Portofino Resort- Now with a new BEACH BAR!!
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#61511 - 01/16/03 04:38 PM AC in Nov travel report
BobS Offline
Here's a synopsis of an 8-day late Nov '02 trip with my adult son.

We stayed at Changes in Latitude B&B hosted by Lori Reed, scuba-ed, snorkled, ate and drank out and basically experienced the island. We had a wonderful time inspite of the weatherman not dealing his best cards till the end of our week's stay.

If you are still with me here's a little more detail.

We thoroughly enjoyed Changes in Latitude and while a B&B may not be for everyone we felt fortunate with our choice made from just web information and emails with prior guests. It starts with owner Lori Reed's hospitality. She - a transplanted Canadian - was available to set up charters, recommend the latest best dining spots[and avoid the undesirable ones]and in general act like a family member with our best interests at heart. Even the web info she supplied prior was the best. My son and I looked forward to the gratis wonderful home cooked breakfasts provided daily by her AC girls which gave us a chance to chat with the locals & their friends and get a feel for their lives. I relearned that one doesn t require a host of worldly goods to be happy and content. These same young ladies put on a native dance show for the guests which was lively and cute. I found the location to be perfect - close enough to town to enjoy and at the same time far enough from town to enjoy.

We did all but one scuba with a small local instructor[we are certified] recommended by Lori and were most pleased. The exception to this game plan was our trip to The Blue Hole. We made a decision to go to the Hole early in the week even tho the weather wasn't great becasue we didn t want to chance missing it later.

The Hole requires ~2.5 hours to reach the 55 mile off shore site even on a 48' and fast changing weather patterns can either improve or worsen. The latter was our destiny. Our biggest regret was the weather related turbidity at the Hole. Even tho we were a small group and stayed compact below most of us missed the trio of welcoming sharks. One sensed there was probably a variety of fish there on a calmer day but we saw none. The boat ride in ~12' seas was an experience. The bow spray and torrential rainfall obliterated visibility. Visits to the head were challenging. And while we loved the bouncy ride ~ 1/3 of our group experienced mal de mer in what were almost monsoon conditions. Boat pitching and heeling made the usual over-the-side position dangerously impossible but gave rise to a number of bucket-heads on return who thought their watches stopped. But we now own bragging privileges for making this unique dive. :=]

We rented golfcarts to explore the island even north of the ferry and suggest anyone would enjoy the same. Potholes vying to be defined as obstacles summoned up the best of one's driving skills only to enhance the fun.

Barefoot Skinny performances, fresh bakery delights, 'shopping'[remember we were two guys so it was more like looking], and making Bingo bets on numbers selected by a rooster[I'll let you connect the dots] all added to an enjoyable week.
Walking unpaved streets like the Caribbean of old was refreshing. Did you know when it's dry merchants will water the street to keep dust in check?

One caveat to share is that we learned to count our change. The acceptance of either Belize or US currency, or both together, creates a colorful confusion which can lead to accidental miscounts I suppose. But by the time we were short changed for the third time we began to draw different conclusions. These events all occured in bars.

This web site offers excellent advice in that AC might not be for everyone. And,like the seven blind Hindus describing an elephant, perspective matters. If we wanted fancy restaurants and spoon fed entertainment we could have stayed home.

Any vacationer passing up AC will miss a memorable place and a people who may at times be politely shy but once engaged offer up a warm congeniality that distinguishes AC from many other resort locales who take tourists for granted and are unappreciative.

AC's relatively small population treats one to the pleasantness of bumping into familar faces unexpectedly throughout the day. It was common to keep remeeting new friends, whether tourists or natives, in eateries, bars and stores. For example, we befriended a Frenchman south of the Belize yacht club who resided on beach front property where he displayed his artwork best described as ecletic art deco. His talent reincarnated discarded items into art fancifulness. Next day when we visited Capt Morgans at far north..well you guessed already we bumped into him. He was there to transport several geese home. We shared a soft drink and discussed recipes to foreign affairs. He leaves to return in a small boat down the coast with the geese sticking up like periscopes. I can only wonder what the folks on the beaches thought of this profile motoring on by.

This message grew long even without more specifics but anyone interested in detail can feel free to ask.

#61512 - 01/16/03 11:43 PM Re: AC in Nov travel report
seashell Offline
Who was the dive guy you went with?

Sounds like you caught the spirit there and I'm sure glad to hear it. Though I must say, I'm quite surprised to hear that anyone short changed you in a bar . . . giggle.
A fish and a bird can fall in love, but where will they build their nest?

#61513 - 01/17/03 12:01 AM Re: AC in Nov travel report
Chloe Offline
Bobs, you are my kinda guys, happy campers.

Good to see a report on Changes of Latitudes.

Glad you made the best of your time on Ambergris, inspite of the weather.
Dare To Deviate

#61514 - 01/17/03 01:17 AM Re: AC in Nov travel report
Windjammer Offline
I too am glad to see a positive post for Changes in Latitudes and curious who the dive guy was.
Hope you post makes Cat Wingate feel even more confident about her decision for Feb.

#61515 - 01/17/03 11:17 AM Re: AC in Nov travel report
BobS Offline
I'll have dive operator posted next week with his web site.

I might add for readers that one article we were glad to have packed was a light weight hooded nylon windbreaker. We could easily carry it along and have it ready whenever the rain visited or temperatures dropped. They were especially handy riding in the golf carts and even on the open dive boats when wind chills increased with boat speed.

#61516 - 01/21/03 11:47 AM Re: AC in Nov travel report
BobS Offline
The local dive operator we used to scuba[including night dive] and snorkle except for the Blue Hole adventure was Alonzo Flota. See www.underdasea.com. Phones 016-4769 and c/016-4769.
He and his first mate - Roberto - picked us up promptly at the Belize Yacht Club but would do so at any prearranged convenient location. They were professional, courteous and safety oriented. They knew the waters very well. And because AC was not crowded we were the only two aboard for our dives. The point is that Alonzo did not cancel. I am pleased to recommend him.


Click for excellent scuba lessons with Elbert Greer!

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