Conch and Estel’s– two ways we mark the change in seasons on Ambergris Caye

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Inside Estel's back in March which a pickup band of local musicians added spice to our Sunday breakfast!
Inside Estel’s back in March which a pickup band of local musicians added spice to our Sunday breakfast!

In California, we used to say the seasons were Drought, Wildfire, Rainy/Greenery, Earthquake and Glorious Sunshine. San Diego had a whole season called June Gloom, in which the fog would roll in and stay until about 11 a.m., when the morning sun would finally burn it off and the breeze would beat it back to sea.

Here on Ambergris Caye there are similarly quirky seasons. There is High Season, during which people comment on how many other people there are on the island. And Low Season, during which people miss the fast-spending crowds of High Season, the people who by their presence and injection of cash pry open the seasonal restaurants and shops, bringing them out of their relatively brief commercial hibernation.

There is also Hurricane Season, Mosquito Season, Lobster Season and Conch Season. And the ever-popular Season of Paradise, during which the weather is beautiful, the mosquitoes non-existent, the crowds are manageable, the restaurants and bars all open and prices are still in the Low Season bracket.

That last season is probably found most commonly in the brochures of the Belize Tourism Authority and on post cards in gift shops.

But I am inclined to believe it exists, if only for a few days or so at a time.

So many of these seasons overlap. They would make up a very complicated Venn Diagram, at the center of which is probably the elusive Season of Paradise.

Two of the most popular markers for a change in season are upon us.

As you can read right here in John East’s blog, “Belize — Building a New Life,” the popular seaside restaurant Estel’s re-opens today. This is exciting news for several reasons:

1. Estel’s serves a great little breakfast in a delightful sea-side setting.

Conch season begins!
Conch season begins!

2. The reopening marks the beginning of the return of other restaurants, bars and shops to full operation over the next month or so to meet the needs of High Season, which I think begins in earnest around Thanksgiving.

3. The eventual arrival of High Season means the return to employment for many struggling locals.

I’m particularly fond of Estels because it was the first place that Rose and I sat down for a meal in San Pedro, and that was for breakfast with our friends John and Rose East!

Ah, but another season begins soon.

For that we turn to the blog of Rebecca Coutant who celebrates the return  of Conch Season on Oct. 1, in her latest San Pedro Scoop post. Rebecca also lists her favorite spots for conch soup, conch fritters, conch salad, conch sushi and more.

A must read for conch lovers.



One thought on “Conch and Estel’s– two ways we mark the change in seasons on Ambergris Caye

    Peter said:
    October 1, 2014 at 9:54 am

    Good afternoon Robert, could you e-mail me some Info. regarding Greef-Village. Who is the Owner,the Manager and anything that maybe important to me as a Timeshare owner. My Lawyer contacted Reef Village but no response. In appreciation Peter (Pete) Oberhaus.


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