Category Archives: Belize

2016 At a Glance!

We have decided that our precious vacation time is best spent during the winter and have therefore devised a plan to get away on some short hops only throughout the year in 2016. Johnny is heading to Iceland on April 21st for 7 days with his Mom.  I’m heading to Halifax, Nova Scotia and Saint John, New Brunswick for 4 days on April 22nd.

We have four (4) three (3) day camping trips booked throughout the summer and plans to attend our local Jazzfest and Bluesfest and hike as often as we can.  We are incredibly lucky to live in a city that is totally surrounded by terrain and trails of all kind.  I’m really looking forward to getting started!   We just need the ‘winter’ feel to go away.  Here it is April 6th and we are expecting 15 cm of snow *sigh* (yes, I deep sigh a LOT in the winter 🙂 !

Beyond August, we don’t really have any plans and at that time we will turn our attention to our Winter 2017 Central American adventure.  As it stands right now, our plan is to fly to Belize City, Belize stay in a pre-arranged hotel the first night and then simply ‘strike off’ in hopes of finding places to lay our head each night.  We are hoping for a three week trip that comprises south coast Belize, a couple of stops in Guatemala (most notably Lake Atitlan) and then off to the Bay Islands in Honduras.

I will let you know how Johnny did in Iceland and the girls and I survived the East Coast of Canada in a few weeks!

 

 

Mexico/Belize 2016 – Day 18 of 18

March 8th, 2016

Depart Playa Arena Villas on foot for Ferry Dock

Ferry to Cancun

Taxi or Bus to Airport

Airport Home to Ottawa.

*sigh*….we’re home…..it’s actually now March 10th…..

It was crazy windy our last night at Playa Arena in Isla Mujeres….as you know we sleep with the windows open and you could hear the palm leaves rustling all night and the waves a crashin’ 🙂  All rather romantic really – however what wasn’t so romantic was whatever was on the roof unattached and thudding 🙂  Oh well …. it was still paradise and still our last night….take what you need and leave the rest, huh? 🙂  OK!  Up…organize, pack, dispose…..head off for breakfast and of course immediately starts to rain!  We had breakfast down the street from the hotel and it started pouring once we got there.  By the time we were done breakie it had tapered (a little) and we headed back to the hotel for final room once over, brush our teeth and then head to the ferry.  As we were walking along the rain came down even harder and we huddled under an awning until it subsided a little then dashed off to the ferry terminal.  Quick ferry to Cancun, taxi’s waiting….and then the crazy crazy fast fast taxi driver (one of our scarier taxi trips) blasted us toward the airport.  After about 30 harrowing minutes we arrived, checked in effortlessly (no bag checks, just carry on)……went and had lunch at TGIF…..great sever named Antonio who was very helpful in assisting me with my Spanish (even bringing me slips of paper with translations for common phrases)……..munching away on a big ‘ole juicy burger, drinking this amazing gin cocktail with lemon & cucumber…..and in walks a colleague – Candy K from my office….bizarre…….she and her husband sat at next table and we chatted back & forth.  Johnny & I then headed off to wander a bit before the flight which was scheduled to leave early….wandering through the duty free and I run into an old colleague Heather A – I hadn’t seen her in a few years…so it was quite funny.  She had been in Tulum.  OK….plane boards early early, Johnny and I are in front row…. I had booked my seats eons ago but even then couldn’t get side by side…so we were across from each other on the aisle….coincidentally, Heather A actually had the seat beside me….sooo she kindly let Johnny & I use it and she sat in the other seat….strange but true….that the person seated beside me would be someone I knew.  So, here I am on a plane with 3 people I know….then, on walks another familiar face – Eve E from Kanata……oh boy…..and we took off and were told that not only was the flight leaving early, it was flying faster….original scheduled flight arrival in Ottawa 7:40 – our actual arrival time was 7:06 pm…..no checked luggage……first off plane being in row 1 – we were in fact home by 7:40……how is that for awesome!!!

OK…this is the debriefing of our 18 days.  We had a wonderful time and each of our destinations – Puerto, Morelos,. Mexico; Tulum, Mexico, San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize; Caye Caulker, Belize and Isla Mujeres, Mexico had something different and special to offer.  One of the reasons we did this trip in this manner was to visit some places we were interested in to see if any of them might be a ‘fit’ for longer visits as we grow older.

Puerto Morelos, Mexico – Total population around 9,000 – most of whom live on the other side of the highway I think.  We stayed on the ocean side.  Great little spot, a few stores, some nice restaurants, a great beach (on one side, not the other)…..I could see myself spending time there because it is only 30 minutes from Cancun – easy access to groceries, malls & whatever you need.  Cancun is huge.  Also, lots of things to do should you have visitors.

Tulum, Mexico – Population around 18,000 – most are in the town which is not on the water.  About a 10 minute cab/car ride to the beach/hotel zone.  So, Tulum beach is beautiful, almost perfect.  Lots of wonderful hotels of all kinds.  Tulum town also has everything you want and need.  For us though….we want the town and the beach to be closer together.  Nearest big cities are Playa del Carmen or Chetumal where you can buy the big stuff are still a ways away.  So…Tulum, a great place to visit for an awesome vacation with lots of things to do, but for us, not a ‘spend more than a week’ type of place.

San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize –  San Pedro town’s population around 13,000 – long thinnish town.  Honestly, we enjoyed our time there and exploring different ends of the Island, however San Pedro is very busy.  It has amenities, but not as many as I would like.  You could probably go into Belize City for bigger/more diverse shopping needs.  Not quite as easy being an Island.  Swimming/beaches not good here.  Diving/snorkeling via boats to the roof and the Blue Hole great.  So, San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize…a great place to visit, would recommend it, but for us and a longer term venture, not on the list.

Caye Caulker, Belize – Population around 1,300.  Small – friendly – easily walkable.  Not great beaches but a couple of nice swimming spots (one of which is The Split).  Would we visit again – yes…could we imagine wintering there – no, I don’t think so…again, it’s all down to amenities, fresh fruit/vegetables, having to get to mainland Belize or Mexico to do real shopping.  Would we stay for one, two, three or four weeks – yes, I think so…has a really nice vibe.  Would be an awesome place to relax.

Isla Mujeres, Mexico – Population around 12,500.  Very safe & walkable Island 15 minutes by ferry from Cancun.  Nice Beaches.  A great store that sells everything you need (kind of Walmart style) yet close to Cancun for anything you can’t get.  Awesome beaches.  The downtown is definitely touristy which is great when you have visitors.   We liked Isla Mujeres, Mexico and could certainly imagine spending longer periods of time there.  Great off season rates and good airport access to Cancun.

So….we found a couple of places we would enjoy going back to – Caye Caulker & Isla Mujeres.  As always, we start to plan our next trip while still on vacation.  We’re thinking next year it will be Fly to Belize City, going on the south coast of Belize – Dangriga, Hopkins Village, Placencia, then a side trip to Livingston, Guetemala and if possible Lake Atitlan area – ending in the Bay Islands of Honduras.  Only time will tell……..If you are reading this – thanks for sticking with me throughout our 18 days.  It’s now time for us to work off those holidays pounds and start our hiking blogging as the weather here in Ottawa grows warmer!  Adios for now Amigas!! – Johnny & Melva

PS…..Johnny is going to Iceland in April with his Mom for one week and I am going to spend a weekend with my girls in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada while he’s away!

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Mexico/Belize 2016 – Day 14 of 18

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March 4th, 2016

Departed Colindas Cabanas by foot

San Pedro Belize Express Water Taxi to Chetumal, Mexico

Taxi to Bus Station

Shuttle Bus to Cancun, Mexico

Taxi to Ferry Dock

Ferry to Isla Mujeres, Mexico

Accommodation:  Playa Arena Villas, Isla Mujeres, Mexico

At Playa Arena Villas from March 4th to March 8th, 2016

If I were to come to Ambergris Caye or Caye Caulker again, I might do it differently.  However, this trip was all about experiencing a few different places and different modes of travel when in Mexico and Belize!  What you need to do down here is roll with the punches and in fact you need to know what your options are, but not necessarily need to book all things in advance.

5:15 am came fast and we got up, made some breakfast, showered, dressed and packed our toiletries and headed down the beach on our way to the Back Bridge dock.  The walk was about 15 minutes and lovely and quiet at that time of day with only a few security guards and dogs along the way.  In town it was a little busier with workers heading off to work and fellow water taxi passengers heading to the dock.  Water taxi departed promptly at 7.  Although our end goal on the water taxi was Chetumal, Mexico, we had to disembark at San Pedro, Ambergris Caye to do the customs and immigration process.  All kind of interesting.  You get off the boat, leave the terminal, go to the ticket booth where he verifies your tickets and records your passport info…then you get in another line to pass customs and then another line to get your immigration stamp.  Then you go back to the boat which in fact is a different boat altogether.  A surprise, because your bags were left on board, but they switched them over while you are going through the process.  Back on the new boat you take what they call the 90 minute ride to Chetumal – which both times took about 110 minutes 🙂  At some point we realized we (me) had made a slight time zone error when booking our bus tickets.  I had booked a 10:30 bus out of Chetumal to Cancun, when in fact there is an hour time difference.  So we didn’t actually arrive until after the departure time.  We weren’t overly worried as we knew that there was a 12:30 bus and the cost wasn’t prohibitive even if we couldn’t exchange tickets.  HOWEVER, on the boat we found out that for $35 US each they would have a shuttle take us directly to our destination in Cancun.  Our destination being the Ultramar Ferry terminal to Isla Mujeres.  Awesome…a little more money…..far less hassle and a bit faster than the bus…….Our comfortable shuttle wasn’t quite as comfie as described, but good enough….other passengers aboard going to Tulum and Playa Del Carmen.  Another shuttle going to Tulum left at the same time.  Tulum about 2+ hours from Chetumal the two driver’s um…seemed to be racing each other taking turns passing.  I was sitting right behind the driver…and honestly…..as you may recall, I don’t do ‘passenger’ well…..I couldn’t look….and even said “OH F” a couple of times when I looked up and saw we were in the oncoming lane with traffic heading toward us.  The oncoming traffic veers onto the paved shoulder to avoid the collission 🙂  All the while the driver is laughing as he sees the look of fear in the passengers eyes (or so I imagined :)…….

It was Friday and tons of traffic along the way……we found out that in fact the driver would only let us off at bus stations…..the gal on the boat just made things up to get us on the shutttle…..soo…..finally we got to Cancun bus station….hopped in a taxi….and were at the Ferry terminal and bought our ferry ticket just in time to get the next Ferry….strangely, as I was getting on the Ferry I saw someone I knew from Ottawa.  I had heard she had moved to Isla Mujeres a while back…very strange that she should be on the same Ferry I was taking across to Isla Mujeres.  We chatted a bit and it seems she’s really enjoying her new life as a real estate agent on the island.  Kudos to someone who takes the bull by the horn and lives her dream!  Maybe I will be next 🙂

As an OCD planner (who is willing to play it by ear once arrived), I knew that our hotel was a short walk (which I had done on Streetview), so as always I headed off like I knew what I was doing for the 6 or 7 minute walk to our hotel o the lovely Playa Norte.  We knew we had a main floor room, which we didn’t want and unfortunately the fellow on the desk didn’t speak english and my spanish wasn’t good enough to find out if there was a room on the 2nd floor available.  The reason this is important is that since we don’t use AC we like to be on top so we can leave our windows and patio doors open.

OK…hotel is only about 2 years or less old.  Awesome location but much more sterile than we usually go into.  It was one of the few affordable hotels in the location we wanted.  The last 4 days on the beach was important.  We also had to give up our usual ‘view’ rooms.  Truth is, you can see the ocean from our patio, but there are too many palm trees and it’s blocked!  You can hear it though!!

Honestly, after being on uber laid back Caye Caulker Johnny and I were both suffering a bit from Mexican culture shock.  The north end of Isla Mujeres where we were staying is the ‘downtown’ alive with restaurants, vendors, hotels, cars, golf carts, people everywhere.  On top of the disappointing ‘sterile’ room (which really is a perfectly nice room)….we were feeling jolted into a reality we weren’t quite prepared for.  We went out and walked through the main area of restaurants and found a little Mexican place.  The food was ‘ok’ not great….we were tired though, after our full day of travel, ate our dinner and headed back to the room for an early night.

A bit short on photos this day 🙂

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Mexico/Belize 2016 – Day 13 of 18

March 3, 2016

Accommodation: Colindas Cabanas, Caye Caulker

Our last full day on lovely quiet laid back no muss no fuss Caye Caulker.  It was more overcast with a bit of humidity in the air.  We had arranged to be taken out in a panga style boat for a tour around the island.  In fact Caye Caulker is two islands which were split in a hurricane as previously mentioned 🙂  Our captain was a young Guatemalen man who had been raised mostly in mainland Belize.  Great guy with lots of knowledge.  OH…did I mention that our 10 am tour started around 11? 🙂  We sat (comfortably) on the beach for over an hour waiting for the boat to come back from it’s previous trip.  We elected to use a small tour operator who does tours made to suit your needs!  Johnny and I love to understand what makes up an area and the boat tour around the island(s) really helped us to put everything together.  The other part of Caye Caulker is much larger than the more populated side.  It has no businesses or stores and is largely made up for what the guide locals refer to as American houses.  There are a few families of locals as well who wanted to own their own home and the only way to do so was to live on the north side of the split.  The kids have to take boats to school daily.

We learned that there are big caves under a section of the island, we saw an area that was a Tarpon preservation area, we learned (but didn’t see) that there were crocodiles in t he  mangroves.  There is a conservation area at the north end of the north island called The Estuary, where you can go on walked through the mangroves and jungle like area. The private tour was well worth the time and $.  After our tour we had a leisurely lunch where I mothered a young girl who had too much to drink and was almost passed out in the wash room.  When she felt a bit better I lead her back to the table when her boyfriend was on the ground trying to fish his hotel keys out from between cracks in the floor boards….good times 🙂

After lunch and coming completely by surprise…..the dreaded ‘Traveler’s D…..’ commenced and I spent the rest of the day popping metamucil tabs (among other things) and watching the ridiculous day of CNN coverage of Mitt Romney’s big press conference denouncing con man Donald Trump.  Johnny swam, read his book and generally relaxed 🙂  In the evening I felt well enough to pack my and get ready for our early morning trip.  Luckily, and I believe thanks to the metamucil tabs my discomfort was short lived.  Set the alarm for 5:15 am and headed off the sleep!

This is my favourite house on Caye Caulker

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Colinda Cabanas where we stayed – we are the blue/yellow on top left.20160303_11055020160303_110756

Fishermen use these platforms to clean the fish and dump the heads 🙂

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A bunch of tarpons under that water somewhere and the entrance to the cave.20160303_11261620160303_113003

The Split where everyone goes to swim and eat and drink20160303_113019

 

 

 

Mexico/Belize 2016 – Day 12 of 18

March 2, 2016

Accommodation: Colindas Cabanas, Caye Caulker

Wow, 3rd day in Caye Caulker.  We had no plans for the day.  I actually was feeling tired, probably too much sun on the boat yesterday.  As always, up early, read, compute, make breakfast.  Then we walked south from Colinda Cabanas along the beach.  You actually walk across the easterly end of the airport.  There is a path or roadway all along this part of the island that is supposed to take you back to town (the long way).  It was hot hot hot again.  The bushes and path were alive with lizards, iguanas & birds.  A constant rustle as we walked along!  The area is populated but less so.  The path goes along mangroves and it’s not manicured so a ton of things ‘washedup’ in the  mangroves from past storms.  There are quite a few big beach/jungle homes out there.  Very secluded (well as secluded as you can be on a small island).  Unfortunately, we couldn’t do the whole loop as there was an extreme mud section that we just didn’t want to trudge through.  So, back we went!  Again, read for a while…then we decided to go into the village for lunch.  We ate over the water at Rainbow.  Johnny had Fajitas and I had a Conch Burrito.  Very good!  Lots of activity at the dock out front with a catamaran coming in, some snorkel tours, people paddle boarding…..after lunch we wandered through town and then back to the Cabana..by this time it was even crazier hot and we jumped into the water at the end of the dock for a while..then yes…back to read.  Late afternoon the breeze came in and it cooled down…we went for a twilight walk on some different streets.   We made chicken, rice & tomatoes for dinner, went out to the dock to star gaze…Orion’s belt was quite prominent, Sirius was shining brightly and Jupiter looked down at us.  We saw a number of cruise ships go by – probably en route to Cozumel, MX.

I’m not sure whether I mentioned it or not, but we don’t use AC when we travel, nor do we use it at home.  About the only time I use AC would be in my car if I have clients with me.  First of all, I believe AC makes you sick….and that you become so accustomed to AC that you don’t want to go outside on warm days.  So, life is more natural and dealing with hot weather is actually more bearable without AC.  We also like to stay in more basic,ordinary accommodation.  It just feels wrong to live in the lap of luxury when the people around you are living so simply.  I never quite understand how someone can go to an island or beach location and never leave there resort.  It confounds me 🙂

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Mexico/Belize 2016 – Day 11 of 18

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March 1, 2016

Accommodation: Colindas Cabanas, Caye Caulker

Woke up really groggy on Day 11….it was hot and sunny!  We had decided the night before to go on a half day snorkel tour in the afternoon.  We have been within 2 miles of the 2nd largest barrier reef in the world for more than one week…love to snorkel and still haven’t gone out..we did the 1 pm with Carlos Tours.  There were only 4 of us and we went on a rather comfy speed boat (all of 5 minutes to the reef)….we went to 3 spots….to reefs and one area where the sting rays and nurse sharks gather….sooo many rays…sooo many sharks…amazing!  I have to admit that pulling my body in and out of a boat is a challenge, but somehow with a little assistance I manage to get the job done 🙂  If we had done nothing more than relax on the boat as it bobbed around in the water I would have been a happy camper!  The other two passengers on the boat were two architectural grads from Montreal off on a 7 week trip through Mexico, Guatemala & Belize.  Really nice young men who seemed to be having a great time!

Once back we were starving and showed off the sea salt and headed to a restaurant recommended by our snorkel guy Romeo.  Some dark clouds had rolled in and we walked in a tropical shower – refreshing!  We arrived at Reina’s for dinner….it was a bit early by Belizean standards so we sipped our drinks, munched on some chips and salsa and waited for the catch to come in and the barbecue to heat up.  They grill in drum like bbq’s on coals that are heated to perfection, no clue what the coals are made of but the smell of the fire alone is amazing!  I had coconut seafood (shrimp and conch) curry and Johnny had Jerk Chicken.  The owner of the restaurant – Elvis was a great guy and amazing chef!   We went for a long walk after dinner and as always read for a little while before having an early night.  No plans for Wednesday yet…only time will tell!

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Mexico/Belize 2016 – Day 10 of 18

February 29, 2016

Departed Banana Beach Resort, San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize

Walk or Taxi to water taxi dock

San Pedro – Jet Express water taxi to Caye Caulker, Belize

Accommodation: Colindas Cabanas, Caye Caulker

At Colindas Cabanas February 29th to March 4th, 2016.

29 days in February – Leap Year!

Island time has set in.  Here it is Wednesday March 2nd and I’m finally writing about February 29th *sigh*….love my mornings….sitting on the terrace with a cup of great Belizean coffee (I’ve been spelling Belizean wrong in all previous posts)…….sun is rising…..waves are lapping…..gentle wind…..birds chatting and singing……pelicans sweeping down and plunging into the water to steal away their breakfast from the ocean blue (green).  Uhh huhhhhh……this IS the life.  I’m so glad we gave up one week all inclusives.  You don’t really get to unwind and relax in a mere 7 days.  A longer vacation allows you to do what you want to do when you are ready…..no cramming things in to get it done.

Day 10 was the day we had to depart San Pedro, Ambergris Caye for Caye Caulker.  There are fairly frequent water taxis and the check in wasn’t until 2 pm…..the trip only 30 minutes…..so we weren’t in a hurry.  Awoke, puttered around gathering and putting things away…..went for breakfast….finished packing……sat on the beach and read then grabbed a cab to  down town and the San Pedro Belize Express water taxi.  Our original thought had been to have lunch and take the 1 pm water taxi, but we were on time for the 11:30 so headed over early.  30 minutes later we were on the dock in Caye Caulke and I had already fallen in love 🙂  Caye Caulker is small – 8 km north to south and 1.6 km at it’s widest point east to west.  When you stand on the dock on the east side you can see the water on the west side…..my best case scenario – surrounded by water 🙂 !!  Honestly, if I could live on a boat I probably would.  They are downright expensive though *sigh*….so….here we are in Caye Caulker, wandered down the street…found a great little restaurant and had a nice lunch.  Then we hit the beach for the 10 minute walk to our new home for 4 days – Colinda Cabanas!  Awesome little place…..we had Cabana #2 beach front upper unit….only 4 on the water the rest are behind.  Quintessential island bright blue and yellow, big deck, palm trees…..I am HOME!  Clean, spacious, modern facilities a beautiful dock out front with a palapa and hammocks.   The manager Juan was amazing, recommending things to do, places to eat.  Our room comes with bicycles so it didn’t take long for us to hop on the bikes and explore town.  There are 3 main north south streets in the village and a number of east west streets.  We immediately rode down to the split….the is a gap which legend says was caused by a hurricane and it divides the island into two.  The split is the gathering spot with great swimming and a couple of beach bars, rental places.  Very much the hanging out spot.  Although there is a very young crowd in Caye Caulker you can still find oldies like us wandering the streets with huge smiles on their faces 🙂

We stopped for some groceries on the way home, had a rest, read a little then walked back into the village to find a place for dinner.  We ended up choosing a place called Belizean Flava – up stairs restaurant….but the food is actually cooked on a BBQ out front on the street.  We both ended up having grilled conch, with great sides.  Two rum punches and a dessert come with each meal.  Total cost was $56 BZD – 28 US.  We then happily wandered home, read a bit more and went to sleep.  My only issue with Colinda Cabanas is that the bed is double and the pillows not quite as nice.  I’m a gal who appreciates a soft feathery pillow 🙂  Banana Beach in San Pedro had an awesome King comfie bed with near perfect pillows for me 🙂

 

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Mexico/Belize 2016 – Day 5 of 18

February 24, 2016

Accommodation:  Banana Beach Resort, San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize

At Banana Beach February 22nd to February 29th, 2016.

Today would have been my dear old Mum’s 91st birthday.  Happy Birthday Mum.  I love you and miss you xoxo

Bad Wifi prevented me from posting this on Day 5…so here it is on Day 11….

Crazy Canadians….hot hot hot! Our main goal for this vacation was to get out and walk walk walk. For anyone who knows me well, they will understand that in 2015 I set out on a regime to lose a bit of weight (yes I am smaller than I was one year ago by about 50 lbs). The diet aspect is really difficult to keep up so I need to rely upon walking/exercise to help me out. So, last year we went hiking almost every weekend and for walks in the evening. The winter reared it’s ugly head and the walking although still happening is less frequent with shorter durations. So……when one gets to the land of endless summer one must walk! However, what I have discovered here in Ambergris Caye is that walking (except along the beach) doesn’t seem all that normal. I honestly think Johnny and I are the only people who set out in the morning ‘on foot’. Everyone seems to rent golf carts to get from A to B. Even if they only have to go a few blocks for groceries, they jump in their cart. Strange. I guess I realized it a bit in advance when I was reading trip advisor reviews for our hotel. We are about 1.5 to 2.0 MILES from the centre of town where all the action is. The reviews of this hotel often said…nice little hotel but too far to walk into town. Of course, Johnny and I have walked into town each and every day and one day more than once.

OK….getting to Day 5…….it was HOTTTTTT….31 plus humdity, very little breeze. We walked the beach route into centre of town. Did I mention it was HOT??? Even the Belizians were sweating and complaining. Aparentally even they don’t like this type of weather. However, the difference between Canadians and Belizians is that they are smart enough to take it easy on days like this. NOT us! We walked and walked to the bridge, along the river, up and down the beach. Admittedly, we did stop for virgin drinks to cool down at one seaside restaurant with HUGE FANS!

Essentially, we just wandered, snapped photos, went out for lunch, then cabbed back to the hotel to relax on the beach for the rest of the day. We have a kitchen in our suite and cooked our own meal and that was that for Day 5 🙂

You know it’s hot when I wear a baseball cap for the first time in my life.

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Mexico/Belize 2016 – Day 9 of 18

February 28, 2016

Accommodation:  Banana Beach Resort, San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize

At Banana Beach February 22nd to February 29th, 2016.

Awoke to an overcast rainy morning. We had scheduled our first snorkel trip for 1:45 pm. Looked at weatherr forecast and it called for gray sky all day but the rain would stop and high would be 26c. So, not bad…..we were going to snorkel at Mexico Rocks a shallow site. After breakfast we went for a walk, picked up a few odds and ends for dinner and came back to the hotel to relax and read. The weather really wasn’t improving. We had checked with the tour people and the snorkel trip was still on. Got into our swim suits & packed our towels & headed down to the dock area to wait for the boat. At this point we really didn’t want to go, but weren’t going to cancel. Lo and behold the security guard came up to us and said the tour gal needed to see us! So….it was cancelled. No snorkel trip! Yeah 🙂 We went back to the room, changed out of our suits and talked about what to do next. We decided to rent a golf cart and go further south on the island than our walk earlier in the week took us.

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We had heard of a Mayan ruin site called Marcos Gonzalez, so we headed out there! A ton of new waterfront estates on the go out there, more condo buildings, but all looked fairly quiet and desolate. FYI, it was in fact lightly raining, so a perfect time to be in a covered golf cart out exploring on bumpy roads! We stopped at some ‘For Sale’ waterfront lots and strolled around them. We had passed the ruin site on the way out and stopped on the way back. There was no-one there and Johnny was really interested in walking to the ruin site which was about 1/4 of a mile through jungle and mangroves on a rudimentary boardwalk. Reluctantly, I joined him. Once I got over my fear that the boards were going to split open beneath my feet it was an interesting walk 🙂 The ruin site is um…well…..I think a place where you need to imagine what was once there aided by little pictures describing what the area wouldhave been like when the Mayans were there. It was pretty muddy and from somewhere I could smell the aroma of um….’pot’……we encountered mosquitos for the first time and decided that perhaps since we weren’t altogether alone out there we would high tail it back to the golf cart…and that we did 🙂

Instead of going back to the hotel we decided to head downtown. We passed a nice little beach bar and decided to partake of Happy Hour at Wayo’s Beach Bar. Interesting little place, with a few American ‘locals’…who lived/worked in Ambergris Caye. A couple of cute little long haired Chihuahuas too 🙂 Johnny had a beer and I had two panty rippers and then we headed back to the hotel. It was our last night, so we had some cocktails to finish off the bottle of Rum we had purchased on our first day at the hotel. We then went to the hotel bar (for the first time) had another cocktail and met this wonderful couple from Minnesota who had just arrived (it was their 9th visit to Ambergris Caye and most often at this very same resort). They were great fun, but alas it was time for our dinner so we headed back to our room and had an early night (cocktails will do that too you 🙂

 

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Now….for a message from my personal sponsor…..if you had the patience to look through any of my past blogs done during past vacations you would know that I am prone to tummy issues wherever I travel (and even at home). In the past year I have worked on that and discovered that Metamucil is my best friend and helpsme a lot. I always do my Dukarol booster before vacation and this year I brought a ‘new friend’ along with me. This friend is a Traveler’s Probiotic. Most probiotics require refrigeration, but this one is labelled to withstand 30 days without refrigeration. I started taking it a few days before vacation and take one daily along with 4 to 6 metamucil’s daily. I had one day of minor ‘rumbling’ in my tummy with no sickness attached…..and here I am on the actual Day 10 with no issues! Thank you for listening 🙂 !!!!!

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Mexico/Belize 2016 – Day 8 of 18

February 27, 2016

Accommodation:  Banana Beach Resort, San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize

At Banana Beach February 22nd to February 29th, 2016.

Oh man…..the time is flying……please MAKE IT STOP 🙂 ! We are really liking Ambergris Caye as much for its walkability and for it’s laid back lifestylen as for it’s somewhat off the beaten path location. It’s a very simple place, no fancy places to sell the tourists jewels and designer clothing. To some degree I believe it’s a community before it is a tourist destination. Oh sure, there are a ton of hotels and touristy things to do, but the difference is that the people who come here seem to be real people who want to travel to real places. To say it is totally our type of place would be an understatement. It’s just the right fit! The weather has been far from stellar from a ‘beach’ vacation point of view….but that’s ok with us….we prefer it a bit cooler so that I have the energy to wander about. As much as we mostly vacation in hot places….I don’t actually function well in heat and humidity. Of course, we are going snorkelling tomorrow today (Day 9) so I might be wishing it was sunny and warmer then 🙂

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Day 8…..we wandered south of the hotel….walked for about two hours – more like a mosey (no clue how one spells that 🙂 We went the road for about 50 minutes. There were a few restaurants but all closed. The need to use ‘facilities’ arose and we wandered into a condo hotel where they were quite gracious and allowed the use of their facilities. On the way back we took the beach. You can walk for miles and miles and miles along the beach here. I may have mentioned it’s not traditional beach ….. in order to stop erosion they have man made breakwaters built up with in-filled flat beach. What we really noticed is that it is all very quiet…doesn’t seem like a lot of guests….not all the noisy smoking, drunken touristas you find at an all inclusive….soooooo calm and peaceful sigh of happiness……yet another need to ‘stop’ and again, the condo hotel more than happily allowed the use…..we got a coke and sat at the bar…..all friendly, all welcoming.

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The rest of the afternoon we hung out on the beach sipping sweet drinks and eating amazing chicken nachos. A bit later we walked into town (again, about 3 km away) and headed to the restaurant we had tried to go to the night before – Elvies. It is a nice restaurant on the middle street…..sand floor….nice decor, a guitar player and the food was good….but in the end, I’m thinking it was more touristy than we tend to like. We love hole in the wall not ‘the place you have to be’ places best! So, it was good….there was a degree of ambience….it was the most expensive meal to date (171 BZD) (85.50 US) and I wouldn’t hurry back 🙂 Give me tacos on the beach any day of the week!

By the time dinner was over we were soooo tired we jumped in a cab and headed back to the hotel where our rituals always to read for a while then head off to Belizian slumber land.

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