Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Ambergris Caye (Part 1)

After our three days in Belize City we caught a ferry over to Ambergris Caye which is a Belizean island off the mainland.  We stayed in the Cocotal Inn and Cabanas.  Our one bedroom cabana was so nice.  It was just built and we were the ones to break it in!  They were doing last minute touches even as we were arriving.  This was our little home for a week:)  It was just steps from the water and Cocotal was just a beautiful little place.  I loved driving into it each night.  The foliage was beautiful and the workers there were just splendid!

The front of our cabana looking out to the Carribean Sea.

Our beautiful view.

 Our living area and full kitchen.

Our bedroom

 On arrival they offered us rum punch...we told them we didn't drink alcohol so they just gave us punch.  Unfortunately, it was really strong and I couldn't drink it.  Rick drank most of his though:)

We rented a golf cart to get us around the island for the week.  There are a few vehicles on the island but mostly golf carts buzzing around.  Rick had lots of fun driving around dodging potholes and speed bumps!

 After getting settled into our rooms we drove over to the 'food trucks' and walked out to the lagoon to watch the sunset.  We thought we might get some grub there but decided on the place next door.

 Stella's was a really fun place to have our first dinner on the island.  Our table was out on the sand and we had a nice view of the lagoon.  At Stella's they have a different chef from around the island come in each night to serve their specialty.  This was pizza night and it sure was delicious!  We also ordered an appetizer that was really yummy....a papaya black bean dip with chips.  I'm not a huge fan of papaya but this was great!  I'm going to try do duplicate it at home.

 The next day was Sunday and church was bright and early at 9:00.  We got there just as it was starting.  The branch there is pretty small with only about 30 people but they were very friendly.  The island has three sets of missionaries.  Two elder and one sister companionships.  We saw them on their bikes a couple of times around the island throughout the week.

 After church we made up some sandwiches for lunch and had a nice Sunday nap.  Later we took a walk along the beach......actually, there's not much of a "beach" anywhere on the island just a little bit of sand and dirt leading up to the murky water.  The nice water and the reef is about 1/3 of a mile off the coast.  More of that later......

 We ended our Sunday with a Conference talk and some games and the movie "The Other Side of Heaven".

The next day (Monday) we drove a couple miles towards town and stopped at Ak Bol, a restaurant next to the water.  Rick ordered a papaya juice and we both had a belizean breakfast which included eggs, ham and fry jacks (aka scones)  We also shared some coconut french toast!  It was delicious!  The bees loved it too.  There were about 10 bees hovering our plate.

 During the day we drove around San Pedro..... the only town on the island.  It is quite small but it was really fun just driving around looking at all of the people doing what they do.  There were a lot of fun smells with people cooking in their restaurants.  There are a lot of little shops and cafes in the town.  We stopped at a bakery for some pastries and then at a fruit stand to get ingredients to make fresh fruit smoothies.  Rick made smoothies three times there in our cabana.  Holy Cow!  They are so delish with all that fresh fruit!!  We also bought veggies to make our own pico de gallo!

In the afternoon we got a kayak (courtesy of Cocotal) and launched it from their boat dock.  As I said before, the water close to the land is murky and there is a lot of sea grass.  We hopped in our kayak....and I would be lying if I said I wasn't nervous....and rowed about a third of a mile to the coral reef.  The reef that runs from Mexico down to Honduras is the second largest reef in the world second only to the great barrier reef in Australia.  We had to row through the boat lane which constantly has boats jetting through it.  That wasn't my biggest concern though,  I just didn't want to tip over!!  After just a little ways the water was a glorious blue green.  We could see the sand on the bottom and it was soo beautiful!  We got to the reef safely and moored up to the bouy and hopped in the water.  It was only about four feet deep which was nice.  We got our fins and masks on and away we went!  It was really incredible!  The reef and life out there was magnificent!  Lots and lots of fish but the funnest thing we (Rick) found was an octopus.  He was hiding under a rock and if you got close to him he turned an opaque white color.  It is so cool to see the sea life turn different colors right in front of your eyes.  Rick was in heaven:-)  We stayed out about an hour and then rowed back.

That night we drove out to Secret Beach which from the looks of it online was supposed to be this fabulous beach.  Well......not so much.  First of all,  it was completely in the middle of nowhere on a dirt path filled with HUGE potholes.  I really thought we would never get to the beach.  It is located North of Cocotal and on the Lagoon side.  Without going into it let's just say that the ride was NOT worth the beach.  The sunset was pretty awesome though!

 Rick made friends with Cocotal's resident dog, Mara.  He liked giving her treats and she would camp outside our back door waiting for more:)

Tuesday it rained ALL DAY!!  I enjoyed laying around our room reading a book.  Rick left for a little while and went into town.  He gets stir crazy really easy.  He came back in the afternoon and we walked next door to White Sands for a little lunch.  Here he is enjoying his ceviche.  He loves that stuff!  He had it three times that week!

Lots of rain!!

 That night I was ready to get out of the cabana so we put on our ponchos and headed into San Pedro. We did a little window shopping and then drove down back street.  There are three main roads running parallel to each other in San Pedro.  Front street is nearest the ocean, middle street is of course in the middle and back strew is close to the lagoon.  I came to LOVE back street, especially at night.  The street is not that long but it was just fun driving slow passing the tortillarias and little cafe shops that the people run.  Lots of times people had their front doors open so I could see inside their homes.  There were locals milling about and I just fell in love with back street.  From then on every night after dinner before heading back to Cocotal we took a drive down that wonderful street.

1 comment:

  1. Oh MY!! What a FUN Adventure for you guys!! How WONDERFUL that you got to go there!! I'm just wondering how in the WORLD you managed to endure (and even enjoy!) that next week with us sisters in OREGON??? It was so LOW KEY compared to that fantastically wonderful time you had just had in all that Tropical BEAUTY!! Wow--It was really nice of you to come to the Oregon Coast with us, and I'm Delighted that you had just had this marvelous time with RICK!! How FUN!! Thanks so much for posting this!! Love, Karen