Crying on the beach in Placencia… “bad timing” takes on a whole new meaning

I was told there would be whale sharks in Placencia, Belize. After four days scoping out Caye Caulker-awesome- I packed up my tent, took a boat back to Belize City, and took various chicken busses down to Independence. I promise a post all about chicken buses — read uncomfortable — when I get a faster connection so I can upload pictures. Finally I took yet another water taxi to Placencia on the end of a peninsula.

So, I´d been traveling nearly all day, it was nearly 100 degrees, and it took me almost two hours to find someone who would let me set up my tent. A cool American artist lady eventually ended up letting me set up in her backyard on the beach behind her studio.

Long story short, there were no whale sharks. After setting up my tent and still having had not one morsel of food all day, I set off towards the docks to ask the fishermen to take me out on their boats to see the whale sharks. They all answered with the exact same sentence–

The sharks are not coming until the 17th.

This was a week ago, so the sharks should be arriving right about NOW– as I sit here writing to you from Guatemala. So I stood there looking at the fishermen scratching my head thinking, what, did you call them up on the phone?

Apparently the whale sharks come in like clockwork on the full moon in May. It has something to do with breeding or some fish they eat is spawning.

I was frustrated and wanted to lie down. I stumbled back towards my tent and flopped in the sand. I definitely cried for a good five minutes, because I had come all this way, and no sharks, but mostly I was sniffling because I was hungry and cranky.

I stopped crying as soon as I took note of my sweet camping spot–

By the way, without sharks, Placencia is the most boring place in the world I may have ever been. I don´t like to say that I don´t like a place, but at least this post shows that not all travel plans are successful or as rewarding and life changing as one would hope.

More posts of perspective – altering travel experiences to follow…

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3 Comments on “Crying on the beach in Placencia… “bad timing” takes on a whole new meaning”

  1. Karen May 16, 2011 at 19:56 #

    So sorry about those sharks…timing really IS everything! However, perhaps you made a connection that might better be appreciated years down the line…I can hope for that for you. Take care, sleep well and EAT something!

  2. Bill May 17, 2011 at 07:05 #

    Sounds like you are not having a ‘Whale” of time. I’ve either read or seen a TV show where they state that whale sharks are pretty common in the Gulf of Mexico. I did not hear they will have a scheduled appearance. Hope the whale sharks keep their appointed time. Be safe

  3. Marisa LaValette May 17, 2011 at 20:00 #

    yes, they are obviously on a schedule!!!
    thanks for reading Bill!

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