Caribbean Villas

The diversion factory called Truck Stop has come up with a corker

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Amy Knox of Wild Mango’s bites into her finisher medal at last Saturday’s “Amazing Race: San Pedro Edition.”

If you can imagine this, lots of people who live on tropical islands complain about the lack of diversion in their lives.

You hear things like:

“There are only so many spectacular sunsets that I’m going to sit through.” and “Sunrises? Do you really think I’m going to get up that early?”

“Oh look. Another flock of gloriously pink and retro roseate spoonbills feeding in the marsh. Which reminds me, what are we doing for lunch?” Read the rest of this entry »

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Garifuna Settlement Day celebrates a beautiful culture and the spirit of endurance

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A ceremonial procession from Central Park to the municipal football field marks the beginning of Thursday's crowning of a new Miss Garifuna San Pedro ambassador. Three of the contestants and the outgoing Miss Garifuna lead a procession of drummers and palm-bearing followers.
A ceremonial procession from Central Park to the municipal football field marks the beginning of Thursday’s crowning of a new Miss Garifuna San Pedro ambassador. Three of the contestants and the outgoing Miss Garifuna lead a procession of drummers and palm-bearing followers.

The Garifuna people of San Pedro, Belize, have a new ambassador for 2015-16. She is Sheila Montero, sponsored by Victoria House. As Miss Garifuna, Sheila will help to tell the story of the rich history and culture of her ancestors to the schools and other groups on the island.

And it is an amazing — and heartbreaking — story to tell. Read the rest of this entry »

Sunday morning coming down . .

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Striking cloud formations on Sunday morning over Ambergris Caye.
Striking cloud formations on Sunday morning over Ambergris Caye and incredibly clear water below.

 

I’m blue every Monday, thinkin’ over Sunday
That one day when I’m with you …
… But after pay day, is my fun day
I shine all day Sunday
That one day when I’m with you
That one day
It’s a fun day
Sunday is my day with you.

 

Oh man, Frankie, baby, you knew so well. Sundays are the kicks.

Two birds in the hand

The first bird to fly into the glass door on Sunday.
The first bird to fly into the glass door on Sunday.
Second bird to fly into the glass door on Sunday.
Second bird to fly into the glass door on Sunday.
Surprise! A third bird hits the door, this one on Monday afternoon. It too eventually flew away.
Surprise! A third bird hits the door, this one on Monday afternoon. It too eventually flew away.

And this Sunday kicked off  in unique style. With a dull thump. A small bird flew right into the sliding glass door on the living room porch and was sitting there motionless, stunned.

The sight took me back to a year earlier when  we found a bird, motionless, on its side but still breathing. It tried to stand up. And fell. I tried everything I could to revive it. Gentle strokes on the feathers, water, whispering and even a slight gentle rolling in a paper towel. The hit it took was too much and the bird died.

Later that day I was sitting on the steps, fixing my bicycle and still feeling badly about not being able to save the bird. A bird with very similar coloring landed next to me on the railing. Close enough that I could touch it. I did touch it. I stroked it on the beak and feathers on the back of its neck. It didn’t flinch. It didn’t flee..

I even brought it a little saucer of water, but it wasn’t interested.

Eventually it flew off, leaving me with the oddest feeling that I had just witnessed something beyond our normal scope of reality.

Read the rest of this entry »

Drifting along the Ambergris Caye shore

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The sargassum sometimes comes in so thick that some property owners on the shore have taken to piling it up into mounds in the shallow areas.
The sargassum sometimes comes in so thick that some property owners on the shore have taken to piling it up into mounds in the shallow areas.

This morning I learned about the day the red apples drifted  up on the shore of Ambergris Caye.

It was in the days before island people had the ability to can and preserve food.

They were fresh, red, sweet and juicy apples and they came in like a red tide. There were so many of them that people grew sick of eating them and fed them to their dogs, recalls Angel Nunez. Read the rest of this entry »

Doing stuff we haven’t done before, Part 5: Poker run

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Ride, Sally, ride: Winner of the season's last poker run in San Pedro, Sally Backalukas flashes the cash and a wining smile at the finish, Pedro's Hotel.
Ride, Sally, ride: Winner of the season’s last poker run in San Pedro, Sally Backalukas, flashes the cash and a winning smile at the finish, Pedro’s Hotel on Saturday night.

“A poker run is an organized event where participants, usually using motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles, boats, snowmobiles, horses, or other means of transportation must visit five to seven checkpoints, drawing a playing card at each one. The object is to have the best poker hand at the end of the run. The event has a time limit, however the participants are not timed—winning is purely a matter of chance.”

— Wikipedia

OK, that is basically it. We don’t use snowmobiles or horses on Ambergris Caye, but under “other,” you can add golf carts. Lots and lots of golf carts.

But more on that in a moment. Read the rest of this entry »

In Belize, the crustacean sensation is sweeping the nation

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Bicycling long the beach in San Pedro Town today, a warm and clear day after a huge drenching during the night.
Hot, hot, hot: Bicycling  along the beach in San Pedro Town, Belize,  around noon. It has been a warm and clear day after a huge drenching during the night.

This week in San Pedro, Belize, our culinary gods are arthropods.

There is nothing more satisfying than a heaping plate of tender, buttery meat-laden exoskeleton. It is such a thrill to much on these giant krill.

The crustacean sensation is sweeping the entire Belize nation.

Yes, you rock, lobster.

Heck yes, it is LobsterFest. Read the rest of this entry »