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#66080 - 04/09/03 11:42 AM Re: Trip Report 3/29 to 4/6 (Nothing but the truth)  
Joined: May 2002
Posts: 918
o jackie Offline
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o jackie  Offline
My feeling exactly, Andrea!!!! I would rather have dust on all the roads, then a Mickey D's on just one corner.

Jackie

#66081 - 04/09/03 03:54 PM Re: Trip Report 3/29 to 4/6 (Nothing but the truth)  
Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 3,677
Bobber Offline
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Bobber  Offline
On my first trip, in a cranky little van through the streets in the dark between the airfield and Paradise Villas, I asked myself, "what the hell has my wife gotten me into now?" By the next evening, I had accepted it as a preferred vacation spot. Yeah, a bit of trash around (but there seems to be a trash can on every corner of town) and I pick it up and toss it in the cans if I have a chance. It is just trash, it doesn't seem to be garbage. Slow service? It's just island time, have a Belikin and socialize. That's what you're there for anyway. No need to hurry or dress up, take your time, smell the roses. Don't get to do that at home. A lot of us like it that way. Sounds like you just weren't sufficiently relaxed.
Your report reads like a lot of fun to me, other than the weather.


Been there, done that, the washing machine ate the T-shirt
#66082 - 04/09/03 04:37 PM Re: Trip Report 3/29 to 4/6 (Nothing but the truth)  
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 19
Les Spicy Offline
 
Les Spicy  Offline
Hey Folks,

Just finished my first trip to San Pedro during the same time span, March 29-April 5.

We stayed at The Palms and our friends were at the Sunbreeze. Our experience was very similiar since the weather was so extreme. It simply colored your impression of everything and limited your choice of activities.

No blow by blow account for me. Memory is good enough but my fingers wear out fast.

Overall impressions: We would go back! This was an island with faults but charm. Low level buildings and rustic streets made the town interesting to wander around. We had been warned the beach was nothing to be excited about, but since I don't get into lying around the sand, it was a great byway to stroll around. We never rented a golf cart as it was pricey and walking was fun.

I never put shoes on after the first couple days. We walked to town for drinks and meals and down to Riccos and El Divino for dinners on two nights.

My goal and my friends was the scuba diving. It was very interesting diving but does not compare in my mind to the wall diving of Cozumel. Given the wind and waves, I can diving on a couple of days to snorkle with the family.

My friends had a package deal with the Sunbreeze and its associated dive op. Given the reading out on the web, I would never have chosen it and my friends, the word on the web was right. But their dives were paid for so I booked with them.

Its a low cost op and it shows. The boats are old and in poor shape (one had its bottom fall out on a trip to Caye Caulker that week). The service was minimal. Gear setup was on your own. Water was bags in a cooler that no one pointed out. As a comparision, ops in Cozumel will have your gear rigged, pop & water & fresh fruit not only available but urged upon you.

Eveyday, I had to pay for my dives in advance as if I'd walk out on my tab. Even with leaving over $1000 worth of gear in thier shop. Some days I dove and some not - mostly weather related.

We booked a couple of day trips thru the Palms and they used a different operator for the trips. What a difference!! We had a great time with snorkleing Hol Chan & Shark Alley and did "the Manatee" trip. Actually, that one had one of the best meals of the vacation with the fresh fish cooked over a fire pit.

The area is great, the place we stayed was very nice, the people we talked with were nice, the shopkeepers didn't harranuge you, the ambiance was delightful, the weather too windy, and the sun tanning ladies at Ramons were so pretty.

We will go back to Belize and so would our friends who came down. We will also take care to book with the dive ops that gets good reviews as that really was the only negative.

Oh, we had a good time at Fidos for joke night despite the paucity of people. Our daughter got to learn a new command "Earmuffs!!" as the jokes got pretty blue. eek


"You must learn from the mistakes of others. You can't possibly live long enough to make them all yourself."

Sam Levenson
#66083 - 04/09/03 05:05 PM Re: Trip Report 3/29 to 4/6 (Nothing but the truth)  
Joined: Mar 2003
Posts: 476
Marie Offline
 
Marie  Offline
Re diving, I highly recommend Sylvin Forman at Bottom Time. He and his brother are two of the first two divemasters on the caye. He sets it all up for you, and keeps your gear for as long as you need it there. We were there 19 days and didn't pay a cent until the day we left. Now, we've known him for years, so he trusts us, but that was how he was our first visit.

#66084 - 04/09/03 08:32 PM Re: Trip Report 3/29 to 4/6 (Nothing but the truth)  
Joined: Sep 2000
Posts: 85
mossback Offline
 
mossback  Offline
That's probably the most objective and detailed review of Ambergris Caye I've ever read. Thanks.

#66085 - 04/09/03 11:43 PM Re: Trip Report 3/29 to 4/6 (Nothing but the truth)  
Joined: Mar 2003
Posts: 476
Marie Offline
 
Marie  Offline
just reread your post...boy, did I get dumb luck this year. Happened to insulate the house before this awful weather came, and apparently missed your bad weather experience. We were there 2/13 to 3/4, and it was perfect. Missed a few days diving because it was rough, but other than that, 80+ degree days. They tell me it was because the Northern weather was so bad and the jetstream gave you big problems on your trip. What do I know? Well, do come back again, and if you can, give it a few more days. That way, if bad days occur you have a chance for better days.

#66086 - 04/10/03 08:54 AM Re: Trip Report 3/29 to 4/6 (Nothing but the truth)  
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 266
Seaislegal Offline
 
Seaislegal  Offline
Hey Les Spicy,

who did you do your manatee trip with? I hear some cook out, and others bring prepared food along. I'd rather have the cook-out.

Thanks!
Andrea


Andrea in Atlanta
#66087 - 04/10/03 09:56 AM Re: Trip Report 3/29 to 4/6 (Nothing but the truth)  
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 790
mobunny Offline
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mobunny  Offline
Hi Andrea, (Most repeated from an earlier post) Was in San Pedro on 3/21 and did the manatee trip with Willie from Searious. It was an amazing day!!! We saw dolphin and several manatees. One kept surfacing closer and closer to the boat. It was so cool even though you can't swim with them. They are very shy. We then went over to tiny Goff Caye for our delicious lunch bbq. Pasta salad, curried potatoes, chunky veggie salad, BBQ'd chicken and brownies for dessert and of course all the rum punch, Beliken, soda and water you can drink. (We are vegetarians so there was alot for us to eat) Willie also did a short group snorkel with us there. The thing I found really funny was how crowded Goff Caye was. It was like the Jersey shore in July! There was alot of cruise ship people there and it's not a very big caye. Then we stopped at Caye Caulker for about an hour and then we stopped for another snorkel. This part was GREAT!! I swam with dozens and dozens of manta rays and at least 8-10 nurse sharks. We also got a free Searious t-shirt because we booked directly with Searious. (We did all our tours with them.) Willie is a great tour guide and a very nice person with a good sense of humor.

#66088 - 04/10/03 12:16 PM Re: Trip Report 3/29 to 4/6 (Nothing but the truth)  
Joined: May 2002
Posts: 918
o jackie Offline
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o jackie  Offline
I totally second that,Searious and Willie are the best. They are the only ones that I tour with. Werent the brownies good?

Jackie

#66089 - 04/10/03 12:25 PM Re: Trip Report 3/29 to 4/6 (Nothing but the truth)  
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 19
Les Spicy Offline
 
Les Spicy  Offline
Hi Andrea,
We booked thru our lodgeing place and they use Seaduced. Our guide's name was Oliver and he was articlulate, informed, and fairly funny!

Lunch was after snorkling at Goff Caye, which was deserted except for those of getting off the two speed boats from Seaduced. We went to a small island fish camp.

The fish was fresh grouper and another one I didn't catch the name of. It was prepared, as was the sliced potatoes, in aluminan foil wraps over a charcoal BBQ. THey had green peppers, onions and spices in there and the result was incredible. THey made coconut rice and I ladled the fish and the sauce over it.

They had a number of side dishes to go along with it too. Desert was choclate muffins but honestly I filled up on fish and rice.

No dolphins for us though we kept our eyes open for them. We only got about 20 minutes in Caye Caulker. I think it was due to the high winds and waves slowing our travel times.

My wife is just starting to snorkle (fear of the water) and this was a great chance to get in the water with other people. AND the stuff to see was exciting between the reef and the sharks/rays.

The boats were nice and the food, pop, beer, etc was plentiful and cold. cool


"You must learn from the mistakes of others. You can't possibly live long enough to make them all yourself."

Sam Levenson
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