Wow, Where do I start? First and foremost, thanks to forum members for there posts which allowed me to feel so comfortable in my travels. As you can guess we had a great time, and I'd like to thank all the locals that opened the hearts to me and my family.
Background. This was my first trip to Belize. I was a single with my two kids Andrew 12 and Meghan 8. There age allowed them to tolerate things that most would whine and cry about(details later). Mom and boyfriend have semi-retired(Satieo Belize) in AC for nine years, and staying with them was great. Thanks Ken and Claudia.
I'm way behind on this report and feel I'll miss something. After more than three weeks in Belize there is plenty to write about. Feel free to e-mail me if you have questions (firstname.lastname@example.org). I've created a web photo album at http://community.webshots.com/user/jspecv
. This is only 60 of more than 1000 pics.
Because Mom is a closet gourmet chef, I have no reports on fine dining. I did visit the "co-op", I started saying the Lobster Co-op but the locals just call it the "co-op". At the co-op you purchase a pound of tails (two big ones or three small) for $25bz. Plus the Sausage Factory has great smoked ribs(order ahead). Oh, and Master Lee's has great plate lunch for $6bz.
I'll just pick topics off the top of my head.
Bikes-We rented bikes from Joes for $160bz (three bikes) a week(2 weeks). This was the best way to tour every corner of AC. The beach sand is hard packed in certain places and makes a great path. Home was behind Xanadu and several times a day the kids and I would go north or south, grab a Rica(soda) and chill-out somewhere. Sam at Hustlers pier would see us several times a day, due to the restroom at Wet Willy's. At home we bike w/ helmets far away from trafic, in AC the taxi's pass within inches, but if done right, it was very safe. Night rides were beautiful and challenging. Riding the breakwater south of Ramons on a two foot wide cement wall took skill, but we never landed in the drink.
Resorts-We crashed most of the resorts for drinks and swimming/hamock time. Belizian Shores pool was our favorite pool, Ramons our favorite beach to meet visiting kids.
Locals-Not enough can be said for the style and grace of the local San Pedranos and Belize in general. Every day was new play friends for soccer, marbles or swimming. Our daily routine brought us to the two playgrounds in San Pedro where the local children would come right over and start to play with us. The first morning we were at Joes to rent bikes and Joes young daughter grabbed Meghans hand and took her out back to play, stunned at first, Meghan enjoyed that encounter and every interaction with the local kids.
Tikal-Wow!!! Having seen pics of Characol, how can people compare the two. Yes I will visit Characol(sp) next, but get real. Jaguar Inn was just fine, and Mayawalk was our shuttle.
Ian Andersons, Caves Branch-Did the Bunkhouse with no regrets. Cave tubing was great. New Years bubly provided by the staff was awsome.
Novelo(bus)-What a trip!!! BelizeCity to Zoo, Zoo to Belmopan, Belmopan to CavesBranch. Then CB to San Ignacio. Then Benque to BelizeCity. It takes patience, planning and tolerance but was well worth the experience. Going to Belmopan the bus broke down and we waited for the next bus with everyone else.
SharkRay, HolChan, Caulker, Thunderbolt, MexicoRocks, TresCoco, PalapaBar, SunDiver, MetaChica, Martha's, Ramons the list goes on and on. I will not have enough time for all the stories.
Bad Things-Trash(local term is dirt) is a problem. I didn't notice one local give a concern about throwing there trash right on the ground. Even our Hustler guide took his Snicker wrapper and tossed it into the water. Trash/dirt is everywhere. Sure 20+ days in Belize is a short time to base a judgement, but there is a different style in AC and Belize.
In closing, I hope I can give back to the forum what I have received. An understanding of a place and culture I had no clue about.