The following is the first of a bunch of emails I sent off in late Nov/early Dec to family, parrot head friends & the Texas Mermaid School of Floridays & Feminine Ways. Please excuse any likely inaccuracies as I am, quite frankly, a moron. Thanks! K.
Ravishing Beauty...Startling Devastation...
It's just another day in paradise...
Got a surprise first-class bump from Miami to Belize City, so that meant gloriously free shrimp, scallops and champagne for K-Wo!!! Geez, I LOVE how the other half lives!
The prop plane flight from Belize City to Placencia (a tiny, coastal fishing village in southern Belize) was entirely too short...and
entirely too beautiful. Some weather was blowing in from the Honduras as we passed the Mayan Mountains (picture the Smokies, but covered with dense jungle growth)...the green peaks were tearing the smoldering clouds and at the furthest point of visibility amid the "smoke" was an incredibly vivid rainbow. Absolutely stunning! (DOH! And some of the best sleeping Robert's done on a plane!)
As the 7 of us deplaned at the block long airstrip (prior to rolling into the impending ocean), Marcia, the innkeeper at Mariposa, stormed the plane and possibly gave me the biggest kiss I've ever received from another
She's a Brit...and stitch! Her husband, Peter, is a Yank...and charming, charming, charming. They came down here 8 years ago to dive for two weeks...ended up buying some grossly overgrown oceanfront property...then built their home, Mariposa, from scratch. They are GIFTED!
The inn is breathtaking...our entire bedroom wall has mahogany doors which open out onto fresh, clean and for the most part newly replanted palms,
beauganvillas...and lord knows what other incredible ornamentals! A second set of storms blew in after midnight and we were able to leave
everything wide open and enjoy the whipping of the palm trees and the crashing waves just outside.
The beach is secluded and Marcia and Peter make it perfectly clear that they'll be around only if you need them...otherwise, you won't see them!
We have our own palapa with hammocks right on the water...and the fish are jumping like there's no tomorrow. (Heck, maybe there *is* no tomorrow...maybe it's all about today!) We also have an outdoor shower. PARTY !!!
AND TIKI JO...truly in tribute to you and all the other gorgeous mermaids, I enjoyed the most heartbreakingly beautiful nekkid swim in the pale
moonlight! The sky was black due to a recent storm (mentioned below)...except for the moon which was nearly full. The lunar shine changed the ocean colors varying from dozens of deep blues to cool, cool lavendars. All of this as the cranes landed on my beach towel and
watched me giggling like a lunatic in the warm water nearby.
Got my first crab "bite" in the afternoon. (Poor little guy, I hope he didn't lose a leg when I sorta sideswiped him!)
And gave Robert his first class in "tormentos"...relatively aggressive storms that blow in out of the southwest. (As in, I'm going to make you peddle into town now, in the dark, so we can buy some spaghetti...but
before we can start back, a tormento will blow in so we can peddle through one b*tch of a warm storm in a place we've never seen before--thank
god, there's only one road!--oh, and by the way...there are no lights in Placencia. Enjoy!)
It's a blessing that we've got our "boarder" friends as they were invaluable in helping me with the last minute change to Mariposa. See, Mariposa is maybe 2 miles by bike outta Placencia proper. Placencia was hit by Hurricane Iris about this time last year. Unlike when Mitch hit San Pedro (la Isla Bonita y the "party" island) in 2000, I'm guessing that country (et al) has not been able to quickly come to the financial aid of Placencia. One year after Mitch, San Pedro was seemingly thriving bigger and better than ever...one year after Iris, Placencia still looks striken. A stark difference from where we're lodging even so nearby.
When Iris hit, it stuck to the downtown area and it ground...an churned. Scores of what were gem-colored homes are literally shattered and still in piles around the town. Some tumbled cars and boats remain. Currently, small contained fires burn continually to clear all the dead, once dense foliage that consisently made Placencia one of those "top 10 beach" destinations.
As always, the people here are warm, wonderful and funny as all get out! I have no doubt that with their spirit, love and sheer pride in this beautiful land that Placencia will be healed in a year or two. (Come now before she gets rediscovered! You'll love her...she's funky, independant and glorious in her own right...kinda like a beautiful woman with a black eye promenading up a buzy avenue!)
I can hardly wait to do some boating or snorkeling or DEEP SEA FISHING (wish you were here "Flyby"!) tomorrow.