Fatigue vs Travel

San Pedro Beach, Belize

We’re sitting on our balcony in San Pedro Belize, watching the Caribean sea breaking on the barrief reef, trying to recharge and enjoy a very necessary day of nothing. It’s surprising how many days we spend in normal life doing very little. Surrounded by the omnipresent distractions of home, friends, family, and the general bureaucracy of life – a day spent doing nothing successfully masquerades as something productive.

Four weeks into the trip, I’m contemplating what pace we can sustain. I’m regularly struck by how insurmountable our trek right round the globe appears when I’m fatigued / hung over or otherwise unwell.

I’ve regularly woken up thinking that the more challenging parts of the journey might not be worth the effort. Which is a pretty disturbing thought. And soft!

But more disturbing is that within an hour – and a reasonably potent coffee – my mindset has changed entirely and I’m again excited about some of the wilder experiences that lie ahead. It highlights how irrational human thought can be. And that I’m so susceptible to this surprises and disappoints me.

Still, I’m starting understand how to manage those responses, and expect them.

San Francisco, New York & Miami In Brief


We spent 11 days with my brother Ian and his wife Rachel. The “home comfort” afforded by that was rather nice to say the least. Whilst pretty unlucky with the weather we felt we sufficiently explored the place and would have a good idea of the things we might do next time we return. While my regular maxim is “the world is too big to visit the same place twice” we naturally have an exception when family and friends are involved. Not to mention Rachel’s skills as a chef ;-)

It was also a great – and slightly surreal – experience to hang out with Jules, a guy whom I’ve known only in online form for several years now. He shared with us a bunch of very “local” experiences including a motorcycle ride when the weather finally cleared up.

New York was a somewhat more extreme experience, which I guess is fitting for the personality type for which the city is renowned. We stayed with Nat who, with incredible generosity, vacated her bedroom for the couch so that we might sleep.


Sleep, however, we did not. Our advantage of being on Pacific time when we arrived at 11pm meant we matched her and her friends on the first night for a 4am return. The following night finished at 7am with an impromptu Tango demonstration in the subway.

With Nat’s guide-book like knowledge of New York we ticked just about every tourist and non-tourist box in our 7 days, had perfect weather, great coffee and enough late nights to ensure that we got sick.


We departed for a couple of nights in Miami to relax, warm up and connect to Central America. Miami (South Beach, at least) was a very pleasant surprise. Incredible architecture, a great design museum (Wolfsonian) interesting people (gangster black Bentleys anyone?) and the perfect climate unfortunately did little to help us shake our colds.


So on the flight to Belize we had to lie about our symptoms on the swine flu interrogation form. We’re fine, honestly! Just the usual cold stuff that’s clearing up fairly well now after an early night to bed and no (well, little) drinking.

We arrived on Ambergris Caye yesterday, which is a quintessential tropical island. Quite touristy (probably to the greatest extent we will expect to see, actually) but also unable to pretend that Belize is not a poor country. So a lot of contrasts at play, some uncomfortable but it mostly seems to move along OK.

We met up with James, Angela, Penny and Pauline on arrival and settled in for a couple of days & nights to relax before moving on to some of the aquatic hilights in the region.

It is seriously hot here. Slightly daunting, and it’s going to make our exercise regime (already battered, mind you) very difficult.

The water is warmer than anything I’ve experienced. To the point that it doesn’t actually offer any relief from the heat.

We saw an enormous sting ray within 2 metres of the shoreline, shmoozing with pelicans and various other fish. Who needs a snorkel when you can just stand on the pier and watch the interaction? Apparently you have nothing to worry about re: stringrays, unless you are Australian…

There is one beer in the country. “Belikin”. It is expensive. That’s probably a good thing right now.

Speaking of which, let’s finish up with the current tally:

Belikin & Belikin “Stout”


Budweiser (we finally succumbed!)

New York:

Brooklyn Lager

Righteous Rye 6 Point Vienna Pale Ale

Riverwest Stein Beer

Blue Moon Honey Moon

Sugar Hill California

Pabst Blue Ribbon with a whiskey and pickle juice

Lake Front Extra Special Bitter

Lake Front Fuel Cafe Coffee flavoured Stout

Lake Front Klisch Pilsener Beer

Lake Front Seasonal Beer

Lake Front India Pale Ale

Lake Front Cattail Ale

Lake Front Eastside Dark

San Francisco:

Harvieston Old Engine Oil


Fat Tire Pale Ale


Kona Big Wave Golden Ale

Anchor Steam Beer


Sierra Nevada Pale Ale

Kona Firerock Pale Ale

Blue Moon Belgian white

Michelob Dark


Tags: , , , , , ,

Comments are closed.