We woke up early to make the most of our last day in paradise. We sat on the beach with coffee and homemade mimosas. Ate breakfast, and Edvin opened a coconut for me to drink from:
We borrowed snorkel gear and a kayak. Going out on the water, we thought we’d jump in and snorkel, but there were a lot of big moon jellyfish. So, we kayaked around a little – a small something-or-other jumped out of the water at us. Returned the kayak and snorkeled a little from the shore. Not a lot to see – lots of kelp, some coral, and a fish. The rain had churned the water up a bit, and visibility was not-so-great.
We’re really sad to leave the Turtle Inn. From Terrianne at the front to Edvin at the bar, to smiling Jason the concierge, everyone has been so friendly! They remembered our names and even our dietary preferences (though they had a cheat sheet). The people, combined with the surroundings are the anti-thesis of New York City. The waster coolers, speakers, outdoor showers, and other ugly infrastructure are disguised by wicker baskets or plants. It smells nice.
Drearily, we packed our things. With a call on the shellphone (see below), our bags were swept up to the front desk, and we went for one last lunch. We finally tried Craboo run, the namesake of our cabana (#6). It was served in a fresh coconut, with pineapple. Served with a bamboo straw and a lime bull, it was yummy with a very big cool factor. Also, Sea saw a huge sea hawk/stingray leap out of the water.
Bidding our mournful adieu, we dipped our toes in the ocean, said goodbye to the staff and the turtles, and loaded into the van with Eric, who drove us the two hours to Sleeping Giant Lodge (he brought along chocolate chip cookies and water bottles for us so it wasn’t totally sad).
Eric told us about the founding and history of Belize, its polyglot people (half mistaso, or Spanish-Mayan, plus African-British Creole, Maya, Garifuna or African, and pockets of Asian, Menonites and Amish). He also gave us a glimpse of its future. There is no shortage of rich developers looking to the Belizean beaches for luxury cruises, resorts, etc. The country is so sparsely populated, and its government so pliable, it’s hard to see how they could resist those with money who can make more by paving over the country. A stalled project we passed included a giant hotel, casino, and international airport being developed by a strong-handed Italian.
We passed many homes with chickens running around or horses tied up in the front yard, just feet from the road. We also passed citrus and banana farms. Banana trees only bear fruit once in their life. Then they are chopped down, and young ones grow in their place. They grow so fast, two harvests a year are normal this way.
Finally, we arrived at Sleeping Giant Lodge, named after a nearby mountain ridge that looks conspicuously like a man’s face in profile.
We were quite tired by the time we got to Sleeping Giant, so we took a long nap. We ate dinner upstairs – there was only one other couple while we were there (ironically, honeymooners from Manhattan). The restaurant at the lodge is the kind with four sections on the menu: appetizers, seafood, chicken, and meat. However, they made us some vegetarian rice and fava beans, which were delicious!