Belikin beer

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 »

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‘Criminal Minds’ in Belize? After screening, even worse than we imagined

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Here's the proof! FBI agents on Ambergris Caye are dwarfed by the barren hillsides of the island in a scene from the "Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders" episode "Love Interrupted."
Here’s the proof! FBI agents on Ambergris Caye are dwarfed by the barren hillsides of the island in a scene from the “Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders” episode “Love Interrupted.”

On a balmy Friday night a couple dozen expats gathered beside the lagoon here on Ambergris Caye for an outdoors screening of this week’s episode of the spin-off CBS show “Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders.”

Since its original TV airing on Wednesday, expats and Belizeans all over this tiny country have been convulsed in paroxysms of laughter. To be honest, some have been convulsed in paroxysms of rage.

This week, the elite FBI team lead by a heavily botoxed Gary Sinese drops into Belize to find a young American honeymoon couple who have gone two days without posting anything on social media, thus raising suspicions of foul play.

Let me say this: We all know Hollywood makes stuff up. That is what they do. That is their job and we mostly appreciate it.

But, seriously? Read the rest of this entry »

Drink more Belikin, fight potholes: A cap-ital idea

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To you, this may seem like trash in the road butthse bottle caps my very well be the answer to arresting erosion and preventing potholes on San Pedro's unpaved streets.
To you, this may seem like trash in the road but these bottle caps my very well be the answer to arresting erosion and preventing potholes on San Pedro’s unpaved streets.

Ambergris Caye is famous for many things. Among the most famous, its pothole-filled streets.

It is just the nature of island living. We are sitting on a fluid pile of sand, silt and rock that shifts and seeps and moves with the wind and the rain. Especially the rain.

So, it is not unusual to see a town truck drop crushed rock on a badly pocked stretch of road, only to have the craters back in a matter of days.

Which brings me to the absolutely brilliant idea I had this morning as I walked along Boca Del Rio. While grappling with sun stroke.

This could be a fully realized section of bottle cap infused roadway in San Pedro, in which interlocked caps are securing the road and providing a colorful traction for bald tires. But it isn't. It is just a picture off the Internet.
This could be a fully realized section of bottlecap infused roadway in San Pedro, in which interlocked caps are securing the road and providing a colorful traction for bald tires. But it isn’t. It is just a picture off the Internet.

Just kidding. No sunstroke. But really, it is a brilliant idea.

In a word: bottlecaps. (Spellcheck tells me bottlecaps is two words. Not in my blog, Spellcheck. Back off, or I’ll break you up into “spell” and “check.”)

Bear with me.

While walking, I noticed an especially flat section of the road. Believe me, when you see a flat section of an unpaved road in the midst of undulations, crevices and craters then it behooves you to investigate.

For whatever reason — and I think the number of nearby bars has something to do with it — bottlecaps galore are embedded into the road. Mostly Belikin, of course.

My theory is that the serrated edge of the caps provides an interlocking effect that retards the the erosion of the roads. The more caps slammed into the soil, the greater the surface cohesion.

The beautiful thing is there is an infinite supply of bottlecaps, as we drink a lot of beer here. Almost all of it Belikin.

And we’re lucky: The public seems attuned to tossing their caps on the ground already. We just have to get people to aim for the road. The constant traffic of golf carts, taxi vans and pickup trucks will do the rest.

Well, that’s all I’ve got. And the sunstroke is making me dizzy.

Just think about it. Since you are going to toss your bottlecaps on the ground anyway, toss them where they will do the most good.

Next week: How used Styrofoam cups, plates and containers can be turned into the home of your dreams . . .

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. Read the rest of this entry »

A last California Christmas

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Brody tries out his new motorcycle around the livingroom ... and around ... and around ...and around ....
Grandson Brody tries out his new motorcycle around the living room … and around … and around …and around ….

We didn’t make it easy for anyone this Christmas.

I mean, what do you buy for the people who are trying to get rid of everything?

The truth is, with our departure for Belize a little more than a month away, more than anything we just wanted time with our family and friends. That is the best gift in the world.

And we got it.

Rose’s kids, Caira and Jon and Jon’s partner, Quinn, came home for what felt like whirlwind visits and an early Christmas before departing for a UK holiday with their English family. Read the rest of this entry »

Hello, Belize, you beautiful, colorful, complicated thing you!

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Rose and her longtime companion, Monkey Bob, at a BART station in San Francisco. Making our way to San Francisco International Airport. Monkey Bob was around in various forms before I was, apparently. Some attachments are hard to let go of!
Rose and her longtime companion, Monkey Bob, at a BART station in San Francisco. Making our way to San Francisco International Airport. Monkey Bob was around in various forms before I was, apparently. Some attachments are hard to let go of!

A couple of flights that can only be described — thankfully — as “uneventful” have brought us to Belize.

More specifically: the Blue Tang Inn at 1 Sandpiper Lane in San Pedro on Ambergris Caye. (I’ve suddenly begun misspelling the caye as “Amberguis” on Facebook. What’s with that? Sleep deprivation?)

So, words fail me just now — hey, it is sleep deprivation!

Until the brain re-engages, here are some early photos.

Suddenly we're at the Belize International Airport, boarding a Tropic Air puddle jumper for the 15 minute hop to Ambergris Caye. Miami's airport was a brief and anonymous blur, notable only for the bowl of grits I age at 6 a.m.
Suddenly we’re at the Belize International Airport, boarding a Tropic Air puddle jumper for the 15 minute hop to Ambergris Caye. Miami’s airport was a brief and anonymous blur, notable only for the bowl of grits I ate at 6 a.m.
The view out the window as we flew to Ambergris Caye from Belize City.
The view out the window as we flew to Ambergris Caye from Belize City.
The view out the window as we flew to Ambergris Caye from Belize City.
The view out the window as we flew to Ambergris Caye from Belize City.
Wheels dowbn, landing strip ahead. The view out the window as we flew to Ambergris Caye from Belize City.
Wheels down, landing strip ahead. The view out the window as we flew to Ambergris Caye from Belize City.
Classic view at the Blue Tang Inn. Every photo album I've seen has this shot from the entrance looking out toward the sea. Big difference is, mine has Rose Alcantara in it!
Classic view at the Blue Tang Inn. Every photo album I’ve seen has this shot from the entrance looking out toward the sea. Big difference is, mine has Rose Alcantara in it!
Jesus Anthny cleans a fresh caught baracuda. Dinner for the family tonight, he said. He also cuts up coconuts for tourists to drink, for a slight charge. "Very healthy for you" he adds. What you don't see is the very large "pet" ray that swims up as soon as it hears water splashing around the cutting table. Scraps have conditioned it to know when the dinner bell rings.
Jesus Anthony cleans a fresh-caught barracuda. Dinner for the family tonight, he said. (He was also smiling every second except the one in which I snapped this photo!) He also cuts up coconuts for tourists to drink, for a slight charge. “Very healthy for you,”  he adds. What you don’t see is the very large “pet” ray that swims up as soon as it hears water splashing around the cutting table. Scraps have conditioned it to know when the dinner bell rings.
Monkey Bob's first exposure to the national beer, Belikins. Very tasty but the bottles? Very small. Even at $2.50 US a beer. Shot taken at Estel's on the beach where we'll be meeting some recent ex-pats, John and Rose East, for breakfast tomorrow. Can't wait! They are building a home just north of the town of San Pedro.
Monkey Bob’s first exposure to the national beer, Belikin. Very tasty but the bottles? Very small. Even at $2.50 US a beer. Shot taken at Estel’s on the beach where we’ll be meeting some recent ex-pats, John and Rose East, for breakfast tomorrow. Can’t wait! They are building a home just north of the town of San Pedro.
Rose looking so much warmer than when were were sitting in the BART station. Here at Estel's, where we grabbed our first Belikins and fish tacos shortly after chacking in at the Blue Tang Inn.
Rose looking so much warmer than when we were sitting in the BART station. Here at Estel’s, where we grabbed our first Belikins and fish tacos shortly after checking in at the Blue Tang Inn. Monkey Bob did NOT get a fish taco.

As we walked back to the inn we met our first San Pedro real estate agent, who naturally offered to help us find a home. We may drop back to chat with her.