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Saturday, September 22, 2007

Belize, Day 0

We left SFO late on Friday night, and had an uneventful flight to Houston (I even slept the whole way). Then the painful part started. We had a 7 hour layover in Houston. We napped on and off for the first couple of hours. Then we discovered wireless internet in the airport, so we wasted some time with that. Then we watched a little Veronica Mars on my laptop. Finally, the time for our flight was drawing near. Then of course 30 minutes before the flight, they announced that there was a “maintenance problem” that they were trying to fix. After a couple hours of bumblefucking around with “the part” and deciding the plane could not be fixed, they found another plane for us and after moving to another gate, we were pretty quickly off to Belize. We were worried about our connection, since it was cutting it close to make the last flight to Ambergris Caye, but I called the regional airline and they said that they knew about our flight coming in late, and it would be fine. I guess it is a small enough airport/airline in Belize City that they are actually nimble about such things. When we got there, they just filled up as many planes as necessary to get everyone to San Pedro. The plane was very small, it seated 12 or 13 people, and we had to duck to practically crawl to our seats. I have never been on a plane anywhere near this small. I told Rob that flying on that plane is the most adventurous thing I had ever done. It was 15-minute ride to San Pedro, and it was pretty scenic (I had the window seat). It was unfortunately getting dark, so the water wasn’t a lovely shade of turquoise like it would have been during the day.

We got to San Pedro and took a taxi to our hotel. The taxis are all mini-vans, and the guy packed us into the car with 4 people going to another hotel, plus all of the luggage for the 6 of us. It was quite a clown car. When we got to the hotel (Exotic Caye Beach Resort), someone was waiting at the office for us (I guess it usuall closes earlier), and showed us to our room. The room was not particularly nice, but it was adequate. It actually looks exactly like the pictures on the website, so you can’t really complain :) The kitchen and bathroom reminded me of MIT’s Tang Hall, the graduate residence that I lived in for a year and a half. So not luxurious, but certainly liveable. The bedroom has a very effective air conditioner, which is powerful enough to cool the living room/kitchen as well (although the bedroom gets really cold if the AC is high enough to cool the whole place). We went out to look for dinner, and walked to a place that is like 2 minutes from the hotel. But it was closed, without any sort of explanation or indication of when it would be open. Turns out it is closed for the month or something because it is the low season. So we went to Pepperoni’s (which is even closer to the hotel). It is a little pizza stand on the side of the road, with some picnic benches to sit at. But it was way too sticky (it had just stopped raining) and the mosquitoes were out, so we just went back to our room and waited a while before going back and picking up our pizza. We got a Hawaiian pizza and garlic bread sticks, which were both very good. I was really pooped, and we were being picked up to go diving at 8:30 the next morning, so I went to bed around 9.

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