Belikin

Trashing Halloween in San Pedro is a barrel of laughs

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Sue, Rachel (aka Dorothy) Rose, Wayne and Linda strike a pose at the Holiday Hotel entrance after walking the Black Carpet. Let the party begin!
Sue, Rachel (aka Dorothy) Rose, Wayne and Linda strike a pose at the Holiday Hotel entrance after walking the Black Carpet. Let the party begin!

We totally trashed Halloween this year.

No, I didn’t say we got trashed. I said we trashed Halloween.

As in garbage.

It is a big topic on the island these days because it is a big problem. As one guy would say, “Trash is huuuge!” Read the rest of this entry »

Island is abuzz with a Bowen Family wedding and a special brew

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Set-up for a Thursday night Bowen-Tully pre-wedding party? These tables were on the waterfront of Ramon's Village, a local institution and a conch shell-toss from the Bowen home and Island Academy.
Set-up for a Thursday night Bowen-Tully pre-wedding party? These tables were on the waterfront of Ramon’s Village Resort, a local landmark institution,  and a conch shell-toss from the Bowen island home and Island Academy.

Just so you know, we have a royal wedding planned this Saturday on Ambergris Caye, Belize.

And when I say “we” I mean the grand, island-wide “we.” I  don’t mean to imply that either I or Rose are in any way a part of it.

Nope. Not even an invite to the post-wedding party on the grounds of the Island Academy which, gosh, it looks like it is going to be fun. I mean, we’re one rung above tourist here. Wouldn’t expect an invite. Nope … Read the rest of this entry »

Bicycling San Pedro Town: 22 clicks to home

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Gratuitous large image to draw you into an extremely long blog post about bicycling around San Pedro, Belize. Thank you for reading. Image suitable for framing.
Gratuitous large image to draw you into an extremely long blog post about bicycling around San Pedro, Belize. Thank you for reading. Image suitable for framing.

Bear with me here.

We’re going to try something new, and I’m afraid a bit amateurish.

I want to try to recreate the experience of traveling around Ambergris Caye on a bicycle, to give readers a more-accurate sense of what life is like here — the traffic, the chaos, the odd sights, the sweet shots, etc.

You know, life on a Caribbean island as seen through the eyes of a newly landed American ex-pat riding a Taiwanese bicycle and shooting pictures with a China-made iPhone. Read the rest of this entry »

Putting on pants for a real night out in Ambergris Caye

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Sunset on Friday from the lagoon-side patio of the Hotel in the Tres Cocos section of San Pedro Town, Belize.
Sunset on Friday from the lagoon-side patio of the Hotel in the Tres Cocos section of San Pedro Town, Belize.

I put on pants yesterday.

For the first time since we arrived in Belize, I set aside the daily uniform of shorts, sandals and T-shirt for a pair of khaki slacks, Hawaiian print shirt, Padres baseball cap and oh yeah, sandals.

The occasion? Read the rest of this entry »

Just a little off the top: Things you see, bicycling to yoga

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Manuel cleans and buffs the bust of John E. Greif II in front of the eponymously named airport in San Pedro Town, Belize. According to the plaque on the front Greif is the father of aviation and tourism in San Pedro.
Just a little off the ears: Manuel cleans and buffs the bust of John E. Greif II in front of the eponymous airport in San Pedro Town, Belize. According to the plaque on the front Greif is the father of aviation and tourism in San Pedro.
According to the plaque, Kentucky-born Greif was a WWII aviator and engineer. He died in San Pedro in November 2005.
Massage therapy: According to the plaque, Kentucky-born Greif was a WWII aviator and engineer. He died in San Pedro in November 2005.

 

This is Fred. Every day he sweeps the only bridge in San Pedro Town. I think he does a heck of a job and every day that I cycle over the bridge and he is there I make a point to say hello and thank you.
Clean sweep: This is Fred. Every day he sweeps the only bridge in San Pedro Town. I think he does a heck of a job and every day that I cycle over the bridge and he is there I make a point to say hello and thank you.

 

Where would Bowen & Bowen be without John Deere tractors to haul Belikin beer, Crystal water and juices and Coca Cola around San Pedro Town? Worse, where would we be without our water and beer? I suspect that the tractors are as much tradition as a very practical way to get round the town's narrower streets.
Squeeze play: Where would Bowen & Bowen be without John Deere tractors to haul Belikin beer, Crystal water and juices and Coca Cola around San Pedro Town? Worse, where would we be without our water and beer? I suspect that the tractors are as much tradition as a very practical way to get round the town’s narrower streets.

 

We have China to thank for our garbage pick-up in San Pedro Town! To the local culture, the U.S. has added mud wrestling, chicken drops and Jerry Jeff Walker. Let's call it even for now.
International goodwill: We have the Republic of China(Taiwan) to thank for our garbage pick-up in San Pedro Town! To the local culture, the U.S. has added mud wrestling, chicken drops and Jerry Jeff Walker. Let’s call it even for now. Taiwan also supplies almost all the bicycles ridden here so maybe they do have the edge.

A Belize day-in-the-life: Sapotes, yoga, good food and friends

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Mayem Sapotes share the bowl with a couple of limes, bananas, tomatoes .... just another shopping day, with lots of yoga.
Mamey Sapotes share the bowl with a couple of limes, bananas, ginger, tomatoes …. just another shopping day, with lots of yoga.

So much for that laid-back island vibe.

Rose took three yoga classes  yesterday –and a hyper-energy dance class at Zen Arcade.

So, what’s a guy to do if he wants to see his wife? I took two of the yoga classes, too.

And that, my friends, constitutes a busy day here on Ambergris Caye. Well, with a bunch of other stuff thrown in between the classes.  It kind of feels like this video, (which was posted by Rebecca of San Pedro Scoop)  — a jittery GoPro bicycle tour up and down the same streets we cycle, filmed by Nicolai Hebert. Read the rest of this entry »

Counting iguanas? ‘Not in Kansas anymore’

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Full disclosure: I was not running when I took this picture of an iguana ... but, it is representative of many of the Ambergris Caye iguanas that I encounter each day on my runs. And, anyway, think about it: Would you really want to stop running just to take pictures of iguanas?
Full disclosure: I was not running when I took this picture of an iguana … but, it is representative of many of the Ambergris Caye iguanas that I encounter each day on my runs. And, anyway, think about it: Would you really want to stop running just to take pictures of iguanas?

I have picked up a small obsession during my daily morning runs here on Ambergris Caye in Belize.

I count iguanas

At first it was just the novelty of it all. Running in San Diego most of my adult life I encountered plenty of rattlesnakes, small lizards, coyotes, dog poop, dollar bills, drug syringes, homeless people and tourists. None of these were in quantities worth noting on a daily basis. Read the rest of this entry »

Moon over Ambergris Caye

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Nice way to end the weekend -- at the Palapa Bar for some cold Belikins.
Nice way to end the weekend — at the Palapa Bar for some cold Belikins. This is a shot taken just as we were leaving for a cycle ride down the beach to home.

On Sunday evening, Rose and I bicycled over to the Palapa Bar for a couple f cold beers before dinner.

There was a fresh-made Chinese Chicken Salad chilling in the refrigerator along with some of Maria’s homemade guacamole and a bag of her sweet potato chips.

The breeze in the bar was stiff and refreshing. The day’s crowd had dwindled to a hardy few.

Rose and I enjoyed a brief chat with an Oklahoma man named Todd and his college-age daughter Madison. He’s been coming to the island for many years and plans to retire here some time. We were already on or way out the door (mentally) when we met them but hopefully we’ll met again.

Sounds like Todd has some great tales to tell from his 18 years here, off and on.

This is the gift you receive when you head home from the bar, as planned:

Honestly, n iPhone does not do the moon justice. It was big and orange and stunning on the horizon.
Honestly, an iPhone does not do the moon justice. It was big and orange and stunning on the horizon.

 

 

Carnaval in San Pedro: Hit me with your best shot

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On the beach at Central Park in San Pedro Town. Let the painting begin!
On the beach at Central Park in San Pedro Town. Let the painting begin!

One of the rules of Carnaval in San Pedro Town, Belize is “Respect the tourists, unless they want to participate.”

And if they do ….

Well, it looks like they are in for some kind of crazy fun.

Just wear some really old clothes. Read the rest of this entry »

It is a good day that begins with yoga at Zen Arcade

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Yoga class begins to gather at Zen Arcade just south of the airport in San Pedro on a beautiful Sunday morning. Just by posture alone, guess which student is Rose ....
Yoga class begins to gather at Zen Arcade just south of the airport in San Pedro on a beautiful Sunday morning. Just by posture alone, guess which student is Rose ….

Up early Sunday morning to watch the start of the Belikin La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge, a 170-mile, 4-day canoe race from San Ignacio to Belize City.

Couldn’t find it on TV.

That’s because we are very early. It starts March 7.

Only thing left to do: Yoga! Read the rest of this entry »