July 20, 2013. Apparently, we don’t have a large enough vehicle to fit a 1.8 metre long box. More equipment than personal belongings, we headed for Newark airport at the crack of dawn. The day before, I had a new toy to play with — as with these CD (Conservation Drones) trips, I am the field photographer. Not just another pretty chubby face, hey.
We landed Belize completely hungry. Who knew United Airlines did not offer meals for a 4-hour flight? (Couple that with an infinitely long wait at immigration’s, ha!) Met by colleagues from the Fisheries Department, we were brought to an inn, where we were to spend the night. A quick freshening-up later, we hired a taxi that took us to dine at Tavern.
The taxi driver, Roy, was quite a character: there were claims of travelling the world with Muhammad Ali on tours and events in the 70’s, and a rolled up A4-sized photograph in his car, kept in a plastic bag, to prove it. Not to mention owning discos in New York City, back in the day, too.
Lunch was massive. We tend to use the excuse of an impending rough field trip to pig out, as if we need that extra energy to see us through the next few days. To walk the lunch off, we had asked Roy to take us downtown. Things were strangely quiet there.
I hadn’t done any research on Belize and the city before the trip. (I’m all about surprises.) So, in the remaining hours of that Saturday spent in the inn / hotel, with wi-fi, thankfully, I had a good chuckle about our celebrity taxi driver Roy, and understood more about Belize and the city. The things one can find on the internet.
Our bags were waterproofed with plastic bags. There was talk of a boat ride out to an island.