Drama, Drama, Belize

Ambergris Caye Travel Blog

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Naitro and Peter as we board the plane in Belize City

January 27, 2017

My first adventure of the year. I would finally complete my journey through Central America with Belize. This is the perfect time of year to go. It's high season and the weather is perfect and far from the cold of Boston. I was able to secure an amazingly low flight...it was meant to be. 

I was joined by Peter Bresnahan which would be our first international adventure together and my long time friend turned travel buddy, Naitro. 

All ready to go and up early, I thought I had much time to spare, Terror set in, I didn't have my passport, I raced home and back in 30 minutes. Feeling anxious as the Uber was taking his time  , I assessed options. Soon he was there and the process at the airport was efficient end we were at the gate 20 minutes early, Criss was averted.

Crossing Ambergris Caye
I was a bit disappointed as my precheck status was not printed on my boarding pass but security was very kind and let me through anyway, �

I couldn't sleep on the flight to Miami. I watched the Absolutely Fabulous Movie and is really wasn't. We arrived 35 minutes early but ended up on the runway due to congestion...20 minutes late. As we already only had 50 minutes between flights, this was very stressful. 

The delay had brought us into D terminal instead of B and that realization helped as we were now in the terminal of our departure. We were the last people on the plane but...we were on the plane. 

NOW.

Courtyard at our cottage
..due to traffic over Cuba, we were delayed in Miami causing us to be 40 minutes late leaving. I did sleep a bit on this flight...the early morning finally catching up with me. 

Landing in Belize City, we were racing to get to yet another plane. I had texted Naitro upon our landing and she said that timing would be fine, she was waiting at arrivals. Customs and immigration were a breeze. Only a brief issue with our accommodations address ad we didn't have one. It's just - beach. The immigrations officer didn't like that but it was on our paperwork. After a brief drama regarding the missing luggage of Peter, we made our way to arrivals and Naitro. It was the first time that Peter and Naitro had met and now we had an adventure ahead of us.

Sign on our front gate
 

Our 1:40 flight turned into 2:00, and then finally 2:20pm. Finally, our last leg for the day. 

Crossing the waterway and out to the islands, was very peaceful, even in a tiny, cramped, loud little plane. The water was shallow and was the color of green glass. Every now and then the sand rose above the waterline to form...land. One good high tide would erase these little spots of land,  

I could see the colorful houses that dot the land as we landed on the island, Ambergris Caye is Belize's largest island. The history of the island goes back to the days of the Maya, European Pirates, and Mexican Refugees who fled during the Caste War. The descendants from Mexico make up most of the island's population today. The economy of the island was once dependent on the coconut industry, followed by the fishing industry, but it is now dependent on tourism.

Debitors list on the front of the grocery store

 Ambergris is 25 miles long and a little over a mile wide, in some places, and it is located in the clear shallow waters of the Caribbean Sea just off the tip of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula.

Her coastline is protected by the 190 miles long Barrier Reef, the second largest living coral reef in the world. In Mayan times, Ambergris Caye was a trading post. The Marco Gonzalez ruins at the southern tip of the caye and the Basil Jones site to the north, as well as the many recently excavated "home sites" in the heart of San Pedro Town give evidence to a former Maya population of 10,000. The narrow channel that separates Mexico and Belize was dug by the Maya to provide a trade route from the bay of Chetumal to the Caribbean.

Following the Maya came the whalers and buccaneers and the ancestors of present day residents who were fishermen and workers in the coconut plantations.

Beach / park at center of San Pedro
Today tourism has replaced fishing as the major source of income for the islanders although the mahogany skiffs are still in service for charter fishing and diving.

The people of the island are called "Sanpedranos" and speak English, Spanish, Creole, and Maya all at the same time, making it their own island dialect. They are proud of their heritage and are willing to share it with tourists. Before tourism picked up in the eighties, the islanders were mostly Mestizos (Maya-Spanish). Today they share their island with the Creole, Maya, Central American refugees, and Americans that have made San Pedro their new home. 

Getting through the tiny airport and our luggage took only a few moments. There was a bustle of activity out front and a motorcade of golf carts were picking up and racing away just as quickly.

We made it - San Pedro :-)
 

Ceni came soon and the three of us, our luggage, and Ceni rode across the island to our cottage for the stay. In reality we could have walked it in 5-7 minutes but, why not have a free ride after much travel. 

She explained the cottage, gave some restaurant and market tips and left us to enjoy our time. After a quick change, we were out the door for a first look around and some food. 

The setting was Central American infrastructure lite but it was obvious that tourism was important. There were many markets, liquor stores, and restaurants, I spotted an art market that would be on the list for tomorrow, after asking several people...we found our way to Elvi's and what was said to be the best food on the island, 

I had roasted corn on the cob with lime, and quest fresco.

Our little piece of beach behind the cottage
..delicious. I also had a quinoa salad with Citrix's peppers, red and white cabbage and some onion...not my favorite. Peter enjoyed crispy fish tacos and Naitro felt exactly the same as I did as we ordered the same meal. 

We went to the green market, next, and purchased food for meals at the cottage. Local yogurt, Gresham trail mix, fresh pineapple, and water would be a start. After leaving, Naitro asked where my bag was. Fright...I'd left it at the restaurant! I raced back and they had it...everything was there, I thanked them and felt very lucky. 

On to the Super Buy (big market) and other essentials. I needed sunscreen and Naitro needed tooth paste. They had a huge supply of a great variety of food. This would have been better but...now we know. 

Out in front of the store was posted a sign with a listing of debtors for the public to see.

Wow...nice!
..wow! 

We walked back through the park and stopped for a few pics as the sun was setting and light was causing a wash of color across the sky. A selfie was appropriate...of us three. 

We walked along the water to our cottage with a few stops for pictures and finally the groceries could be put away. I immediately went back out for some suits and to get my feet wet. The view was calm...peaceful. The water was cool but warmed quickly and the sound of the water was therapy for me. I needed this and more of it. Peter joined me for a bit and them a retiring to the patio was in order.

The three of us sat there with a candle taper lit, chatting and checking on social media and the final light of the day left our island, 

We all had successfully reach our island in Belize and it was so nice to have a different view in front of me.

Good Evening
..different sounds. I was expecting much from Belize...could it deliver? We shall see. 

simsing says:
Congrats on the feature!
Posted on: Feb 06, 2017
HORSCHECK says:
Brian, congrats on your featured review. Very well written.
Posted on: Feb 06, 2017
cimtech says:
Very interesting! enjoyed reading your journal !
Posted on: Feb 06, 2017
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Naitro and Peter as we board the p…
Naitro and Peter as we board the …
Crossing Ambergris Caye
Crossing Ambergris Caye
Courtyard at our cottage
Courtyard at our cottage
Sign on our front gate
Sign on our front gate
Debitors list on the front of the …
Debitors list on the front of the…
Beach / park at center of San Pedro
Beach / park at center of San Pedro
We made it - San Pedro :-)
We made it - San Pedro :-)
Our little piece of beach behind t…
Our little piece of beach behind …
Wow...nice!
Wow...nice!
Good Evening
Good Evening
On a golf cart on our way to the c…
On a golf cart on our way to the …
Ambergris Caye
photo by: travelman727