In Pam’s email it was clear that survival had taken a back seat to enjoying less traumatic honeymoon happenings. Finally, the “kids” got to relax – and eat the wildlife.


kismet signJust want to tell you all some of the cool things we’ve been doing here. The first day we rode around town on our bikes and met the very off-beat lady who runs the Kismet Inn Cafe. Bought food, went home and cooked, and had a quiet evening. Had to throw out the rice we just bought because it was full of bugs.


Yesterday morning at 9 a dude and his son came to pick us up in front of our house to go snorkeling. A note on race/ethnicity: these guys were black, as are many people in town, and are Garifuna. Garifuna are descendants of West African, Carib and Arawak peoples. Others are Creoles, descendants of African slaves and European settlers, and they have different faces and lighter skin. Then there are the Maya, who have three different groups, each with a different language. And the Mestizo, who are descendants of the Maya and Spanish settlers. We have met people of all of these groups here. There are also tall, white Mennonites, who are descended from German settlers – saw them, too.


South water keyWe rode in bumpy waves fourteen miles out to the barrier reef, and snorkeled there in the scorching sun. I had never done it or ever even worn flippers, so I was kind of nervous and kept getting water in my tube!  Our guide went with us and we saw so many colorful fish – also barracuda, nurse shark, sting rays, and some kind of spotted ray that swam by us so gracefully.  It’s so quiet under water that it’s hard to be aware of danger.  Coral that looked like brains.


snorkeling siteWe stopped at an island called South Water Caye, which was a paradise. All white sand and palm trees, where there is a marine biology station. But no one was there, and we could just relax there and eat lunch. Our guide threw out a net when we saw a rain of fish and caught some bait fish, which he later used to fish a two-foot barracuda out of the water where we were snorkeling.


Once back home, we were sunburned and tired, but showered and jumped on our bikes to go try the “Curve Bar,” a newish place down the road near the river. It was awesome!

Curve bar2

Curve Bar

Matt had fishburgers and I had salad with blackened barracuda – barracuda is delicious! A photo shoot was going on there for the new website, and the photographer took pictures of us eating our meal.

Curve BarOther ex-pats were there eating, including a young couple from New York City who had auctioned off all their belongings to move to Belize.

Our Belizean waiter was disappointed because a crocodile he had been feeding, named “Junior,” had not shown up that afternoon for the photographer – the restaurant is on a dock over the river. As the waiter was at our table cleaning, he suddenly shouted, “there he is!”

Sure enough, Junior was “parked” near some steps at the edge of the river waiting for his food.

Junior againAt least six feet long, his eyes glowed in the dark like a cat’s. The waiter ran to get the meat he had saved, and Matt went down to the river’s edge to observe the feeding. Got some good pictures because he was hanging around for a while, swimming below our table and occasionally going back to the steps hoping to get more food.



Pam and Junior



As it happened, on the way to the restaurant I had heard some noise in the water near the path, which is bordered by mangroves, trees that grow in water and where the crocs like to “hang out.” Now certain it had been a croc, we were a little nervous about riding our bikes back in the dark! We made it home, though, carrying flashlights. Then the electricity went out at our house so it was candles and early to bed.


Mayan Temple


TarantulaToday we were picked up by our guide and drove to the Guatemalan border to see the beautiful Mayan ruins. The countryside inland is gorgeous – green, unspoiled and mountainous.  Took many pictures, including ones of howler monkeys in the trees. Our guide at the ruins showed us how to find big holes in the ground, vibrate a stick inside, and make emerge…a tarantula!  Huge furry spiders.

The people are poor here, and many not highly educated.  Still, they speak three to four languages, including dialects that have nothing to do with their ethnic groups.  It’s amazing to listen to them talking.

Blue hole pic from PamOn the way home tonight we stopped at a natural cold spring called the blue hole.  We jumped in wearing bathing suits, and our guide took off his shorts and jumped in wearing his undies.  We got beer and lime juice and came home.  Wonderful day, fantastic people.

Matt’s dog bite is healing well.  However, he was advised by a guy at the croc bar last night who works for the humane society to do the rabies shots upon our return.

house on stiltsGot to go. But must share: our guide, the one in the undies, said they had a flash flood in town a few months ago and that he had to kill a 20 foot croc in waist-high water with a sledgehammer because it was going after his dog. He forgot to tell his wife about the dead croc, and she got scared seeing it when she was dropped off from work in a canoe. The villagers “cleaned” and grilled the croc, slicing it into one-pound steaks for whoever wanted some. It was reported to be delicious – similar to iguana.  Many houses here are on stilts.  People can’t walk their dogs too close to the mangroves because dogs “disappear,” a favorite dish for crocs.

Bye bye.

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Matts lunchP.S. Left is a close-up of Matt’s lunch – “the catch of the day” – gibnut, AKA The Royal Rat. And below is the large rabbit-like rodent when alive and before being stewed into an island delicacy.
gibnut pre-cooking





Thank you, Pam!  And Matt, too!


Matt Pam relaxing