After leaving Caye Caulker, Jeff and I decided to split our journey south to Placencia into two legs, with an overnight stopover in Dangriga. As Belize’s largest southern city (and origin of our beloved Marie Sharp hot sauce), we thought it would be a perfectly nice place to lay our weary heads for the night. Emphasis on thought.
There’s nothing wrong with Dangriga itself; it’s not a tourist destination by any means, but the people are friendly and it’s situated on the beautiful Caribbean coast. The mistake we made was our lodging choice: I booked a place online that had both hotel rooms as well as a guesthouse (private rooms with shared bath). The photos of the hotel rooms looked decent, but there were no photos of the guesthouse; I assumed the rooms would be semi-comparable given that there wasn’t a huge difference in cost.
Let’s just say I learned my lesson. I started getting nervous when the establishment’s caretaker handed us a padlock in place of a room key. My fears were confirmed when we were brought to a building that is best described as a long shed with plywood room dividers. Suffice it to say that I was horrified. Jeff, in typical fashion, thought it was funny that someone could actually lock us in to our room more easily than we could lock ourselves out.
But we didn’t run for the hills. Honestly, I was too spooked to go looking for another place after dark anyway. So we made the best of it! We found a bottle of wine (mercifully, as my mother would say) and played Rummy 500 until it was dark enough to go to sleep in our little shed (in our sleeping bag liners of course). We caught the earliest bus out of Dangriga the next morning, and chocked the experience up to a lesson well learned…
P.S. This post is titled “Stranded in Dangriga” as a reference to a movie poster we saw at the bus terminal called Stranded ‘n Dangriga. We had a laugh.