August 2003 Trip Report
8/18/03 – 8/25/03
Our first trip to SP was in March of 2003. We loved it so much we had to come back as soon as we could. We were a little apprehensive wondering if the island would hold up to our high expectations the second time around. We were not disappointed. We had a fabulous time and are even planning a third longer visit for next August. If you want to skip this long winded report jump right to our pics. http://www.unm.edu/~irmin/
Accommodations: Ramon’s Village. Ramon’s is a wonderful place to stay. I won’t go on too much about the reasons why I feel this way because I have done so in other posts on this board. Instead let me share with you the welcome the staff from Ramon’s leave in all the guests’ rooms. “To Our Guest…In ancient times there was a prayer for “The stranger within our gates”. Because this hotel is a human institution to serve people, and not solely a money making organization, we hope that God will grant you peace and rest while you are under our roof. May this room and hotel be your “second home.” May those you love be near you in thoughts and dreams. Even though we may not know you, we hope that you will be comfortable and happy as if you were in your own house. May the reason that brought you our way be pleasant. May every thing you do and every one you meet add to your joy. When you leave, may your journey be safe. We are all travelers. From “birth to death” we travel between the eternities. May these days be pleasant for you, profitable for society, helpful for those you meet and a joy to those who know and love you best.”
Ramon’s – our room package came with breakfast at Ramon’s this time. The waffles and french toast are fabulous and you can’t beat the view and friendly service.
Rubie’s – can’t go wrong here. Best fruit jelly tarts, sugared doughnuts and banana bread in town. Very inexpensive.
Cannibal’s – I think we must have gone there at least 4-5 times to get the veggie potato boat for lunch. Delicious food, good service and a nice cool place with a good beach view. Great for people watching. Also, they make a killer MaiTai.
Taste of Thailand – I can’t say enough good things about this place. We went on a Wednesday by taxi. We had to tell the taxi driver where it was located (which I thought was a little strange.) This made sense after the owner came out and introduced himself. He asked how we had heard about the place. They are off the beaten path and hadn’t really advertised. I let him know that someone from the message board had recommended it. The restaurant had only been open 8 weeks and usually they weren’t open on Wednesdays. However, one of the staff had made a mistake in reservations for the manager from Belizean Reef so they opened up. Unfortunately, the restaurant owner’s name escapes me. He was a really friendly nice guy. The food is fabulous. We had the vegetarian curry and appetizers, everything was wonderful. It’s decorated nicely, clean and has great air conditioning. There are even little colorful origami napkins for the place settings. We ate there two nights. I wish them the best of luck.
Casa Picasso – great place, great atmosphere, great food, great martini’s. We were exhausted and sunburned the night we went there, so we didn’t hang out too long. Next time I wouldn’t mind going down there and just hanging out for a few cocktails. Very friendly owner and staff.
Rico’s Restaurant – stopped there for brunch and a Belikin during our Sunday golf cart tour of resorts and hotels. Delicious rice and beans and a spectacular view of the beach and water.
Blue Water Grill – wonderful pizza, tempura veggies, veggie sushi, salads. Chris the bartender makes everyone feel so welcome and I love that the restaurant and bar is open air. Wonderful views. Highly recommend it. Oh yeah, Chris makes a killer Kamikaze!
Capricorn’s – went there for my 45th birthday dinner. Annabelle was there introducing the new owners. We sat on the veranda facing the ocean and had a wonderful dinner. Vegetarian crepes and pasta, wonderful bread. Chocolate rum cake for dessert and the staff came and sang happy birthday. It was a perfect way to end my birthday.
Fido’s – Because we had met Shaggy at Bluewater Grill bar the night before we stopped by Fido’s one afternoon while exploring the north end of the beach. He bought us drinks right away and we wound up drinking and staying longer then we had intended. (What else is new?) Any ways we got to chat with Shaggy, the dive master from Ramon’s and a few other locals and tourist. It was a great way to pass a few hot afternoon hours. Had the “Freedom Fries” (I think that’s what they call them) which were delicious.
Palapa Bar – went there twice. Unique beautiful setting, great bar and music. It is a must do for anyone visiting AC.
Beach vendor by Ramon’s – Homemade cinnamon rolls and custard tarts…YUM.
Hobie cat rental – rented a small hobie cat twice from SailSports Belize. It is located by Cannibal’s at the Holiday Hotel pier - Chris Beaumont and Jo Sayer, owners. The first day we sailed south past Victoria House and then north up to the Palapa Bar where we docked for a couple of rum punch drinks and chips and salsa. Then on to Captain Morgan’s were we beached in search of some sunscreen and Belikins. (No luck with the sunscreen because the gift shop was closed) There was a nice breeze that day and the sailing was great. The second day we went out there wasn’t much wind. We started off south again and then sailed north as far as Belizean Shores. We stopped there and were welcomed on the pier by the owner who assured us the hobie cat would be fine tied to their dock. She pointed us in the direction of the pool bar and restaurant and told us to enjoy our visit. Much to my delight the pool bar was actually a bar in the pool! Ahhhhhhhh! What a beautiful oasis. We swam, talked with the bartender and hotel guests and had a couple of rum punch drinks. Then we were on our way. If you have never been to the bar at Belizean Shores you should go check it out. It is a beautiful resort and pool. It took what seemed like forever to sail back to town because of the lack of wind. This is a really beautiful way to see the island and manta rays.
Golf cart rental – Our last Sunday we rented a golf cart. First we drove around town buying gifts and as much Marie Sharp’s as we could fit in our luggage. I think we came home with 15 bottles of the hot and exotic sauce. We dumped this stuff at the room. Had Tony at Ramon’s make us a couple of Bloody Marys then we ventured south. We explored all afternoon(i.e. drank, ate, swam, and took pics):
Caribe Island Resort – seems like a nice resort – nice bar and beach
Victoria House – Wow, beautifully manicured property with lawns, great swimming off the pier, gorgeous pool
Banyan Bay – clean well appointed property, great restaurant – had rice, beans and a Belikin for brunch
Xanadu – unexpected beautiful property, great pool
Belizean Shores - stopped there again just to be able to swim in the pool and take some pics. Got a warm welcome from the bartender who remembered us from the day we came by hobie cat. Love that pool bar!
The Palapa Bar - made it in time to hear Dennis Wolfe play a few songs – played “Third World Paradise” for me. Heavy sigh.
At every resort we went to that long Sunday afternoon we were made to feel welcome. No one minded us swimming or hanging out for a while. Also, got to see several lizards/iguanas, blue crabs and one croc. It was a great last day.
Day charters/snorkel stops:
Captain Bicho and his son Junior – this was the best thing we did all week. Capt Jeff hooked us up with Bicho Rivera for a day charter for my 45th birthday. He took us up to Rocky Point/Bacalar Chico area for three amazing snorkel stops. Irm even saw a sea turtle. At one place there were giant barracuda’s every where. We then went south to the deserted Basil Jones resort for a delicious beach picnic lunch. I have never been anywhere so beautiful. The view of the ocean was amazing with so many different colors – turquoise, emerald and sapphire blue. We were waiting out a squall so I walked along the beach and collected seashells. We did one more snorkel stop and then back to AC. Bicho and Junior were wonderful guides and we enjoyed a special day with them. My 45th is one birthday I will always remember.
Givanno (sp?) We had Givanno (I think that was his name – he works with Rocky and Jerry) take us for a chartered ½ day of snorkeling. We first went out to Caye Caulker Channel – this was my favorite snorkel spot. There were huge brain coral formations and a massive amount of all different kinds of colorful fish. Irm wasn’t feeling too well so we decided to go to Caye Caulker for a while. I am glad we did because we got to visit the Seaside Cabana’s and Buddy one last time before the devastating fire. We snorkeled with some Manta Rays off of Caye Caulker before we headed back to SP. Our guide took us by the boat hung up on the reef for a photo op before dropping us of at Ramon’s. Givanno was great. I am grateful that he took us to the incredible Caye Caulker snorkel stop.
SEArious – Hol Chan/ Shark Ray alley – we did the Hol Chan shark Ray Alley snorkel again this time with Jeffrey just because last March we didn’t see many nurse sharks. Well the nurse sharks were out in abundance and it was the rays that were lacking this time.
Possible Boarder sightings: You have to understand this is the first message board I have ever visited let alone participated in. Maybe next visit I will be brave enough to cross the electronic divide:
“Jen loves to dive” - 8/18 at Bluewater Grill – two blondes laughing their heads off sat across from us at the bar.
Pedro – 1) Back entrance path at Ramon’s around 9:30 p.m. Possibly slightly intoxicated guy (we were too so it’s hard to tell) yelling at his white dog in British accent – “Charlie, get out of there! Charlie!” 2) Taste of Thailand. Guy with British accent dancing with waitress and then (to same waitress) dissin’ my vegetarian tofu curry as it was being delivered to my table. “Vegetarian curry? How can you make curry without any meat???” Repeat two more times. It was pretty funny. I wish now we had said hello.
Furry and non-furry friends: I was happy to see that there were some dogs and cats on AC that are taken care of. Mutley, Honey and Powder hung around Ramon’s beach a lot. Powder liked to catch the small coconuts mid air, swim and jump off the dock. Mutley entertained himself by chasing and barking at bicyclists. There were two good looking cats hanging around Ramon’s also. Very sweet and obviously care for. The dogs up North at the deserted Basil Jones Resort didn’t share that same good fortune. It really broke my heart to see them undernourished and sad eyed.
Weather: The weather could not have been more perfect. It was a bit cloudy our first afternoon. It was hot, clear blue skies, with a breeze the rest of the week. The morning we left it was calm and then it rained for ½ an hour. And man it was humid after that.
Things I liked the best about this trip (not necessarily in this order):
The dogs and cats hanging around Ramon’s
Sailing the hobie cat to Palapa Bar and Belizean Shores for drinks
Day trip with Capt Bicho and his son Junior
Snorkeling Caye Caulker Channel
Dinner at Capricorn’s and Taste of Thailand
Sleeping under the palms on the Ramon’s beach the afternoon Irm didn’t feel well
Having the locals we met waving to us on the street like we were old friends
Thanks for letting me yammer on. Hope you enjoy the pics. Our second visit was wonderful. I can’t wait to visit again. I love Belize and San Pedro. mobunny