Traffic jam, island-style

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Taxis and golf carts are lined up along Coconut Avenue waiting to get through a road repair zone in San Pedro.
Taxis and golf carts are lined up along Coconut Avenue waiting to get through a road repair zone in San Pedro.

For the longest time last night we were the only diners in Wet Willy’s, a restaurant we chose for convenience and not the name. Wet Willy’s is an open-air palapa bar and restaurant that sits on the end of the pier across  from our inn.

Seeing as Wednesday night was Ladies Night at Wet Willy’s, we were concerned that the joint might be packed.

No worries. All the hot action started later, long after we were sound asleep. If there was any action at all. San Pedro is much quieter than I imagined. There are no teeming throngs of tourists rushing down narrow streets like rainwater in the open gutter.

Alternative route to the crowded, noisy streets in San Pedro? The beach sidewalk. This morning we had it practically to ourselves during a post-breakfast walk.
Alternative route to the crowded, noisy streets in San Pedro? The beach sidewalk. This morning we had it practically to ourselves during a post-breakfast walk.

But there was plenty of rainwater in the open gutter, which might explain the lack of tourists, teeming throngs and otherwise.

This is the rainy season after all. But the rain and accompanying wind come as a refreshing break from the heat and humidity. It rained for a while before dinner last night, as we sat on the porch and sipped drinks. And it rained briefly this morning as we made our way to Estel’s for breakfast.  Fortunately our rain gear is still safely tucked away in our backpacks ….

We met John and Rose East at Estel’s, an English-Irish couple who moved here permanently about 18 months ago.  John is keeping a blog about the construction of their new home, just north of San Pedro. He also salts his entries with tidbits about their life on the island.

This section of Ramon's Village Resort was spared from the devastating fire that destroying 29 units on Tuesday night.
This section of Ramon’s Village Resort was spared from the devastating fire that destroyed 29 units on Tuesday night.
Scenes of devastation at Ramon's Village Resort in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Scenes of devastation at Ramon’s Village Resort in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Scenes of devastation at Ramon's Village Resort in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Scenes of devastation at Ramon’s Village Resort in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.

We kept Sam the waiter busy filling coffee cups for nearly two hours as they told us about island life and their decision to leave England for the tropics. John and Rose had been vacationing here for 14 years  before making it their retirement home so it wasn’t on a romantic whim that they chose Ambergris Caye. In fact, they fell in love with it the first time they came here.

Clearly they are rich in information about making the transition but what was more reassuring was how at ease they are being strangers in a strange land. We’ll never be natives, they said matter of factually. Some here will never like you and some  will become good friends. Over the years, they have gained many Belizean friends and many expat friends. But they never feel the need to join an expat club. They are comfortable moving among all on the island.

This was actually great news to me because I’m not a joiner by nature. I’ve never seen the inside of a Rotary luncheon or put on a Lions Club sash. But I really like people. And was concerned about making the adjustment from the US to Belize.

I think we’ve made our first friends in Belize.

After breakfast Rose and I took a long walk down the beach, past the remains of Ramon’s Village Resort. It was very sad. The oldest resort on the island and much-beloved by locals, Ramon’s went up in flames Tuesday night. The ruins are still smoldering. Fire took 29 units as well as a restaurant, bar, gift shop and offices. Power was out on much of the island for hours. The fire put a lot of people out of work, too.

Needless to say, it is the talk of the island.

Things have improved since the last major fire — in 1999 — during which the islands only water-pump truck experienced pump failure … after losing its transmission. Even so, it took the trucks precious extra time to arrive because the road on which the resort resides has been torn up for repaving.

That is repaving as in paving stones.

We passed by the roadwork on the way home this morning and golf carts were lined up as far as you could see as construction trucks backed in and out of the site. Seriously, an island traffic jam.

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2 thoughts on “Traffic jam, island-style

    johnhenryeast said:
    August 29, 2013 at 1:15 pm

    And we enjoyed our time with Rose and you too Bob. Enjoy your visit and we sincerely hope that you get everything from that you want. Kind regards John and Rose

    Like

    […] John, I’m pretty much a creature of habit when it comes to breakfasts. In fact it was just over a year ago that Rose and I met John and his own lovely Rose here at Estels for breakfast. We’ve been good friends ever […]

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