Belize

At Cayo Rosario development hearing, plans for ‘gringo rings’ rile San Pedro

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The Lions Club in San Pedro, Belize was full last night for a hearing on a proposed development of Cayo Rosario into a resort of which 80  percent of it would be over the water — in the Ho Chan Marine Preserve and fly-fishing flats. Not a happy crowd.

It took the last fisherman of the night, a quiet gentleman named Gomez, to strip away all the sham and pretense in the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the preposterous Cayo Rosario resort proposal.

It was a long and emotional hearing and San Pedranos were pretty much shredding the EIA during the Q&A. If anger were a liquified mass, it would be boiling over and spilling out of the Lion’s Den on to Front Street in San Pedro. As it was, the audience was spilling out onto the streets.

Gomez told the hearing panel that he has pursued bonefish and permit in the shallow waters around Cayo Rosario for 30 years as a tour guide. Read the rest of this entry »

Follow little Madi as she snorkels the Belize barrier reef from end to end

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Madison Pearl Edwards is snorkeling the 190-mile Belize barrier reef to highlight the dangers of oil exploration to the country's greatest natural resource. She is 11 years old. (Photo courtesy of amergristoday.com
Madison Pearl Edwards is snorkeling the 190-mile Belize barrier reef to highlight the dangers of oil exploration to the country’s greatest natural resource. She is 11 years old. (Photo courtesy of ambergristoday.com)

Madison Pearl Edwards is about the most delightfully precocious youngster you’ll ever encounter in Belize.

I mean, it takes a lot of precociousness — and courage — to snorkel the entire 190-mile length of the Belize reef, from north to south, to publicize the dangers and absolute stupidity of off-shore oil exploration.

Even for an adult.

Madi is 11 years old. Read the rest of this entry »

Hockey in Belize? Why not? Go Buccaneers!

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San Pedro Buccaneers and Withrow Park (Toronto) Tropical Knights  come together for a group shot at the end of the tournament. Two things that I heard and liked a lot: "Wait until next year!" and "We'll bring more teams!"
San Pedro Buccaneers and Withrow Park (Toronto) Tropical Knights come together for a group shot at the end of the tournament. Two things that I heard and liked a lot: “Wait until next year!” and “We’ll bring more teams!” At San Pedro High School.

They called the tournament the inaugural Caribbean Coconut Cup and the grand prize was an artfully carved and lacquered Belizean wood-and-coconut trophy.

The program cover described it as an “International Friendly Ball Hockey Tournament.”

And it was indeed friendly — after the games. At Wayo’s or some other fine beachside drinking and socializing establishment.

During the games? Read the rest of this entry »

This is Belize: Looking a bit more like the Paradise we always imagined

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Look, Ma! No trash! A rare and joyful sight on Ambergris Caye, after yesterday's First Friday trash cleanup.
Look, Ma! No trash! A rare and joyful sight on Ambergris Caye, after yesterday’s First Friday trash cleanup.

Moppit and I walked to Ak’Bol and back this morning and for the first time in a long time this always beautiful walk dazzled me.

And I know why, too.

Not only is the shoreline almost completely recovered from Hurricane Earl but the beaches are as full and lush as I’ve ever seen them.

But, most noticeably, THERE IS NO TRASH TO BE SEEN. This is a rare and incredible sight because even the most charming sections of beach up here are usually littered with plastic refuse and bottles. I urge you to take a walk north from the Sir Barry Bowen Bridge as far as you can up the beach. Read the rest of this entry »

This is Belize: Bad boy, bad boy, whatcha gonna do?

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Singer-songwriter Kelly McGuire  sits in with a gang of rowdy fans at the Dive Bar on Saturday afternoon, shortly before all the "excitement" broke out.
Singer-songwriter Kelly McGuire sits in with a gang of rowdy fans at the Dive Bar on Saturday afternoon, shortly before all the “excitement” broke out.

Saturday afternoon, the Texas-based singer Kelly McGuire was commanding the stage at the Dive Bar singing about island life, broken dreams, healing hearts, fresh hopes, sailing away and the joy of a good guitar.

We were sitting at the back of the crowd, next to the dock, where the cool breezes were floating in on the rippling blue Caribbean. Read the rest of this entry »

In Belize: Close encounters of the aquamarine kind

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Mexico Rocks boasts the most precocious turtle in the world.
Mexico Rocks boasts the most precocious turtle in the world.

Do not adjust your set. The ridiculously fluorescent blue water you see in these pictures is correct. The water on the reef just off Ambergris Caye is that blue below the surface.

Up above is a different story. There, as you look out from shore to reef, the color can change numerous times, shimmering between emerald and azure.

The other day I joined friends for a trip around the island, with a little snorkeling at Mexico Rocks thrown in at the end.  Read the rest of this entry »

This is Belize: Last sunrise of 2016, first sunset of 2017 and stuff in between — some fake, some real

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Last sunrise of 2016 on Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Last sunrise of 2016 on Ambergris Caye, Belize.

The last sunrise on Ambergris Caye for 2016 was a real beauty. A diaphanous gold, like spun cotton candy, filled the air out to the reef as an early morning sun shower cleansed us, washed away this most unusual year.

Happy New Year to you all! May your every dream find its path to fulfillment in 2017.

Thanks to the recent addition of Moppit to the household, sunrises are becoming a daily thing. In pre-Moppit days, I would awaken at a civilized hour and think, “Wow. That must have been a nice sunrise. Maybe tomorrow.” Read the rest of this entry »

And it isn’t even noon yet, on a glorious day on Ambergris Caye, Belize

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A Poinsettia sunrise three days before Christmas in Ambergris Caye, off the coast of Belize. Good morning! May all your days start inside your heart like this!
A Poinsettia sunrise three days before Christmas on Ambergris Caye, off the coast of Belize.
Good morning!
May all your days start inside your heart like this!

Read the rest of this entry »

Truck Stop’s Taste of Haven makes pizza taste like heaven

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The new Slice of Haven pizza truck -- OK, shipping container -- at The Truck Stop on Ambergris Caye, Belize.
The new Slice of Haven pizza truck — OK, shipping container — at The Truck Stop on Ambergris Caye, Belize.

“Hey Bob! Any interest in joining the media taste test of the new pizza truck today at 1 pm?”

That was Ben. Ha! Ha!

Pizza?

Duh.

Ben Popik’s Truck Stop on Ambergris Caye has a new food truck, called Slice of Haven. Just opened on Wednesday. Read the rest of this entry »

Come together: Pier 366 dining is a communal affair

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The display inside Pier 366 pretty much lets you know the dining experience ahead will be a memorable one.
The display inside Pier 366 Seafood House pretty much lets you know the dining experience ahead will be a memorable one.

When is a meal more than a meal? When it is a communal gathering of family and friends.

You can sit at a lovely table, with a gorgeous view, and have the best meal in the world but if there is no one around to share it with, no one to talk with as you eat, then, what’s the point?

Good food is nourishment for the body. Good companionship while eating it is nourishment for the soul.

Oh, lord, I could go on and on. These are some of the thoughts that crossed my mind while sharing a remarkable lunch with a great group of folks at the new Pier 366 Seafood House at Banyan Bay Resort on the south side of San Pedro Town, here in Belize. Read the rest of this entry »