Our Beachfront Home

Our Beachfront Home
For Sale: Click on this photo

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Belize Weather

I thought I should put something here about the weather in Belize. Here on Caye Caulker, we don't really have a weather station so we go by what is happening on Ambergris Caye. Please click on the link http://belizenews.com/ and you will find a list on the right hand side. Click on Belize Weather to find our daily forecast.

"There will be sun from all directions, followed by night with some stars, mostly above us. The following days will be just like that. ... Weather report courtesy Ebbe Weile"

I like that forecast best.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Easter Weekend on Caye Caulker

You could feel the excitement in the air on Thursday, it was everywhere. The first day of Spring is celebrated somewhat in Belize and that only added to the atmosphere. People were making preparations for what is one of the biggest holidays of the year.

Normally there are approximately 1800 people on the island, this includes the tourists, but this weekend it may have doubled at one point. Being the biggest holiday of the year, all the locals had friends and family visit. As well, there were more than usual the number of tourists. We sat on the beach and watched the people arriving by the boatload.

People set up food stalls all along Front Street, and vendors were in abundance everywhere you looked. The smells alone were intoxicating. Grilled shrimp, chicken, barracuda, just to name a few.

Saturday there was an all night Rave and on Sunday there was a beach volleyball tournament. The beaches were packed with swimmers and suntanners alike, it was a tough walk through the bodies.

In the pictures there are some of the children playing, the little guy with the yellow goggles was having a tough time seeing as he insisted that the straps go under his ears. He was having fun so it didn't really matter. The little girls with braids and beads were having fun splashing and swimming.

On Sunday we sat on the beach and watched the beginning of the exodus. At one point, it looked like there were five water taxis at the dock. Even the little ones hold about 45 people. It was still a festive atmosphere, even on Monday, when the last of family and friends departed to go home.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Getting to Belize

Well now we are down to four oversized suitcases and four carry on bags. We flew out of Victoria, British Columbia at 6:00 a.m. headed for Seattle. We arrived there with one and a half hours between flights. This sounds easy, but we had to get our luggage, go through Immigration, recheck our luggage and then get through Customs. This was actually not too bad. We had a few minutes to spare.

Next flight was to Mexico City (Aero Mexico is wonderful) where we went through Immigration and Customs sans our luggage. Bags were shipped through to Chetumal. So we only had our carry on bags to deal with. Then with no help at all, we figured out that we had to get to another terminal for the next flight. After finding the train to take us to the other side of Mexico City, we grabbed a quick bite to eat and headed off to the next gate.

In Chetumal, we went through Immigration, gathered our bags and were met by an official from Customs. He checked the number of bags against our names on his list. He told Bob to push a button. It came up green PASSED. We were told to go ahead. The luck of the draw.

We had arranged to spend the night in Chetumal and have Menzies Tours pick us up and take us across the border to Corozal. They were there to pick us up early and we were ready. Our driver Ezekial was wonderful. He helped us unload our bags at the border, we dragged them into the building and breezed through Immigration. Woman at Customs wanted to make sure we were not bringing in contraband for resale. We assured her that what we had was our worldly possessions in the bag. She chose one at random, looked inside and welcomed us to the country. Ezekial helped us reload the van and we were on our way.

Menzies Tours made the rest of our travel arrangements for us. Henry drove out to the airstrip to meet us. We were on the 2:30 flight from Corozal to San Pedro. We were the only passengers so our overweight luggage was not a problem. The same for the 3:00 flight from San Pedro to Caye Caulker.

So now we are here, really here, with all this luggage and no place to stay.... Then we met Alphonso, our taxi driver. Alphonso took us and our luggage in hand. He drove us around and helped us find a place. We had to move a few times that first week, but every single time Alphonso was there to help.

The Decision to Retire

This was fairly easy, we just kept thinking about Belize. Living in Edmonton, Alberta, it gets darn cold. My last week at work the temperature dipped to -56 degrees Celcius (Bob says it was just -36 but I say it was colder). This just reinforced our decision. I finished work at the end of January and took my vacation. Bob finished in the middle of February and then we packed up, sold and gave away everything that didn't fit into a Mini SUV. It was leaving our friends that was difficult. The rest was easy.

A quick trip to Victoria to say good bye to family and we were on our way.

Our First Trip to Belize

Our first trip to Belize was at the end of August 2007. Belize City to Caye Caulker. Fell in love with it the first night. That was a good thing as we were evacuated the next morning. Darn ole Hurricane Felix coming on the heels of Dean.

So we high-tailed it up to San Ignacio and stayed with Mike at Cohune Palms in Bullet Tree. Met some wonderful people there and plan to go back to visit.

From San Ignacio we headed to Corozal, Orange Walk, back to San Ignacio with a side trip to Guatemala (Tikal) and back to Caye Caulker (September), where we stayed until we had to return to Canada.