At this point we were in the fourth or fifth day of our Central American trip. The weather was showing no signs of cooling down, as the temperature scale didn’t drop below 30degrees. The sun belted down on us constantly. Being from the cold north of the UK, this was a shock to the system and as expected I started to burn. I could cope though because it was only a bit on my shoulders, no biggie – it happens! It was all going so well, until I underestimated the power of the Belizean sun on a snorkelling trip….
This was the result of not wearing a shirt before spending the whole day snorkelling. It was my own fault, our guide told us to make sure we were covered and protected. Like a child pouting at its parents for having to put cream on, I similarly thought I knew best and left my back exposed to the sun the entire trip. Other members of the group commented on how my back was a ‘bit red’. Thinking that they meant my shoulders, I shrugged it off and told them I would be fine. It wasn’t until I got back to the hotel and looked in the mirror that my mouth dropped. My entire back was bright red in a perfect outline of burnt skin. If you placed a finger on it the skin turned white before leaving a brief mark. This would be the cause of a lot of pain and peeling the next few days of the trip. My one top tip from this experience is… Cream up!! It didn’t help that I started with factor 15 on my pasty, British, white skin. It might just be me lacking common sense but it’s an easy thing to forget. You don’t want to end up like I did – red as a Caye Caulker lobster during lobster season.