Friday – Got up early enough to have eggs benedict for breakfast at El Divino.. yum! Our hilarious waiter Sergio went the extra mile when he stood there to swat the flies away which suddenly appear as soon as your food does. After breakfast we gathered our things and waited on the beach for Seaduced to arrive. We had our group of 10 including Islenutt, plus TexasBug and her two guys, our adoptees from Arizona and two girls from New Jersey we'd met at Mata Rocks bar two days before and adopted as well. Seaduced was nice enough to give our group of 17 our own boat… actually after Monday they realized it was safer to just keep us separated from other folks!
Herman was running the boat instead of Elito, who was detained with construction problems with Seaduced's new building. We motored up past San Pedro to our first snorkel stop at Mexico Rocks. We snorkeled there for a while and then it was time to head up to Robles point. The boats slowed the last part of the trip as the water was getting very shallow and so harder to maneuver through. Herman dropped anchor and we hopped off into the water which was about waist high, and carried our bags ashore. Some of the guys went to help unload the food from the boat. While the food was being prepared some folks went snorkeling while others just enjoyed the water and went back and forth to the boat as that's where the cooler with the beer was. Fresh coconuts were knocked off the trees and cut open at the top so we could try the fresh coconut milk. Monte and Sassan decided the coconut milk was missing something so promptly grabbed a bottle of rum to kick it up a notch. Elito had showed up and some of the guys went to help unload the big cooler from his boat.
Eventually lunch was served and it was barbequed chicken, coconut rice, pesto pasta salad, the awesome grilled potatoes, coconut brownies and of course Marie Sharps hot sauce for those who wanted some spice. Plus there was the fresh coconut meat from the spiked coconuts. It was all absolutely delicious! After lunch some snorkeled again while the rest of us partied in the water and generally had a great time! Once back on the boat, we headed back towards San Pedro. Herman said there would be another snorkel stop. At this point a lot of the group had been drinking the past hours so I thought snorkeling might not be the best idea so suggested we stop at the Palapa Bar instead. We took a quick vote and Palapa Bar won hands down. So we docked there, went upstairs to the bar and started our own party! We had a fun time, dancing to the music and drinking down our Belikens. It was our friend Rob's birthday and he'd been partying a lot already, and people buying him drinks just helped that along. On the boat ride from the Palapa back towards San Pedro he was hugging the cooler at the front of the boat. We stopped briefly in town for something, I forget what, so half of us jumped in the water for a pee break. Then it was back to Banana Beach where everyone stumbled off the boat and back to their rooms to get showered. I definitely recommend this Beach BBQ trip if you want less of a boat ride and more time in the water for snorkeling, swimming and such!
After getting cleaned up we rendezvoused at the Squirrels Nest. A few of us decided to go check on the birthday boy since his roommates had disappeared and since he'd had to be helped to his room after we got off the boat we wanted to make sure he was still breathing. Rob was passed out.. so someone, ok maybe it was me…. thought we could make him into a human birthday card for himelf. I got my sharpie pen, Deedra had the nail polish and with help from Jan, Sassan, Maria and Darren we decorated the passed out Rob. I left after writing Happy Birthday on his back, and went down to the Squirrels Nest. The others returned to the bar not long after that and said that Rob had woken up and stumbled into the bathroom. Maria and I went to check that he was ok and hadn't fallen in the tub or something. He was passed out again on his back this time, and someone had drawn flowers around his nipples! Plus his nails were painted and the paint job was not good (guess they didn't do well coloring between the lines as kids either), Drunks painting nails tend to get as much polish elsewhere as on the nail. Anyway, in case he wasn't feeling good later we put a trash can next to him plus a bottle of water by the bed. Maria had the bright idea to wake him up and make him drink water but that didn't go too well. He popped right up, started dancing and demanding to go out. We tried to fake him out by saying we'd just gotten home and it was 2am but he wasn't falling for that. So I then told him it was 6pm and we were all going to take naps before dinner, at that he said “ok” and flopped back down on the bed. So we quickly left the room before the pop-up-drunk woke up again.
Scott, Maria, Monte and I took one cart and went into town and had dinner at Lagniappe. Unfortunately my other half was pretty trashed and after we had our delicious conch fritter appetizer, he wanted to know where the check was. We hadn't got our entrees yet though, which he hadn't realized, so after we ate we had Scott take him back to the hotel as he obviously needed to crash. Maria and I went towards Sharks and discovered Cannibals Bar and its hammock chairs on the beach, so we got a couple of Belikens and decided to hang there until Scott returned. Some more of our group appeared, they had gone to Jambels for dinner and really enjoyed it. Scott showed up so we decided to walk up the street and see what was going on. We stuck our heads in Fidos and found the rest of our gang so went in there. Pedro, Jackie and the some of the Jersey girls from our hotel were in there too so I chatted with them for a bit. After hanging at Fidos for a while, we decided to leave and go check out Sharks. It wasn't too happening though. Our friend Dan was starving but the kitchen had closed. There were still hot dogs on the rotating heater though so he got one of those, and soon regretted it as the thing was nasty and looked like it had been on there way past its prime! We headed back to Banana Beach and found a couple of the Jersey girls sitting out front, all dressed up and waiting for some of their friends go to into town to Big Daddys as it was their last night. We chatted with them for a bit and then crashed.
Slept in a bit. Monte told me that Rob was mad about our “artwork” from the prior night but seemed to be calming down a bit at least. Trying to redeem myself, I helped scrub the sharpie pen off Rob's back. Luckily with all the sunscreen he'd had on the prior day it came off pretty easily. We'd gotten Rob a rum cake for his birthday and a card that the group all signed. So we had a little surprise birthday party by the small pool for him. Then Sassan had to leave to fly home, it was depressing to see one of our group go. Then there were 9. Monte, Pam and I decided to go into town to do a little shopping and get lunch. We went to Cocina Caramba for lunch and it was delicious. We had the conch ceviche and I had quesidillas and the others had fish sandwiches. The owner came over and greeted us and gave us coupons for dinner to get a free ceviche and rum punch. Definitely go check that little place out, it is on middle street a couple of blocks north of Elvis.
Lunch over, it was time to shop.. sort of anyway. I wanted to get a new outfit from La Isla Bonita Designs and while I was trying on stuff there, Monte and Pam headed to Cholos for cold Belikens. After buying a cute short set I went and met them there for a beer. Then we went to a couple more stores and then to Cannibals for a beer, then one more store and then headed back and stopped at Ramons Purple Parrot bar for a beer. Then it was back to the hotel and the Squirrels nest for a beer. Later on the group met at the Squirrels nest after everyone's naps and showers were done. We then stopped in at El Divino to get some frozen drinks to go and hopped our golf carts downtown to find somewhere for dinner. The group wanted to try Cocina Caramba so I produced the coupons we'd gotten at lunch and we went there. Monte and Pam decided to go try Papis instead since they didn't want to eat at the same place we went for lunch. I stayed with the rest of the gang and we got our free Conch Ceviche and Rum punch. We took the waiters advice and ordered the entrée's he recommended, such as Tour Guide style dishes which were a hit. It was Darrens birthday this time so the waiter brought round upside down rum shots and a towel. Darren leaned back with the towel around his neck as the waiter poured the shot until he signaled stop. He then did that with anyone else at our table who wanted to try. Darren got a second round before we left the restaurant. It was a great dinner. We met up with the other two at the outside Jaguars bar. From there we headed to Hideaway as they have a band on Saturday nights. We met up with Texas Bug there as well and had fun dancing. After that three of the guys headed downtown and the rest of us went to the Barefoot Iguana for the Punta band. When the band said “we need a white girl” we pushed our friend Maria towards the stage. She got up there and they taught her to Punta. The band was good except the woman in the band cannot sing, she can dance great but her singing was awful. Four of us decided to head to bed around 1am, as we left we ran into the 3 guys coming back from downtown. We didn't learn about the drama which ensued a short time later until the next morning. Turns out when the other golf cart was driven the short distance between the Hideaway and Iguanas, the one driving didn't realize there was a lock for it and the others on the cart didn't notice it wasn't padlocked up. So it got stolen and was located a while later by the local police once it had been crashed into a tree. There were so many different story versions the next morning it was difficult to know what exactly happened. One story had it being stolen right in front of one of the guys who ran after it and tripped over the rope speed bump, another had a golf cart police chase going in.. so as usual, the real story was somewhere in the middle of all the ones we heard. Needless to say it cost $75 in damages and everyone made double sure their carts were properly locked no matter who was driving it from that point on!
A total lazy ass day where we spent most of it just lazing on the beach. Around 3pm we got folks moving and decided to go to Crazy Canucks for their beach party. The boys played horseshoes and the rest of us just hung out, took photos and listened to the band. After the band finished a few of us ran back to the hotel to get showered and then came back up to find the gang at the Pepperonis pizza place eating dinner. Not being in the mood for pizza 4 of us went downtown and decided to try Papis. It was really good, we all enjoyed our meals and the ceviche appetizer. We found the rest of our group back at Coconuts Lucifer bar. They raved about their pizzas so had also had good dinners. Coconuts was kind of mellow and we were all kind of in a mellow mood after 9 days straight of sun, fun and Belikens. So eventually we headed back to Banana Beach and got some drinks and tried to see if we could find the southern cross, but the sky was partly cloudy so didn't cooperate. Oh well, we'll see it another year then.
Went into town to have breakfast at Estels for the first time this week. Got their breakfast burrito, minus the refried beans (yuk) and had them put the potatos in there instead which was real tasty. The others had a fruit bowl and an omelet and really enjoyed those too. While waiting for our food Monte had gone over to the Dive shop to see if he could get a dive in that afternoon, since all the others he had tried for had been cancelled all week due to the winds. He came back with a smile so had one set for that afternoon. After breakfast we walked back to our golf cart and headed back to the hotel to catch the three members of our group that were leaving that morning. Rob, Lyle and Dan were leaving to go back home which was depressing. I expect Mata Rocks bar owner was as depressed as we were as his receipts would drop about 50% now. Monte stayed to wait for his 1pm dive while myself, Pam, Islenutt (Jan), Scott and Maria went into town to catch the 1pm ferry to Caye Caulker. Since we got there early we grabbed a Beliken from Sharks for the water taxi ride. There was an enormous yacht anchored off shore that we had watched come in earlier that morning. In passing it on the water taxi, it confirmed what we suspected, that it was Jimmy Buffett's yacht. The Conch Republic Flag and the boat name of Savannah (his daughters name) was what gave it away to us. Figures, he comes to Belize when we are about to leave! Being big parrotheads it would have been fun to just have run into him casually at a bar on the island, just to say hi or buy him a Beliken to thank him for his music, nothing more. Anyway, we went through our one and only rainstorm on the water taxi. It wasn't even a storm, just about a minute's worth of rain drops and that was it in the entire 11 days. We docked at Caye Caulker by the Seaside Cabanas so stopped in their little bar for a fresh Beliken. Then we headed down the main street to Rasta Pasta for lunch. While waiting for our food I wondered out on the beach to take pictures and saw our favorite Seaduced boat pull up to the dock and offload their group for this day. I told Maria and Pam who promptly ran off to the boat to see if they could scam some rum punch. They came back with rum punch and Carlton who works on the boat. So we ended up essentially kidnapping Carlton since he missed his boat back and came back with us on the water taxi later that afternoon.
At Rasta Pasta their food was fabulous, we split some enormous conch fritters and some crab Rangoon appetizers, then some of us tried their Thai cocnut curry and the others had the coconut battered shrimp or chicken. Everything was delicious. Marilyn the owner came by to talk to us, she seems like a super lady. After lunch we did a bit of shopping. Jan led us to this store called Chocolats which had some beautiful batik sarongs, sundresses and jewelry. A nice dent in the credit card later and we headed back down towards the water taxi dock. Since we were early we went back to the Seaside Cabanas bar for some more cold Belikens and some of us went and waded in the water before taking the crowded last water taxi of the day. We told Carlton we'd be at Crazy Canucks that night and then headed back to the hotel to get cleaned up. For dinner that night we tried Elvi's again. This time it was a mixed bag, the three of us got the shrimp special thought that was ok, but the others who got the carribean chicken had to ask for steak knives to cut it, it was so tough. Maybe that was a chicken drop gone bad! After a disappointing dinner we walked around town a bit and ran into our favorite bartender Sharlyn on her golf cart. We told her to come to Crazy Canucks later as well. At Canucks the punta band was playing that night and it was pretty crowded, Carlton, Sharlyn and our other local friend Manuel all showed up there. Some of us tried punta dancing with the locals. One guy was being a bit too persistent with one of our friends though which made her uncomfortable. We wound down our last night and headed back to the hotel to crash and do some packing.
We got up, finished our packing and while a couple of our group grabbed their last time on the beach, a few of us grabbed our last eggs benedict at El Divino. The golf cart was turned in, our tabs paid, tips left and had a quick mimosa while waiting to go and get our taxi. It was sad to leave yet again, we waved goodbye to Jan and Jackie who were still staying a few more days, and headed to the airport to catch our Tropic Air puddle jumper. In Belize airport we did a little shopping and used up the rest of our Belize money at Jet's bar. Then when the final boarding calls were called, we got our flights back to reality, and for some of us, cold miserable weather in Atlanta. All in all it was another fantastic trip. We are looking at some various places since we like to discover new vacation spots. But we could always end up back on AC again next year, who knows! Its definitely a place I intend to return to, be it next year or beyond.
Andrea in Atlanta