We made it Dangriga sometime around 5:30. My math skills are weak, but it was pretty close to 14 hours since we left the house that morning.
The bus station is walking distance to pretty much everything there. No cab for this one, since our room was less than half a mile away.
Here’s another side note.
I intentionally searched for rooms that were close to the bus stations. We tried to do this run on the cheap, so less taxis meant more breathing room on the budget.
We debated the idea of renting a car vs jumping buses and cabs as needed. Geri was already set on traveling light and hiking when we could. After the first taxi and that bus ride, we were both glad we didn’t anyway.
Driving in Florida is one thing, but… Wow.
Other than my immediate family, Belizean drivers might have only one competitor for most maniacal traffic flow on the planet.
Back in 1998, I spent six weeks in snow-covered, vodka-saturated, lakes frozen hard enough to drive a D6 bulldozer across Moscow. Those guys drove crazier than my four-foot-tall, 85-pound grandma behind the wheel of two and a half tons of Detroit steel. Just another place I probably shouldn’t drive.
A couple we met through ExpatExchange.com, Walter and Joan, lives outside Dangriga and suggested we stay at D’s Hostel which turned out to be a great idea. Three nights in an air-conditioned room right on the coast set us back $163.50. That also included hot showers and a nice breakfast each morning.
Dana (pronounced Donna) and her family are good people and hosts. We were able to spend some time talking with each of them. It was a refreshing way to spend our first night there. Just know that the big room has air mattresses. Some folks sleep fine on them, some don’t. We did ok.
Going back to the shower, it was my first encounter with Belizean electrical codes, which don’t seem to actually exist. I assume that these little shower head water heaters are pretty common, since there are electrical outlets over most of the showers. Looking at wire nuts on bare wires while standing in the shower is an emotionally draining experience.
Walter and Joan picked us up and drove us the the Slaughterhouse Bar for dinner. It’s a small place on the water with a great crew and amazing food. Clara and her team made a strong enough impression that we ate a meal there every day. Do not visit Dangriga without dropping by and having a meal there. (If they had a Facebook page or website I would have added a link.)
One of the guys had an old DJ rig setup in front of the bar playing reggae remakes of a pretty random set of songs. We actually heard Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers’ Islands in the Stream done to a fat reggae beat. That was fun.
Three orders of hot wings, three orders of (3) ganaches, one order of fries, two rum and cokes, five Belican beers, two Smirnoff ice, and a $5bz tip came to $39. (The night before we spent $49 at our local taco shop in Florida to feed our family, and did not pay for drinks.)
Stopped at the local grocery/liquor/hardware store on the way back. Looked like a small aircraft hangar with giant sliding glass doors on the front. Bought four 1 liter bottles of water for $6. They were cheaper most other places. Normally $1us or $2bz.
And again, buy water at every opportunity. The weather averaged out to be similar to our local climate. We tracked the weather patterns off and on for almost a year, so we had a pretty good idea what to expect. It was hot and humid, but no worse than home.
When we got back from dinner, a local sound company was hammering us from the beach-front park. They had set up some ancient system at the park across the street… aimed directly at our room. The music was playing when we left, it was thumping when we returned. It kept going until after midnight. Literally shaking the walls. At least it was pretty good music.
This was the first of three nights in Dangriga.
M. Erik Matlock is a self-professed recovering knucklehead with more than 500 articles and four books in print. He shares his hard-earned wisdom at ErikMatlock.com, ProSoundWeb.com and through his books, which are available at Amazon.