True to its word, Belize Electric Ltd. (BEL) shut down the entire island’s electricity at 6 a.m. Saturday morning for some maintenance projects.
I suppose that sounds a little strange to you, my First World family and friends, but that is how things are done here. When something is taken off-line for repairs, the whole island goes black. I guess we just don’t have the redundancy systems that would allow them to bypass a transformer, feeder, substation or whatever.
By BEL does have a Facebook alert system and the utility posted warnings as early as Friday about the shutdown.
So, you adjust, roll with it and move on.
In my case, the power outage meant that Saturday morning presented a good time to take a nice walk up the beach in the Tres Cocos neighborhood to admire the good work our First Friday volunteer clean-up crews had accomplished.
I was doubly motivated by Rose, who upon returning from her Saturday morning run, was glowing over the absence of plastic along the beach trail — at least from Grand Caribe Resort south to our place, The Cloisters.
OK, I was triply motivated by the fact that Marbucks Coffee Shop has a generator — and that means warm blueberry scones and hot coffee. That alone would be motivation enough.
But, man, a clean beach path? Even if for only a day?
That would be a treat!
So, just a quick aside on the First Friday clean-up for June: Wow, what a great job!
Not only did we get a great turn-out at the Paradise Theater, including a number of first-time volunteers, but Grand Caribe stepped up big-time. From their beautiful resort two miles north of the bridge, they sent around 20 staffers down both the beach and concrete road. They brought an ATV with a trailer to the game, and huge enthusiasm.
What a difference they made!
That would certainly be in keeping with the new island-wide cleanup initiative announced recently by the San Pedro Town Council. Motivated by the prospects for a Zika outbreak and health concerns for residents — and the simple aesthetic appeal of keeping this island beautiful — the council has announced big plans.
This is a very big deal.
My Saturday walk up to the Grand Caribe was spectacular.
Well, even under the worst conditions, this walk is spectacular.
The path north runs mostly through private properties which are exquisitely well-maintained — and vacant lots which tend to collect seaweed, trash and plastic bits by the zillions — chopped-up detritus from cruise ships I’ve been told. Beyond the Grand Caribe resort the shore becomes a mix of resorts and residences with a few restaurants thrown in — almost all extremely well maintained properties.
The cleanup was most noticeable north of the old Palapa Bar, now called Tiki Maya. There is a long sweep of untended beach which clearly had been hit hard by the Grand Caribe crew. South of the Tiki Maya, two long-vacant lots have been extensively cleared and much of the beachfront growth has been chopped down. This made cleanup easier, although the lots look a bit devastated.
I’m sure big plans are in the offing.