Just having a read of Perth Now, as you do now and then, and in the Travel Section, couldn’t help notice a big section on Belize.
Now, by way of background, Perth is a city in Australia, and Australia, as you know (because they don’t let you bloody forget it) has the largest barrier reef in the world, suitably titled The Great Barrier Reef, and is a UNESCO World heritage listed site.
The Australian rainforests are described (usually by Australians) as the largest, most pristine in the world.
Now, in addition to the barrier reef, Australia is known for being a highly competitive society. Have you ever watched Australia football (Australia Football League or AFL, or Aussie Rules as it’s more commonly known)? Protective gear such as helmets is unknown, and US footballers are laughed at for their use of so much body armour.
This is just to give you an idea of the pride and competitiveness of this happy go lucky society.
So when Australia pays compliments to another country, well, it is a big deal.
So when we read in the Perth Now newspaper that Australia has home to the most you-beaut rainforests in the world and a hugely impressive barrier reef with world –class diving, that is indeed big news. Australia is a very generous country. Open-handed to a fault. Not much so with praise, however.
So check this out from Perth Now October 23 2013:
“You’ve heard that the Belize Barrier Reef is the second longest in the world. But have you heard that this reef is home to more than 100 different kinds of coral and some 500 species of fish? This alluring underwater world is undoubtedly the top attraction in Belize. Snorkelers swim through translucent seas, gazing at a kaleidoscope of coral, fish and turtles; divers go deeper, investigating underwater caves and walls and the world-renowned Blue Hole.
“The turquoise waters are inviting even for those who choose to remain above the surface. Kayakers glide from one sandy, palm-dotted islet to another; windsurfers and sailors skim across the surf by the power of the breeze; sunbathers lounge on the dock, lulled into relaxation by the gentle lapping; and foodies feast on delectable fresh fish, spiny-tailed lobster and other creatures of the sea
“In the jungle”
“Inland, a vast network of national parks and wildlife sanctuaries offers a safe haven for wildlife, which ranges from the industrious cutter ants to the national animal of Belize, Baird’s tapir. Bird-watchers aim their binoculars at some 570 species, which roost along the rivers and lagoons and in the broadleaf forest. Of course, many of these birds and animals are elusive, but keen-eyed visitors can easily spot spider monkeys and howler monkeys, peccaries, coatimundis, gibnuts, American and Morelot’s crocodiles, green iguanas and countless species of birds. Even the showy keel-billed toucan – the national bird of Belize – occasionally makes an appearance in public.
“In the land of the Maya”
“If that’s not enough adventure for you, Belize is also home to one of the world’s most mysterious civilizations – the ancient Maya. The country is sprinkled with archaeological sites that date to the Maya heyday, known as the Classic Period (AD 250-1000). Enormous steps lead to the tops of tall stone temples, often yielding 360-degree jungle views. Curious climbers can explore excavated tombs and examine intricate hieroglyphs, while adventurers can descend deep into natural caves to see where the Maya kings performed rituals and made sacrifices to the gods of their underworld.”
End of quotes.
You could have knocked me over with a feather. Fair Dinkum. Here was an Aussie article that did nothing else but stack heaps of praise on another country, I showed it to me missus and then took it to the pub to show me mates and they were as gobsmacked as I was.
The Perth newspaper listed other top Belize experiences, such as :
Kayaking Glover’s Reef Atoll, diving the Blue Hole and checking out the Garifuna drumming (which sounds like something a country of top musos like ourselves wouldn’t want to miss).
All right, there’re no kangaroos, wombats, sugar gliders, platypuses, drop bears or wallabies,
But Belize has armadillos, jaguars and a few of their own unique species. They even got alligators, sort of like our crocs but much cuter, smaller, and a million times less deadly (Australia gets about two human salt water croc fatalities each year according to the Outback Australia Travel Guide).
So there you have it – high praise from Belize’s farthest neighbours. Come to think of it, you should come for a visit. Both are English speaking countries with Queen Elizabeth II as the Head of State, both way underpopulated compared to the amount of land, both have beer as the national beverage (we may have made that one up – but it could be true) and both have accents that tourists think are cute.
And, according to Perth Today, Belize is a top country as well.
What more can you ask for?