Fri. Mar 24th, 2023
Travellers Tales - Kidnapped in Belize

Travellers Tales - Kidnapped in Belize

Alan now studies, practices and teaches wilderness skills. This series of travel stories reflect his past adventures prior to acquiring some much needed knowledge.

Acquaintances of ours established a yacht chartering business around the Belize Cayes and along the Rio Dulce river into Guatemala. We provided them with supplies of favourite foodstuffs in return for a dream holiday to Central America on the cheap.

Our holiday started with a night out in Belize City where the nightlife is wild and varied but is also mainly illegal and dangerous and everyone referred to us as Honkies.

Three days on the boat and our friend transformed into a tinpot dictator, the boat his island nation and us his incapable populace. At one point my wife was scolded for spilling a glass of water. On a boat? It was impossible to sleep in the intense heat and in a cramped cabin, so I invariably slept on the deck where I was likely to meet the captain sleepwalking naked and wake up in the middle of a tropical storm, which as it happens is quite cold.

After a week and suffering from sleep deprivation my wife and I would spend the early morning counting mosquito bites on her legs. We would apply yellow antiseptic cream to them and having reached the dizzy heights of 186 assorted bites, she would emerge only for the locals to hare of in all directions at the sight of her.

For a complete change we rented a canoe. Unfortunately a squall struck and we were only saved by baling water with my souvenir straw hat. We only had four days to go when I noticed a nasty rash on my face which developed into a vast plain of coldsores weeping pus and frightening the local children.

We managed to convince a tour operator that we were not a health risk to remote tribes and took a lengthy journey to visit Mayan ruins in the jungle. As the guide stood proudly in front of a pile of rocks and explained that the Mayans were the greatest civilization the earth has known, and ignoring my inquiries as to what had happened since then, my wife created a diversion from what was clearly going to become a confrontation by having a close encounter with what the guide described as a spiderwasp. When we had gathered everyone back together I noticed that my left foot was disproportionately uncomfortable. The guide helpfully explained that everyone should be careful not to stand in a nest of fire ants.

We waved vigorously from the airport.

My face healed in time for my suntan to fade but I was becoming concerned by a large lump on my right shoulder which alternately itched or hurt and showed no signs of abating. My colleagues were concerned by the bloodstains on my detroit tigers los angeles dodgers shirt and I visited the occupational doctor. Putting his vast knowledge of tropical diseases at my disposal he diagnosed an insect bite.

Four weeks after returning I caught sight of my wife’s reflection in the mirror as she recoiled in horror while changing my dressing and hysterically explained that I had a prawn like animal with disproportionately large black eyes living in my back.

It appears I had a stowaway, although from its perspective a charge of kidnapping may have been more appropriate. I created a great deal of interest at the hospital casualty department and the receptionists were suitably horrified. Their panic was evident when they actually wrote down animal trainer which I had jokingly given as my occupation.

I had the alien removed at knife point and sealed in a glass case. We never did find out what it was, or more importantly what it would have grown into, but I do know there are more species of fauna in one square mile of Belizian rainforest than there is in the entire United Kingdom.

The next year we had our holiday in Pembrokeshire.

write by Piper

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