Show me an unusual house, curious looking people or a mystical place in the wild and my mind begins creating stories about them. It has always been this way, since I was a child.
You might think that this would conflict with my career in journalism but that is quite a different thing. As a journalist, my role was to uncover the story behind a person, place or thing.
As a regular person out on a bike ride, my mind is my own to play with and let it travel to where ever the imagination will take me. That is what happens with this old place for example:
It sits a few feet up from the beach, among coastal pines and palms, right next to Crazy Cannuck’s beach bar — which is on the north end of the place where we are staying, The Exotic Caye Beach Resort.
I am inexplicably drawn to it.
Each day, when we walk or bicycle up the beach, I pause and begin imagining the people who built this now derelict and seemingly abandoned old beach house. Former British colonialists? Some US college dropout who scored big with a load of pot in the 1970’s then dropped out like Tim Leary directed, to his dream Caribbean paradise?
I love the rambling, add-on nature of the place. Growing family? Add some bedrooms off the side!
Notice the indigenous wood carving that now holds up a section of the porch! Who does that to a wood carving?
This is one of the, seemingly, few places in San Pedro that do not have for sale signs on them.
We talk lightly about buying the place then having an architect and builder replicate it, board for board. But that is just a fleeting teasing of our imaginations.
I do think it is a style of housing that is being replaced here by more practical structures of rebar-reinforced concrete, with tile and marble floors and spacious windows that meet the Miami Hurricane Standard. Besides being able to withstand hurricanes, they stay dryer and cooler and more bug-free.
Seriously one more hurricane and these wooden structures on stilts will be a thing of the past.
Including this one north of the bridge which I’ve photographed before:
No illusions about living in this one. I don’t think you’ll ever know what a dry piece of clothing is like again until you move out of it.
Here is an example of the contemporary construction you will find on San Pedro and other coastal parts of Belize. And this one i don’t have to imagine stories aobut. It belongs to our friends John and Rose East, and John has been documenting its construction daily at his blog, A Belize Home for Us:
John and Rose have a magnificent lot that gives their new home lagoon views and sunsets to the west and Caribbean Sea and sunrise views to the east.
We are so excited for them as construction gets closer and closer to completion. They will most definitely be in residence in the next couple of months, says John. His blog gives you an appreciation of the incredible amount of detail you must track and process and the build goes up, plus all the household items you must acquire to make this house a home.
John and Rose are shipping goods from home and building a stockpile of other necessities through internet shopping that will be shipped here under the Qualified Retired Person (QRP) program which enables people with certain commitments to Belize to ship in goods free of duty for one year.
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The following images were all taken Thursday morning as we ate up the last few hours on our 24-hour bicycle rental. We went north over the toll bridge and cycled along the narrow beach, in and out of coconut trees.
As noon time neared, we cycled through downtown San Pedro’s Central Street to our hotel. Notice the patriotic bunting that decorates every street here. We are celebrating Independence Month here in Belize.
The fruit and vegetable stand is pretty typical of the ones you’ll find on every block in this town.
- Hello, Belize, you beautiful, colorful, complicated thing you! (robertjhawkins1.wordpress.com)
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- Monkey Bob bets on Belize (robertjhawkins1.wordpress.com)
- Pop Quiz on Belize (robertjhawkins1.wordpress.com)
- Foot-dragging from village to village through Belize (robertjhawkins1.wordpress.com)
- OK … inhale, hold breath … jump! (robertjhawkins1.wordpress.com)
- Waterproof camera for Belize? I’m on the case (robertjhawkins1.wordpress.com)