto my ever expanding list of things to do and places to see, we wandered out of the bar, and went to see what was getting going for the kickoff of the three-day Caye Caulker LobsterFest event!
There was a largish queue to get into a tented area, so we headed for that, grabbed a couple of drinks and hung out just waiting for it to start. It clearly wasn’t just a tourist event, although there were plenty of us about, but the vast majority of the crowd seemed to be Belizean.
Eventually it all got going. There was a Miss LobsterFest beauty pageant, mixed in with some other events, some singing, a few dances by the Belizean National Dance Troupe and watching a few Americans on holiday get taught Belizean dance moves by a 10-year old kid, and then them having a dance off. All in all it was a pretty entertaining evening!
Evententually we all started to get knackered – the Americans from travelling in that day, and me from an early start diving, so we drifted off (I never found out which one of the four won the beauty pageant…), and I went to find some food. I ended up with two smallish things which very nicely did the job (to say I hadnt eaten dinner and had been working throught the beer for about 5 hours): first up a rather nice papusa (which Wikipedia tells me is a Salvadorian thing, but basically a griddle-fried pasty) and then, as it’s lobster fest, a couple of lobster tacos.
Then I retired for what I think was a well deserved sleep!
On Saturday, I did a bit more diving, just at the local site, as we were low on numbers (I’ve covered that one properly in the last post, here). I then proceeded to spend the day wandering about – buying a couple of key things [read: three bottles of the local Belizean hot sauce and a couple of hammock beers] and then just sort of lazing around in a hammock in the afternoon Caribbean sun. As and when I got a bit peckish, I strolled across to the main road (theres only three on the island) and picked up a bit of local grill: at various points in the day, green curry lobster kebab, lobster burrito and a whole grilled lobster – the latter one was actually for dinner though.
I’d like to come back to the Caye Caulker LobsterFest one day though – while I saw a bit of it, it wasn’t really the focus of my trip (I only realised it was on a few days before), but I think really getting into the whole weekend could be another great trip to add on to the list of things to go back to – or if not the Caye Caulker one, then the one in either San Pedro or Dangriga which happen on weekends around the same time.