Belizean sunrise

Friday, 29 April 2011

Easter

easter is a very big 4-day holiday in Belize. many stores and offices closed down on thursday evening and reopened again on tuesday after easter. they party very hard on thursday evening and then on good friday they don't sell any alcohol anywhere. saturday is another party day and then on sunday easter it seems to slow down again. this is the big vacation holiday where everybody comes from inland to the beaches. it's also a big holiday where all the families comes to visit their relatives who live near the beach. they even have a big bikini contest on the beach on easter sunday. even though it is a big family occasion apparently the girls get up on stage and get a little wild with their dances. I missed it because we went out fishing that day. Darn.

In all the trips I've taken to placencia I've never seen so many people in the village. it seems to be a bigger holiday than christmas. it is something that I don't really enjoy so I can see now why people stay away from the beach areas this time of the year. it seems to be the time of the yeat when all the locals get together with their relatives. I remember seeing pictures of huatulco mexico that this holiday was a day when the beaches were so packed it was hard to find a place to even sit.

San Salvador airport

I'm sitting in the Taca lounge at the san salvador airport drinking johnny walker. johnny must be a national hero here because it's all the scotch they have in the duty free shops. I stopped at 1 of the shops because they were giving away free samples. But I quickly learned there is a language barrier when I tried to talk with the lovely young ladies working in the shop. even when I got a lady that spoke some english it seems that my accent or something must be some kind of a barrier since we were not able to communicate very well. so I had to walk out without buying anything. the prices are pretty good but it's not worth the hassle hauling around the bottles.

For some strange reason I booked a 7 hour layover here in san salvador so what else is there to do but sit around and drink. at least it's nice to have a lounge for business class passengersh. They also have free sandwiches but they're like a mini croissant with a small chunk of turkey in them. it will take probably 6 or 7 of them to fill me up for lunch. with the johnny walker to wash them down I may be able to take a nap. well shit they ran out of the little croissants and they will not get any more food until 6

I enjoy flying with taca airlines because their business class service is not as expensive as most airlines and they have fairly new airplanes and facilities. taca airlines is a conglomerate of several central american airlines. they have excellent customer service and are evolving into quite the airlines for the area.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Week 3 - Weather break

We've finally had a nice break in the weather.  It was pretty brutal for almost a week.  Wind shifted around to the north and it's a bit cooler and less humid.  Nice breeze most of the day too, and part of the night.  High clouds block sun most of the time so it is quite pleasant.

Went down to the end of the peninsula and fished from the beach last night with a young local guy I know.  It's where the Caribbean Sea meets the Placencia Bay.  A bit windy but nice evening.  We caught several snapper but all too small to eat - other than the largest one he kept for his cousin to make soup.  But it was fun.

Got my fresh fruit and eggs again today.  I go about every 2-3 days. So cheap I almost feel guilty - $3-4US for a basket full.  My biggest chore some days is cleaning the fruit - papaya, pineapples, cantaloupe, mango, banana, coconuts, watermelon, and sometimes things they sell me I've never seen or heard of.  I buy oranges at $1/dozen and squeeze fresh juice daily - although it can be a bit tedious with the cheap juicer I have.  But I have plenty of time.

Most of the dairy, meat, chicken and eggs come from the Mennonite farmers inland.  They also make a lot of the furniture.  They've added a lot to the economy of Belize.  The fruit is grown everywhere.  Bananas and citrus are major exports so they are usually quite cheap.  Several small trucks bring produce in from the outlying areas and set up stands around town.

Oddly there are 5 "grocery" stores in the village of Placencia - and a 6th being built on the north edge of town.   That seems unusual to me since there are only around 700-800 local people in the village - but with visitors and ex-pats up the peninsula they all seem to have a good following.  The oldest store, Wallen's,  was started by an American ex-pat about 25 years ago.  He and his wife live next to where I'm stayting and they have  4 grown kids who help in the businesses.  They have expanded to a pharmacy, a hardware store, and the distributorship for Coke products and the local beers Beliken and Lighthouse.   All using returnable bottles.

The other groceries are owned mostly by Chinese.  No one seems to know why but most of the groceries stores in Belize are owned by Chinese.  They've also started up "Chinese" restaurants in most larger towns which provide a nice change from the local Belizean fare.   Belize is quite the United Nation.

Friday, 1 April 2011

Placencia Belize - 3rd time

083 - U2 - I Still Haven\'t Found What I\'m Looking For

Powered by mp3skull.com I should have started this Blog a long time ago but oh well, never too late.

I'm here in Placencia for my 3rd trip since Aug 2010.   Came here at end of August for a Tradewinds Sailing Cruise and spent an extra week checking out 2 other parts of Belize:  the most popular area Ambergris Cay, and San Ignacio in western Belize's Cayo District.

Came back in Oct-Nov 2010 to Placencia for 3 weeks and stayed at 2 properties that were for sale to see how  I liked it.  Two weeks in an older beach house in Maya Beach, about 8 miles up the Peninsula, which is mostly expats.  Then one week in a new condo at the far west tip of Peninsula, from where I took the background picture.  I think I prefer near the village.

Hard to explain the appeal of Placencia.  Not for everyone.  Not even sure it's for me.  Pretty hot and humid.  But it is in the tropics..duhhh.  But you can take a siesta during the hot part of the day.

I had met a nice lady in Nov who had an apt which was available so am now here for 6 weeks or so.  It's small but very nice and all one needs.  Nice location on the north edge of town.  One block from beach and   less than that to the lagoon the other way.  The actual village is only a mile long and maybe 3 blocks wide from the sea to the lagoon.

The narrow Placencia Peninsula runs another 15 miles north and there is a lot of growth by North Americans along that stretch.  Especially now that the main (and only) road has been paved.  Even an international airport being built.

Went to the annual "Taste of the Peninsula" and "fireman's ball" tonight.  Fund raiser for volunteer fire dept.  Most of the town was there - well, maybe more like most of the North Americans.  There is that separation at times.  Held at Tipsy Tuna open-air bar right on the beach.  Perfect evening...80ish with nice sea breeze.   Lots of  fun.  Great food...most restaurants made a special dish.  Fire dancer was pretty cool.

Slowly meeting more people.  Takes time for me.  But Belize is a great place to get away alone if you want.