A Legendary Journey: Belize

As La Risa motors closer to Robert's Caye, I must admit my first thought is fear: What will I do on this Belizean island that has roughly enough space for four charming over-the-sea wooden bungalows and a main house? There are no TVs, no phones and my only transportation will be a kayak. The answer, I soon find out, is kayak. I paddle to a lump in the sea that looks like an island bonsai kit. I splash into the Caribbean from my bungalow's private platform.

But to fill the hours, I also do something unexpected and rejuvenating: I think… unencumbered. There are no decisions to be made here on Bob's Caye, just thoughts that flutter out of my brain - about fish, about the sea, about the invention of boats and about DNA - as I swing on my hammock underneath the stars. The water lapping outside my bungalow is like warm milk, and I sleep well both nights I am here.

On my last day, I load my bag onto La Risa, which has come to bring me back to Placencia. Then I walk over to the main house for a last look. A woman from Alabama has arrived and is quietly staring at the expanse of sea before her, a Belikin beer at her table. She swallows hard and says to me, "I don't swim."

"It's OK," I tell her. Then I share with her my wisdom. "Just sit here and think. It's better than having a massage."