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19 More Sleeps!!!

November flew!  My oldest daughter and I went on a Mom/Daughter road trip to celebrate her 30th birthday!  She is a nurse and I picked her up at the hospital at 7:30 a.m. after an all night shift and we hit the 417 – Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada bound!  She nodded off for a few moments but for the most part stayed awake to entertain me along the way.  The weather was clear, the roads were dry and we arrived at the home of my youngest daughter not long after dark.

We spent 3 nights seeing the  sights of Saint John (we have both been there before)…but our prime goal had been to watch the youngest daughter playing in a Football game on Saturday morning…..welllll……she went early and we wandered over once the game was started, couldn’t see her on the field…but there she was on the side lines….as we got closer we realized she was holding a big bag of ice on her knee and she looked in pain….DARN….she insisted upon staying at the game to watch her team mates (they won)…..then we headed to emerge to have the leg checked out….the emerge doctor prescribed crutches and recommended a visit to her doctor the following week….it was painful and she had a tough few weeks but luckily it didn’t require surgery.  She was a trooper all weekend and she hobbled around on crutches and we stilled enjoyed ourselves.

Monday morning the oldest and I hopped into the car and headed to Prince Edward Island where we were going to go to our new cottage to see what had been left behind  (the sale had closed on October 17th).  We stopped in Shediac, NB for lunch and a photo shoot with the giant lobster, we dropped by a great 2nd hand/antique store in Charlottetown and then headed out to Savage Harbour, PEI to see the new cottage.  My daughter hadn’t been there before, but she loved the cottage, the space and especially the BEACH!  It was a cool November day and there were no lights or heat at the cottage (power off) so we really just did a walk-through, dropped off a few things we had brought down then we headed off on a tour of the the north shore, round to Summerside and then back to Charlottetown and off to dinner at a nice restaurant where we had lobster for the 2nd?  or was it 3rd time in 4 days? 🙂

Early Tuesday we left Charlottetown, stopped at tourist store near the Confederation Bridge, did out ‘Anne of Green Gables’ dress up photos and turned the car toward Quebec City.  Arrived in Quebec City around 5 pm ish…..checked into our awesome little boutique hotel in lower town Old Quebec…did some wandering, grabbed a bite to eat….and watched the U.S. Elections *sigh*…..SIGH…..SIGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.

Wednesday morning, breakfast, wandered around Quebec City for a while longer then hopped into the car and headed back home to Ottawa.

SO……today, it’s December 12th……..weeks have gone by……..winter has started and my husband and I are counting the sleeps until we head off to spend our first Christmas on a Sandy Beach!  Last year I made the decision that 2016 was going to be the away for Christmas trip…future years we may have grand children and feel the ‘tug’ to be near the family…..so …December 24th @ 6 a.m. we head off to Bavaro Beach in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic…..2 weeks…..yipppeeeee!  Home again on January 7, 2017…..STAY TUNED!

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 17 of 18

March 7th, 2016

Accommodation:  Playa Arena Villas, Isla Mujeres, Mexico

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

Hola!  Last full day of vacation *sigh sigh sigh sigh*………SIGH!   The day promised to be warm and sunny so we started off after breakfast on a walk.  Not a long walk through, we wanted to make this day mostly about beach/ocean time and dinner out.  We had prepared most of our meals in our wee kitchen in Isla Mujeres, so today was eat out lunch & dinner day!   This morning we decided to go down and look at a couple more hotel prospects for a future visit.  We found a great little one on the east side and they showed us a King suite ocean front room.  Although it didn’t have a kitchen it did have a fridge and they served breakfast.  So..you could do lunch stuff and then go out for dinner.  Loved the place, love the King room with a little sofa/lounge area with awesome views and the greatest terrace with lounge chairs and a BIG TUB on the balcony!  This place is a definite contender for a future trip!  Hmm…wonderful it’s available forever starting tomorrow?

We walked through town and I snapped shots of everything colourful 🙂  Bought a few fridge magnets (we have a fridge magnet collection from our travels) and then headed back to suit up and hit the beach!  We really aren’t sit in the sun people so we used the umbrella, chatted to the couple sitting next to us (from Alberta), took a swim (Johnny took a few swims) and read our books.  Ordered lunch on the beach, had a couple of cocktails and late afternoon headed back to room to relax before dinner.  Tried to have a nap but couldn’t.  Realized that although we had been in the shade most of the time we had both somehow taken in WAY too much sun.  Of course, that tired me out and I felt a bit off but we still headed out for dinner.  The really well rated good restaurants are more in the south end of the Island and we really didn’t feel like cabbing it up there so I found what was one of the better rated down-town restaurants and we ate at Qubano – a Cuban restaurant.  Food was great, but honestly, I was feeling off (just from sun) and we ate our tasty food and headed back to the room where we just watched HBO and had an early night.  So much for the big night out, huh?  It started getting really windy in the evening and it continued all through the night and as you know, I write this the next day (and mix-up my tenses constantly) and I can report is is still window on day 18 of 18….overcast….calling for rain – the perfect day to prepare to leave.  Catch you later……Day 18 of 18 will be from home and will contain a recap and my overall impression of our moving about vacation!!

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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 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 7 of 18

February 26, 2016

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

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

The nice thing about taking more than a week away is not needing to cram your activities into your relaxation time! On Day 6 we decided it was high time we did something other than walk around. We booked two trips. For Day 7 it was a tour to the mainland to see some Mayan Ruins and then Cave Tubing. The weather was still coolish and gray (by Caribbean standards), not so bad for a Canadian 🙂 7 am departure meant up at 5:30/6:00 (depending upon whether you are Melva or Johnny) out to the dock for 7 am to wait until almost 7:30 for the 7 am boat 🙂 A largish open boat with a canopy for a 1.5 hr trip to the Mainland in gray coolish weather.

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A bit windy and chilly, but fun just the same! We sat in the only forward facing seats at the back of the boat and the ride wasn’t quite as bumpy or not quite as awkward as it was for everyone sitting along the sides facing in! We passed our next destination Caye Caulker, a really small Island and a few other cayes along the way. The water is really shallow in this area only a couple of feet in some places. The captain had to keep checking the motors to make certain they weren’t stirring up the sand (meaning the motor was touching bottom). The channel that they go across is marked with big sticks stuck into the ground. There are also sticks with little markers on them that denote where the locals leave their traps for some form of fishing.

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After zipping between a couple of small cayes in mangroves we came to the mouth of a river with mangroves on both sides where we slowed down and they fend us a breakfast of fresh orange juice and ham and cheese on a Johnny Cake (kind of like a hamburger bun but a different texture). In the mangrove we saw some interesting birds and some amazing vines. I love mangroves!

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We got into high speed for a short distance and approached the dock where we hopped out.

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In our tour there were only 6 of us in a small van plus the driver and our tour guide Aaron (pronounced A ron). The other two were young couples (without their little kids). Anne & Matt from Chicago, IL and Tatjana & Joey from Austin, TX. We got to know each other all quite well because it seems we spent most of the day in the van the men drinking beer and the women downing rum punch! Joey and I hit it off and we had a lot of interesting conversations and decided we were two peas in a pod….as it turns out we are also both Scorpio and both in Sales…..cut from the same mould 🙂 LOL, we didn’t exchange astrological signs until the ride home after the 3rd or 4th rum punch 🙂

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OK..the tour – first stop Xunantunich Ruin. Only about 40 km from the Guatemalan border you can actually see Guatamala from the top of the tallest temple/palace. Not all of the temples on the site have been excavated and some are only partially excavated. Aaron told us that unfortunately the elements aren’t kind to the ruins and exposure degrades the condition. It is a beautiful site on top of a hill with sweeping 360 degree views over beautiful country side. They have built stairs up the sides so that you don’t walk on the main stairs and you are able to reach the top. Even these steps are a bit challenging and a wee bit scary with no railings 🙂 Well worth the trip up though! I didn’t actually realize that the temples are solid and that the elite of the Mayan society lives on roofed terraces along the sides. It really wasn’t difficult to imagine daily life occurring.

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We spent about an hour (or less) at the ruins, then hopped back in the van and headed to San Ignacio for a tasty lunch of chicken & rice (and other things)!

After lunch another ride in the van to Jaguar Paw. We donned our life jackets & helmets with head lamps, picked up our inner tube and hiked through the jungle (and across the river) to the start of the cave system. Bathing suits and water shoes were the requirements for this trip! Just Anne & Matt & Johnny & I were on this trip. Tatjana and Joey went zip-lining at the same site. Our guide Elmer tethered our rafts and we hopped on and float down the river as he told us all about the formation of the limestone caves, where we saw crystals and st (and you know..all that rocky stuff)…..lots of holes where bats like to hang out (literally) and we even saw one cluster of bats…a whole bunch of them huddled up together. We passed a sink hole (cenote). The cave is about one mile along and really doesn’t take long to get through but it was worth it!

After that we changed, hopped back in the van and Aaron plied us with cocktails for the hour long trip back to the boat where we had a VERY chilly trip back to Ambergris Caye! All well worth it though – not complainin’ 🙂 !!! Johnny and I changed and walked into town along the beach (about 3 km which we do once or twice daily)…..we wanted to try out a certain restaurant but unfortunately they had a reservation for 30 and we couldn’t get in – maybe try it tonight or tomorrow before we leave Ambergris Caye. We went to a little beach restaurant had a great meal and then so very tired from our long day grabbed a taxi back to our San Pedro home away from home. Sleep came fast! Saturday (which technically is today as I type) the weather is looking the same as it was the last two days, I think we will relax, walk, read….it’s a tough one 🙂 Sunday we are finally going on a snorkel trip!

 

Mexico/Belize 2016 – Day 6 of 18

February 25, 2016

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

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

Last night was kind of pre-stormy weather that never turned into a storm. However the wind did knock the electricity out (thereby also knocking the water pumps out) on and off for a few hours. Again, this morning it went off for a while so no shower water. We threw on yesterday’s clothing and went down in our unwashed state for breakfast! The temperature had gone from 31c and sunny yesterday to below 20c this morning with a cloudy sky. After breakfast we headed back to the room where a short time later the water came back on (there is a generator for the lights, it just doesn’t power the pumps) and we showered up and headed off for a BIG walk. Absolutely perfect weather for a big walk too! We explored the inner streets of San Pedro (we avoid them in the heat of the day), checking out the shops and facilities. At some point we took a lunch break at Fido’s (prounced Feedos) and then decided it was time to rent a golf car (the main mode of transportation here) and head off to the north end of the Island (the other side of the bridge).

We suggested to the car rental fellow that we might like to go to ‘Secret” Beach and he said, oh no, you don’t want to go there, it will take 45 minutes and the roads are incredibly bumpy. Johnny and I actually thought we would listen to him….until…..after going a few miles north we saw the sign to Secret Beach 🙂 Muhahahhahahahahahhaha…..like two bad school kids, we hung a left and peeled it on our gas motored cart toward the rocky wash boardy narrow road enroute to SECRET BEACH! Apparentally it has only recently been discovered as a beach destination (Ambergris Caye isn’t known for it’s beaches…lots of seagrass and shallow waters)…..after 40 minutes or so off swerving to avoid pot holes, breaking to avoid humongous rocks we finally made it to Secret Beach! It’s quite beautiful on the open ocean. Honestly, it was windy and cold though and apparentally the water wasn’t as calm and clear as it usually is, but we had at least been there…it was a Secret no longer!

Now, from a Realtor point of view, here is what is interesting! This entire area is apparentally owned by one person and it has been subdivided into lots with little lot # signs just like would see at home. It covers a very large chunk of land and includes mangrove front, ocean front and non-water lots. There had to be hundreds of lots subdivided, and we saw maybe 5 or 6 houses and no other homes started…here’s hoping the developer is loaded…it may take quite a while to fill those lots up.

The need to relieve ourselves upon arrival at SECRET Beach was strong 🙂 There was a sign post with little arrow style signs saying Restrooms (3 Belize Dollars) (1.50 US), cold drinks, etc…so we headed down the driveway. At the end of the Driveway was a big house and two small colourful cabanas on stilts. A woman (American) appeared in the doorway of the big house and asked if we needed anything and we told her indeed we needed to use the restrooms. So, we gave her our 6 BZD and used the very clean facilities (which were padlocked…she gave us a key). We had a wee chat with her and she told us that she and her husband were from Utah and had bought this property sight unseen and moved here in April of last year. Originally, they were just building a place for themselves to live, but it had blossomed into a B & B concept and they started to see the need for restrooms and cold drinks so they added those pay services to their repertoire. The B & B isn’t up and running yet because they are waiting to receive their permit to run it. A gorgeous although somewhat remote location if you want to be almost off the grid. They are solar powered, cute as a button and evolving as the need arises! LOVE their entrepreneurial spirit.

We then hopped back into the golf cart and headed the 40/45 minutes back into San Pedro town, where we dropped off the cart and walked back to our hotel (which is a couple of miles out of town). I’ve decided to start typing things in word to cut and paste into the blog once I have internet. This way everything is fresh in my mind! Did I mention that we are having our evening cocktails (rum & diet coke with fresh lime) and nacho chips with spicy mango salso? Yummm 🙂

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Mexico/Belize 2016 Day 2 of 18

February 21, 2016

Departed Hacienda Morelos via Taxi to Bus Stop at Seven Eleven (711)

Bus from Puerto Morelos to Tulum, Mexico Bus Station

Taxi to the hotel

Accommodation:  Piedra Escondida, Tulum

 

Ola!  Uploading on slow Wifi is best done early in the morning, thus I come to you from Tulum, Mexico in fact on Day 3 but writing about Day 2 commencing at 5:23 a.m.!  Shortly after I woke up this morning it started to rain.  Works well actually, today is a travel day!  So, back to Day 2.

I did not sleep well at all on night 1 – in fact I woke up at about 3:30 a.m…..finally got dressed and sat outside to write my Day 1 blog.  When I finally decided to start my day around 6 am the water in our room was off….wandered over to the front desk and they were waiting for someone to come in and fix.  In the meantime, we organized our gear, went for a short walk, had breakfast and finally the water was back on to complete our morning rituals, just in time to grab a taxi to the bus stop up near the 711 at the highway.  Taking ADO buses is a fairly simple thing.  If you do it yourself you need to realize they assign you seat numbers when you purchase – but don’t expect to actually get the seat you ordered.  So far on the two buses we have taken we have ended up at the back by the washroom.  Might I suggest that location is NOT optimum…..*sniff*…….so…..my suggestion and future actin will be to move forward when seats closer to the front open up 🙂  While waiting for the bus a few buses came through, they weren’t marked so you had to go up and ask the driver where he was going.  Finally the Tulum bus arrived!  We arre carrying packs and stow our luggage in the overhead, not recommended to put it underneath ‘just in case’.  The bus was filled with Mexican families heading off to the beautiful parks and cenotes between Cancun and Tulum.  The bus stapped about 4 x between Puerto Morelos and Tulum.  Once arrived at Tulum Centro we grabbed a cab and within 10 minutes were at our hotel.  This time we struck gold!  Piedras Escondida is beautiful, the beach nestled between two large rock formation.  The decor with a clean and modern old world Mexico feel.  Check in wasn’t until 3 so we had a few hours to wander down the Tulum beach, grab some lunch at an open air ocean front restaurant and really get a feel for the area.  The beach was beautiful.  The hotels keep the sargassum at bay.  However, later in the day on a walk through less developed areas there was a lot more sargassum.  Sargassum has recently become a major problem in the Caribbean, read a little about it here.

Our day was pretty typical, hit the beach, bounced around in the surf – there were some GREAT waves to jump.  Reading on our patio, cocktails at 4 pm (dark rum) then a walk for about 1.5 hours.  Tulum beach area is beautiful, lots of really interesting little hotels.  No high rise hotels.  Lots of little shops and restaurants.  The street along the beach is very busy and no side walks in a lot of places.  Bicycle rental is a big thing, but not for us on the busy narrow street.  It was a great walk though!  Once back at the hotel we changed and headed off for dinner on the out door patio.  The wind was still strong but they have wind screens to protect you from the gusts.  Johnny had a great chicken/rice meal and Ihad shrimp.  Although tasty, my shrimp had that chlorine taste that you often find with seafood in the Caribbean.  It was a bit stronger than usual.  To read more about this problem click here.

After dinner we head to our room, windows open and went to sleep with the sound of the  surf and a gentle breeze to keep us cool.

If coming to Tulum and staying in a smaller eco friendly resort such as Piedra Escondada you need to understand that these hotels provide their own electricity often through solar, small windmills, generators etc.  They  have septic rather than local sewer systems.  Access to AC happens only at certain times of the night.  We don’t actually use AC so not an issue for us.  However, if you are one to demand your creature comforts, this style of accommodation might not be for you.  However, just in case I haven’t made it perfectly clear, we had an awesome day in Tulum and would absolutely come back to both Tulum and this hotel.  We really did feel like we were in paradise!

6:49 a.m….time to prepare for the next great bus, taxi, water taxi adventure!  My next post will be from Ambergris Caye in Belize!!

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