K and I walked along dock until we came to a woman holding a poster of a trolley. With her encouragement we purchased the 1-2 hour trolley included a city tour as well as a drive in the country. Unfortunately when we arrived at the counter we learned the tour was full. Instead we decided to take the open-air van with the thatched room for a one hour city tour.
I'm glad we did! Our drive Shawn was a card, calling out to the people along the way and it seemed that most of them knew who he was.
We drove along the sea wall, before we went into the heart of the city.
Along the way, we passed well-kept homes like this one. But often the houses were run-down and some appeared as though they would never withstand a hurricane or any storm for that matter.
Shawn stopped the vehicle several times. Once to take a photo of this iguana sunning himself, another to stop at a local store for a cold local beer.
As we were stopped, a young boy about 5 years old approached the van. One of the women on board gave him a $1 which immediately brought a call from a nearby woman asking for money for herself which the tourist refused. It's unfortunate but I suspect the little boy lost his $1 shortly thereafter.
Downtown Belize was crowded with people and vehicles, the streets only wide enough for one vehicle to pass when there were others parked alongside. Shawn was driving slowly so we were subjected to yells and honks from the drivers behind us. Shawn managed these catcalls by offering up his own on his speaker. He was speaking a local patois so I assume most were impolite.
Belize City is far from pretty, though I think I captured some of the nicest points. While the buildings were often run-down it was amazing to see the number of newer model vehicles. That is, until we passed several pawnshops downtown who were advertising "pawn your vehicle and we'll let you drive".
There was obvious poverty, but also work available. We passed a work site where one of the construction crew held up a sign "begging for workers". It was truly a city of contrasts.
Unlike Roatan, I think I've had enough of Belize. Besides there are other Caribbean countries I have yet to visit!