Night of the gecko … terror strikes deep in San Pedro

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Breakfast under the coconut trees at Estel's in San Pedro Town this morning. Note the blue sky. That was to change dramatically by this afternoon.
Breakfast under the coconut trees at Estel’s in San Pedro Town this morning. Note the blue sky. That was to change dramatically by this afternoon.

There’s a gecko in the bedroom.

Like many a good gecko, this one is heard but not yet seen. Unlike that overexposed fellow who shills for GEICO.

Problem is, the gecko is heard at the most inopportune times. Like when we are trying to sleep. If you go strictly by the sound, this thing must weigh in at 10 pounds and measure more than a foot long.

I know, I know. It is a fairly small creature with awesome lung power, amplified by the stillness of the night. And I know that they perform a public service by eating any bugs that manage to get into the house.

To be honest, it ain’t me. It’s the missus. But it is not like Rose is afraid of the gecko. She has told me as much. She is afraid that the little creature will crawl on to her body in the middle of the night and slither around like some freakazoid meth-head.

Two nights ago the gecko was joined in a duet with an open door somewhere below us that kept banking against a metal railing. All night long.

Our night went something like this:

Gecko: Breep! Breep! Broop!

Door: Ching. Ching. Keeerang!!! Ching. Ching.

Gecko: Breep! Breep! Broop!

Door: Ching. Ching. Keeerang!!! Ching. Ching.

Gecko: Breep! Broop!

Door: Ching. Keeerang!!! Ching. Ching.

And so on.

Last night, it was just the gecko. And it sounded kind of hungry. Like the bug supply in the bedroom is pretty diminished. So the problem may sort itself out.

But honestly. I kind of like it.

Here’s the thing: When the gecko goes off, Rose rolls right over to my side of the bed and tries to hide in the shadow of my manly protective frame.

It is kind of a good feeling, just knowing that if a killer gecko ever broke into the room I am the first responder, the guy who protects the damsel in distress and gets to cuddle while danger lurks in the shadows beyond the bed.

Me man, you gecko. Now scram.

OK, file the gecko under Minor Annoyances.

It may be a little hard to tell, but it is raining like crazy this afternoon. The house in the far right corner is having a party with balloons, a DJ and lots of outdoor seating. The sun is back out, the party is on track and we're listening to island tunes rolling across the lagoon.
It may be a little hard to tell, but it is raining like crazy this afternoon. The house in the far right corner is having a party with balloons, a DJ and lots of outdoor seating. The sun is back out, the party is on track and we’re listening to island tunes rolling across the lagoon.

That was hardly foremost on my mind this morning as I ran my daily two-mile loop, north on the road to the Palapa Bar then south along the beach to home. (I frequently see iguanas sunning on the rocks, looking like geckos sound.)

What I was really thinking though, was: “We really need to go to Estel’s for breakfast today.”

I mean, every morning this week Rose has been hitting the yoga mat at Zen Arcade, and even went back for a dance-exercise class. She even ran with me yesterday before we both went to the Arcade for a restorative yoga class. (Followed by warm cinnamon buns and French-pressed Caye Roast coffee at The Baker.)

Me, I’ve been running every day this week, for the first time in ages.

So that is just what we did: It is an easy cycle down the beach to Estel’s, where breakfast is served all day – except Tuesday. The place was packed. The only tables left were on the beach, closest to the water. Under the shade-bearing coconut trees.

Anywhere else in the world, these would be the first tables to go.

Breaking news: We no longer live at the Reef Village Resort. It is now called Barrier Reef Resort. Something to do, I imagine, with the condo owners taking control of the 200-unit place. Lots of improvements going on. The gateway was repainted on Thursday and Friday. Kind of like it.
Breaking news: We no longer live at the Reef Village Resort. It is now called Barrier Reef Resort. Something to do, I imagine, with the condo owners taking control of the 200-unit place. Lots of improvements going on. The gateway was repainted on Thursday and Friday. Kind of like it.

At the next table over was a New York couple who’d just arrived on the water taxi from Belize City. They seemed to be extremely relieved to be here.

They were. They’d booked a weeklong package deal for a hotel in Belize City that promised much but delivered essentially what sounded like a nicely appointed prison in the middle of a very scary place.

So they bolted for the island.

Smart.

They were looking for a low-cost place to stay. I suggested Pedro’s Hotel at the south end of the airport – the place we nearly stayed while looking for a more permanent home. Compared to the beachfront hotels and resorts, Pedro’s is real bargain. And it has a good rep for simple, clean, rooms and a really fun bar at night. Since they were having Belikin beers with their breakfast I thought Pedro’s would be a good fit.

I cautioned them that we haven’t yet lived here as long as some tourists, so please, please, get a second opinion from some real locals.

If Pedro’s has rooms, I think they’ll have a great time. Before returning to their gloomy situation in Belize City on Monday.

After breakfast we rode down to Maria’s produce stand for guacamole. Maria told us she makes it fresh on Saturdays. She is the lady who makes up jugs of fresh squeezed fruit juices, our favorite being pineapple-coconut-ginger.

Feature section: Meet Fish Johnson. He pedals around San Pedro Town with this cooler filled with fresh fish and shrimp (conch and lobster in season). He stops by the complex we live in a couple of times a week. We picked up some grouper and shrimp from Fish Johnson the other day and Rose (on the right) made an incredible dish with rice, coconut milk, veggies, fish and shrimp last night. Fish says he has been at the fishmonger business for 35 years.  Has his own T-shirts for sale and hands out business cards to prospective customers. Call in and he will deliver stat, he promises.
Feature section: Meet Fish Johnson. He pedals around San Pedro Town with this cooler filled with fresh fish and shrimp (conch and lobster in season). He stops by the complex we live in a couple of times a week. We picked up some grouper and shrimp from Fish Johnson the other day and Rose (on the right) made an incredible Thai dish with rice, coconut milk, veggies, fish and shrimp last night. Fish (real name Arquel) says he has been at the fishmonger business for 35 years. Has his own T-shirts for sale and hands out business cards to prospective customers. Call in and he will deliver stat, he promises. Another really nice guy.

While we waited for the guac, Maria’s husband of 30 years, Jose, whom we just met yesterday, came over to us with glasses of fresh-squeezed orange juice. Jeeze, we love these people.

Threading our way back north through the Saturday traffic, we stopped at Ramon and Eve’s little curbside barbecue for a fresh-cooked chicken breast and some pork ribs for tonight’s dinner.

The whole way through town I kept an eye out for the Traffic Department’s latest acquisition – a speed gun.

For real. A speed gun in San Pedro.

I read it in the local newspaper, so it must be true.

My first thought was “Oh, lord, what’s next? Traffic lights? And actually stopping at stop signs?”

And the Traffic people are in the market for a second, if anyone would like to donate one. I’m pretty sure the donor won’t be a cab driver. They are the apparent targets of the speed guns.

Not the golf carts or bicyclists.

Although some of those Polaris carts can crack the island’s 15 mph speed limit with ease.

The taxicabs are mostly vans and SUVs, which make up most of the islands actual vehicles. And they can drive fast and be impatient, like cabbies everywhere.  But I get that. I was a cabbie once. There are a lot of cabs and a finite number of people who need them.

The sooner you unload a fare, the sooner you can pick up the next one. Just the same, I don’t wish $25 BZ speeding fines on anyone.

Well, no speed guns out along our route today.

We were home hardly an hour, cooling off from the heat and sun when something very weird happened.

It rained.

Not just rain. It poured down like a fire hose.

Got no idea where that came from but a half-hour later, the rain disappeared and blue sky reigned over our corner of Belize once again.

That’s really good news for the beige-colored house across the lagoon where an outdoors party, with DJ, was just beginning to ramp up. The DJ went silent for a while but is now back pumping out the island beats and the crowd looks to be having a great time.

Guess they can’t see my “please, please, invite me” look from all the way across the lagoon.

Rose says, “Feels like I’ve been in a Zumba class for the last three hours.”

Digging the music, though. Bet it is luring my gecko out of hiding.

Think I’ll break now and go gecko hunting.

Day's end: As the sun goes down we await the return ... of the gecko.
Day’s end: As the sun goes down on another beautiful day in Belize we await the return … of the gecko.
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9 thoughts on “Night of the gecko … terror strikes deep in San Pedro

    Chris said:
    March 8, 2014 at 6:45 pm

    We have a new amphibian noise coming from the yard–a frog that rib-it rib-its all day and night. It seemed close enough to believe it was near our bedroom window. Then Tim spotted it across the fence in a tiny puddle in the very barren dirt yard of our neighbor. How did it get there? What will it do when the puddle dries up? Can he leap the six-foot fence to our yard, which is much more rich and moist, plants, pool, birdbath?

    Like

      robertjhawkins1 responded:
      March 8, 2014 at 7:54 pm

      Chris, clearly you must cut a hole in the fence …..

      Like

    Belize Blog (@SanPedroScoop) said:
    March 9, 2014 at 7:07 am

    Ha. Barking geckos. It is amazing the noise they can make. I have an excellent solution. Cats! Nothing pleases them more than pulling gecko legs off. Lucky for you? I have an extra…

    Like

      robertjhawkins1 responded:
      March 9, 2014 at 7:37 am

      OK, Rebecca …you have my full attention!
      UPDATE: Ooops. Didn’t see the full message. Guess who has severe allergies to dog and cat fur….I think Rose would prefer the gecko sounds. However, maybe I can roam around the room on my hands and knees meowing each evening …

      By the way, erally enjoyed your reports from Merida Mexico in San Pedro Scoop. Sounds like the perfect getaway.
      http://www.sanpedroscoop.com/2014/03/merida-hotels-shopping.html

      Bob

      Like

      lifeagain said:
      March 10, 2014 at 3:28 pm

      Funny….

      Like

    Dawn said:
    March 9, 2014 at 10:19 am

    We r staying in a villa a bit north of you. I want to yoga with your wife. Where is the place and do they have mats etc?

    Like

      robertjhawkins1 responded:
      March 9, 2014 at 11:18 am

      Hi Dawn, thanks for the message. Yes, Zen Arcade has mats which they rent for $2BZ. Drop-in fee per class is $15BZ.
      Here’s their website with ll the details: http://www.zenarcadebelize.com/ . The two owners, Tara and Noele, have a really nice vision for the facility and are most easy to talk with.
      Rose bicycles over to the Arcade for the morning session (I think it is 9:30 am). It takes 15 minutes. If you e-mail her at rosealcantara@sbcglobal.net you can set up a cart/bikepool to the studio!)

      Regards,
      Bob

      Like

    Kathy Chavis said:
    March 9, 2014 at 5:44 pm

    I was very happy to read about Fish Johnson the fishmonger. I hope he is the same fish guy that passes the condo in Grand Carib via the beach. I will need fresh fish when we visit in June. Again, Rose’s dinner sounds delish!

    Like

    lifeagain said:
    March 10, 2014 at 3:33 pm

    Bob,
    Thanks for the great read and nice photos. I am looking forward to living in a place where i can have a fresh fish/seafood deliver guy.
    I hope to meet Mr. Fish Johnson one day, on a professional and personal basis.

    Like

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