Going to bed early means you get to greet the sun or, in our case, wait over an hour for it! We throw open the balcony doors and drink in the unusual sensation of the warm, dark breeze along with our first freshly made coffee of the day. Just after 6 a.m. the sky is lightening. A few clouds on the horizon only add to the picture of our first sunrise over the ocean on Ambergris Caye. It is a beautiful thing and we're not the only early birds who have come out to welcome the day. There are always a few people standing on the water's edge staring out to sea every morning at this time.
Sufficiently caffeinated to leave our room, we head down to breakfast at El Devino's. Eating outdoors is a pleasure anytime you can, but it's especially nice at 7 a.m. in a bathing suit and sarong! The Banana Beach breakfast is very good - scrambled eggs, warm cinnamon roll, banana muffin, an array of fresh pineapple papaya, melon, orange and grapefruit. I add homefries and a large fresh glass of pineapple juice. Not my usual morning meal, and I'm already thinking that it's a good thing we plan to walk to town afterwards. Here's a picture of our favourite waiter who taught us some Spanish every morning, remembered our names and exactly what we liked to drink and eat and greeted us with the most wonderful smile every time we stopped by the restaurant. We miss you Sergio!
At breakfast, we overhear a couple talking about Chicago and the Cubs baseball cap is a giveaway. ACBound (Tracy) and her husband Eric are at the next table and we quickly make the connection to the message board. They generously share some of their experiences so far and it looks like we'll be following in their footsteps over the next few days - including a day of fishing and snorkeling with Capt. Bicho. We plan to catch up with them later and hear all about it.
We've decided to ask if we can move to a 3rd floor suite today. We love the view and want the extra privacy being up higher off the beach will afford. The staff is very accomodating and tell us the corner suite is being vacated later. We can pack up, leave our bags in our room and come back to get the key and our bags will be waiting upstairs.
We grab our snorkel gear and decide to check out the water for the first time at Ramon's pier. The walk takes about 15 liesurely minutes and we find lots of people already there enjoying the sun on the dock, the shade of the palapas and the water and fish around the pier. It's quite amazing. There are thousands of fish under there - literally "walls" of fish you can swim up to and stare at. Alan takes many pictures (soon to be developed and posted online). We also see our first huge ray swimming in the shallow turquoise water alongside the dock. It's a really great place to hang out and we will do it again.
Walking and swimming has burned off enough calories that we eventually think we've made room for lunch. BC's BBQ is only steps down the beach and we stop there to share a huge beef burrito with the best corn chips. I will never be able to eat at Taco Bell again!
When we get back to the hotel, my friend Carrie, who I haven't seen for about two years, is waiting for us by the pool. She has just spent almost 3 months in Guatemala and as luck would have it, she's leaving from Belize City to fly back to Canada in a couple of days. We've invited her to stay a night with us before she leaves and she has taken the ferry to meet us today. We catch up on news, have a swim in the pool and go up to our new 3rd floor suite to unpack again and have a short nap (still trying to adjust to these changes).
Well rested and ready for more walking and another meal, we head out again to the Blue Water Grill. It's a lovely place especially at night - first class. Dining by candlelight with the sound of surf steps away from our table, we order fish, scallops and lasagna and we are all delighted with our meals. Alan has saved room for key lime pie - his favourite dessert. (He will later try it at several more restaurants and has now declared that the winner is the Blue Water Grill!)
Not yet ready to turn in for the night, we wander over to Fido's and check it out. Amazing place with a great arts and crafts gift shopped attached. We look around and then wander through to the street for our first real glimpse of downtown San Pedro. I spot Coconet Internet Café and I can't resist. The new owner Steve is there with his family andï¿½.so is the infamous Pedro! (will post a couple of pictures later) We exchange "pleasantries" (grin) and after much general razzing (if you've met Pedro you'll know exactly what I mean) we vow to come back later in the week to check email and we wander back to Fido's.
Country singer Kelly McGuire is onstage and he's pretty good even if you aren't a country fan. The local band Category X is up next doing mostly classic rock covers. We enjoyed their music.
We don't stay too long - walk back to Banana Beach through town instead of the beach and arrive back with sore feet, thinking that golf carts and taxis might be seeing more of us in the days to come. Our first day has been fun and full. Tomorrow we will experience a BC's BBQ Sunday gathering. We fall asleep without any trouble.
To be continued...