Belize was just what we needed after the damp squib of Mexico. There's no language barrier, they have beautiful Caribbean islands, there's some excellent food, and they've got some very impressive sights. We were also lucky with the weather in the end; yes, it was a bit blowy in the islands at times and as a result the Great Blue Hole wasn't as great as it might have been, but overall we loved it.
It isn't all perfect in paradise, of course. Belize is not a particularly cheap place to travel, and there is still an undercurrent of angry drunkenness that flares up every now and then. Belize City, in particular, is a bit of a sleazy dump, though it's a fun city to take a cab ride through, as it's a sleazy dump with character. But cities in this part of the world are often pretty grim, and settling back on a tropical island with a cold beer or two is what it's all about, especially when the local brew is so drinkable.
And the sights? They're world class, but still have an feeling of being fairly undiscovered. There are amazing Mayan ruins that are so remote that the journey is as exciting as the destination, and caves with 1000-year-old skeletons where you really feel like Indiana Jones as you crawl through the caverns. And that's on top of the relaxed paradise islands where time goes slowly, just as it should do.
So thank you Belize, you've recharged our batteries after a bit of a false start, and we're now ready to tackle Guatemala. We couldn't have done it without you.