A new life in Belize

SEE A PALM TREE......... EVERY DAY ..........FOREVER

This is our story of leaving the rat race to enjoy a relaxing life in the sun. Some people will miss us .....but not as much as the tax man.................... We stood on the precipice ......held hands ......... and jumped ..........whooooooooaaaaaa
  • On patrol- left to right Phoenix, Kilya and Zeus
  • Just a little closer my friends  ..SNAP SNAP
  • moonshine madness

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The Great Escape

Our “Neighbour” put a fence up between our house and his to aid the selling of his house as the dogs would scare off potential buyers . In theory a great idea but an ill thought out venture. The dogs were free to roam over the two properties and the fence worked for about 1 day . Zeus discovered he could simply crawl underneath , did the thought ever cross anyone’s mind to bury the first 6 inches …i guess not . We cooked up a plan to get bush sticks that they use to hold roofs up when they pour concrete . We only need  to do 2 sides of the property but finding 440 feet of straight trees was no mean feat. I finally aquired enough sticks and started attaching them to the bottom of the fence with my stapling gun. H was supervising as usual and commented that Zeus was pushing the newly stapled fence with his nose. He eventually broke free so we tried PLAN B and used heavy duty staples that you knock in with a hammer . Zeus and the girls now are securely fastened in for the time being :)

On patrol- left to right Phoenix, Kilya and Zeus

On patrol- left to right Phoenix, Kilya and Zeus

We get together with our other close neighbours once a week to play Rummikub.  A couple of weeks ago we get there and two people from International Living magazine are there taking pictures of their house and interviewing them. They interview people who have left everything behind and started a new life ( especially the ones with nice houses ) so hopefully they will make the final cut and appear representing Belize , my contribution was the photo of my neighbours , so I’ve included it here in our international lazing blog  :)

The neighbours relaxing on their veranda

The neighbours relaxing on their veranda

A visiting friend commissioned a walking stick from the guy who carves the wooden masks , unfortunately they changed their plans and left Belize early so the walking stick wasn’t ready . The guy showed up at my house with the stick so i bought it off him as it was so good and I would probably need one at some point in the future …if only to keep H in line   :)  .  It can’t really be posted back to the UK as it’s a tropical hardwood so would need radiation treatment permits and so on, if you were to carry off the plane through customs there would be no problem .. How messed up is the world OUT THERE  .

walking stick

Did i ever mention the problems with my house  :)  well we corrected another one last week . When it rained hard water would seep in through the roof joists. ” The Builder / Roofing Contractor / bodge it and scarper  man”  had a great idea put a barge board over an 1/2 inch crack that water would seep down  as it was unsealed. He had one attempt to fix this easy issue he used window sealant  for the “Permanent fix”  . We did the proper way  removed the useless barge board and plastered over the wood to ensure a water tight seal, it took a day. May be i should call myself a building contractor , it seems everyone else does down here :).

We even used scaffolding  ,which is a very rare sight in belize

We even used scaffolding ,which is a very rare sight in belize

ONLY IN BELIZE

Noise in villages and towns is a huge problem in Central America . People build their own 8 feet speakers and blast music off their porches directly at their neighbours and the everyone for the next 1/2 mile and there is nothing that can be done. Everyone is related to someone else so protesting to the mayor or local police gets you nowhere as no one will take action against “family members”. We recently had a bank holiday here and people came and partied about 1/4 mile from our house.  At least the music stopped at 3am and was only over the weekend …it’s not like we have to go to work or anything :) ..on the up side you will never hear a police , ambulance or fire engine siren , it just never happens and no one will tell you that your dog barking is causing a nuisance , because the other 10 thousand dogs in the town are doing exactly the same  thing.  If your reading this and are considering  Belize, a good nights sleep if you live near the towns is a RARE thing , bare this in mind when choosing a location to live .

 

 

 

Southern excursion

We had friends over from the UK, Martin and Bayliss ,so decided to go out to the islands and then head down south for a camping trip. We did the obligatory trip with my neighbour on the Hobie cat over  to Orchid Bay and had great weather again (it had been cold and stormy prior to their arrival) Bayliss Sailed there and Martin sailed back both proving themselves to be quite handy  for first timers at the helm.It got a bit bumpy on the way back and H could be observed clinging on for dear  life ,saying ” i do not know why do this to myself”  as she has a fear  of water and a husband that might not be in a hurry to save her  :)

Bayliss and Martin at Orchid Bay

Bayliss and Martin at Orchid Bay

We took the Thunder bolt water taxi over to Ambergris Caye and then another water taxi to Caye Caulker arrived at Popeye’s Beach Resort to find we had been up graded to ocean view , Even though Bayliss and Martin had known each other for 40 years bayliss declined to share a double bed so slept outside on a hammock .It was a little chilly at night 22 degrees celcius so he came in for a blanket , but alfresco is his style and he seemed happy. We were sat in the lazy lizard bar up to our waists in water drinking beer (not like us) and H proclaimed i have a Octopus on my arm, i laughed and looked down to see an Octopus attached to her arm about 2 feet across it covered all her arm , i gently eased it off and it attached itself to my arm then just stayed around us to much excitement from the people on dry land . I managed to grab my underwater camera and took some video and a few photo’s . A guy tried to pick it up but it inked him ..better him than me  :)

tentative tentacles

tentative tentacles

We got a taxi ride and the owner informed us he also gave tours , i was dubious as he claimed we could see a crocodile . The only crocodile i heard of on Caye caulker was one that attacked a tourist who was swimming where people used to feed it last year. So we set off on a golf cart ride around the island and actually went to places we had never been . We were even promised flamingo’s they must have been scared off by other people the taxi driver exclaimed( and the same story for the croc i thought) so we pulled up at a muddy pool and got out and there behold were two beady eyes sticking out of the water. As we approached it surfaced and the proceeded to haul it’s body out a mere 8 feet away . We know it was about 8 feet away because it was around 8 feet long . He gave us a wink and a smile for the camera and submerged into the inky water.

Just a little closer my friends  ..SNAP SNAP

Just a little closer my friends ..SNAP SNAP

The next day we took the water taxi to Belize City , met up with Rodi and two of us rode in the back on sun loungers , it was quite comfy and we got out at Hattiville Prison to take a photo outside the main gate . We were informed by the guards inside ,that if we took a photo then we would find ourselves inside …so we jumped back into the truck and sped of in a cloud of dust. 3 hours later we arrived in Hopkins after taking an ice cream stop at the mennonite barn on the humming bird highway. We arrived in Placencia and jumped onto Canjoes boat and headed out to Frigate Caye to camp for two nights. The Caye was just like the Dry Tortugas camping and had a round bar and crude toilets , with a magnificent reef off the back of the island. After that we went back to Placencia to spend the night . We had a friend pre pay at Omars Hostel  and they gave our rooms away ..it looked like a Sh*t Hole so may be it was a blessing in disguise . We ended up staying on a dock in the tent at night at a friends house and we had great nights sleep.

Placencia dock camping looking out across the sea

 

OTHER NEWS

Our friends who ran the pie and cake store Morgans (named after their son) Have decided to do some more traveling and eventually end up back in Scotland to give him a better chance in School, we wish the good luck and now we will have to bake our own pies  .

Zeus ,Phoenix and Kilya found an ant eater in the garden and I successfully managed to rescue it and set him on his way

I got up a couple of months ago to view the geminid meteor shower  and saw a MOONBOW  cast across the bay caused by a sinking full moon .

All in all life is treating us well and relaxing is our new found past time  :)

13 Ends

So 2013 ended, it’s been a GREAT year , paradise could not be any better , it finished on a high for 3 reasons . Firstly an annoyance in our lives has decided to move ,it turns out to be the icing on the cake , we may even get normal neighbours , fingers crossed :) …  secondly  we went to a New Years Eve  party  which was at a local development called of all things  TAMPON COVE  , we all took a dish of food drank copious amounts of rum ( no change there) listen to festive music (Barf)   and ended playing poker ,which was  a real laugh , i was doing great until Queen Elizabeth( she was as old and wearing a tiara) tricked me, into going all in and  CRUSHED me  :) …..   At midnight we were promised a firework spectacle to remember from the near by city of Chetumal,  just across the border in Mexico… We saw 5 rockets heard 2 air bombs and then the finale …TWO bright glowing  orbs … In fact some of party goers had lit cigarettes which out shone anything we had seen  :)  . There was  some ridiculous talk of jumping in the pool , some of the girls didn’t have swim wear or under wear, as it turned out , so skinny dipping was put forward , i looked around at the aging lumps and bumps and talked everyone into to going in fully clothed ..no point in spoiling a good party , i slipped off my shoes and jumped in followed my more revelers , we floated on our backs  and looked up at the cosmos … Isn’t life just  great :) .    I even did some fishing before the party started and we stayed over at a friends house so i could have a drink. We were thwarted the next morning when we tried to leave as they had locked the entrance gate so we couldn’t get out , eventually gaining escape, we were free, but had a great  time . Thirdly and most important it was H’s Birthday  so we headed off for fried chicken  and were treated to free games of pool by the owner , we later headed back to our house for more pool , darts and some locally made moonshine (Rocket fuel)  Sorry to Rodi for not inviting her as i had got her return date mixed up  :(   ..There’s always next year  :)

moonshine madness

moonshine madness

Sometimes in life things just happen in unison (at the same time – for most of the American readers    :)  )  We had a round glass table in H’s roof top lounge, but every time it rained it was a pain to clean , so we decided it would free up a little space if we gave it as a gift to Rodi for her tree top house, she was coming round to our house and had no idea , the table was already outside ready to load in Jeremiah (her truck)  as she arrived i told her it was her lucky day , she quizzically looked at me and said it might be yours to .. which put a puzzled look on my face, she dropped down her tail gate ( on the truck  :) )   and there starring at me were the two Koi Carp brass tea lights that i had commented on a couple of months ago, that she had brought all the way down from Alaska , they now sit suspended on either end of my pool table light , what great karma we got out of that totally unexpected exchange of gifts . At night we light  them and watch them sway in the warm tropical breeze  :)

Koi tea lights

Koi tea lights

If you know me well i always talk about the shit sandwich , not any connection   to Solway  , but a management technique of hiding something distasteful , between two bits of good news , in this case it is the end to a story of me commissioning a painting through a woman called  CONME ..  supposedly shrewd business woman , and renounced art critic , who turned out to be a fool,  gave the guy all my money, after i told her not to . Anyway the painting was for H’s 40th it arrived 18 months late and was a pile of garbage , so we left it at her house . Some weeks later in the midst of her running away from her husband she left it at our gate , so we eventually got around to burning it as it was raining on Guy Fawkes night , it’s good to cleanse the soul and it cost me $300 but just lighting that fire sure put i smile on our faces , the life lesson, remove all the negative from your life and you’ll be happy .

If it vexes you , burn it

If it vexes you , burn it

Other News

My Niece Chloe has had a baby girl called Savannah . In the same week my Nephew Liam got married  , and now he is in Germany  waiting to go out to Afghanistan with the British Army , we wish them both good luck in their new quests in life.

We Have friends coming over end of January from the UK  ,  Paul  and Dave , Dave i haven’t seen for 30 years so it will be good to catch up.

Finally  i thought I’d include this latest carving i bought from the guy who carved the Jaguar  Head , it’s of the Ancient Mayan King  Pakal , who is thought by some ( NUT BAR scholars ) to have made contact with aliens ,anyway if you ever visit and want something locally made, a one off piece of art ,Jason Anderson is the guy to go and see .  No shop ,just a bike and a small back pack  , a mallet , couple of chisels and sandpaper , a great example of a local natural talent.

Mayan King Pakal , carved from Grenadine hardwood

Mayan King Pakal , carved from Grenadine hardwood

Dark Clouds

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There have been some dark clouds recently over Rock Lodge, our friends constantly reminding us that this would pass, and over time things will improve. Well last week the last dark cloud moved away and we now see this wonderful place we live in… basking in wall to wall sunshine again. It’s surprising how a change, just one detail in your life and everything becomes simple once again. We were sat quietly in the roof top lounge H reading and me hammock testing, and five Toucans glided silently on to our ripe banana trees, left hopefully to attract the Toucans we saw last year at this time. Two adult Aricari Toucans and three chicks, the adults not eating but at vantage points looking over their young.  A lovely sight to see. The week before we saw a lone  Keel Billed Toucan a very rare sight in these parts down on H Cove.

Aracari toucans gorging on ripe bananas just outside our window

Aracari toucans gorging on ripe bananas just outside our window

 

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After pouring the roof for our friend Rodi, we went to go back and take down all the framing and bush sticks used to hold the roof up whilst it set. There are no acro props here but simple bush sticks around five inches in diameter that serve as props between the roof and the ceiling.  Twenty such props were used on Rodi’s small roof pour. She had the idea of putting a final skim of concrete on the roof so we could place our hand prints in the concrete and sign our names, which we all did. The end goal is to build a simple palapa on top to make a lovely breakfast and daytime reading room connected to her elevated jungle house just like in the Tarzan films …  more updates to follow . So here it is as it stands a tree top lounging area, the photo was late afternoon Pimms  overlooking the lagoon, she sure knows how to Rock It  :)

kicking back Belize Style

kicking back Belize Style

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Wood Nymph and Man Mountain had been bleating on a about a present they had for us, but they were still building it. Firstly I hate presents, normally always a waste of money and effort, largely because I think that humans are so bad at guessing what people really want. My first thoughts being, I really don’t need anything! So now I’m going to be stuck with something I don’t want. The whole point of moving here was to rid our lives of all the unnecessary crap that we all accumulate over a lifetime.Well that fateful day arrived when they turned up with gifts. Yes it went to plural…. even more unnerving. We stood there, eyes closed and arms out stretched to have lumps of wood thrust into our hands. THE BIG REVEAL and we opened our eyes to find two mahogany carved and routed personalised darts score boards. My jaw dropped, I was speechless they were just what we wanted!! In fact  …we didn’t know we needed them until they appeared. This inspired me to smarten up our dart board holder, and now we really do have a swish games area.

 

Nymph and Mountain with our new score boards, they even put my old nick name on  £   for those in the know

Nymph and Mountain with our new score boards, they even put my old nick name on £ for those in the know

 

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We got invited for two thanksgiving meals an American tradition to commemorate the Indians giving food to the starving Pilgrim Fathers.  If only they had killed these English do gooders the world would have been such a different place today! Anyway we had a conundrum, and opted for our neighbours instead of Nymph and Mountain …. a very hard choice to make. We did however send the Pecan Pie we had already ordered for Nymph’s meal.  As gesture to say that we would be there in spirit, they saved us a slice. It was really yummy, made by Morgans Spiced Foods in Corozal Town. The meal at the neighbours was great, their grandchildren magically appeared with her daughter and we sat around and shot the breeze until a lovely turkey dinner was served, the highlight being the stuffed mushrooms and the homemade stuffing, finished off with either pumpkin pie or blueberry pie, absolutely delicious.

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Leaving the western world behind, a place of choice and plenty and coming to live a simple life in a relaxed country, free of bureaucratic control has turned out even better than we could ever had imagined. So many expats down here try to build a little enclave of their distant homelands, possibly to give them comfort and quell their fears of this frontier like life style they live. A friend told me of how there are certain groups ,the concrete suv drivers that generally don’t mix with the people who live in wooden houses. We are lucky, in our group of friends it makes no matter how much money or worldly things you possess or don’t. Simply sitting around a beach bonfire having a tipple, laughing and eating hot dogs on a stick, is truly, in our eyes what living life is all about. The photo below was taken at a best friends, wedding in Italy and I thought at the time, life doesn’t really get any better than this. As I type this blog in my hammock, watching the sun rise over the Caribbean .I realise I feel, like I did, that night, every day we spend here.

A parallel universe..somewhere!!!

A parallel universe..somewhere!!!

 

It’s been pouring

For all the people in the UK and those in other miserable places around the world reading this  blog ,you will be happy to know that it has rained most of October. H cove has had not one visit and is looking rather  rustic (shit hole)  so as soon as the sun makes an appearance ,I’ll be heading down to clean it up. So what do you do when it has rained so much that the old locals say it’s not been like this for 40 years , the answer is obvious POUR  a concrete roof. Our friend Rodi aka Peace Belize found a roofless building on her  land that the jungle had claimed in less than 7 years ,forgotten to the world until she cleared a portion of land to site her house . it’s about 20 feet from her elevated home and we discussed putting a concrete roof on the existing structure, with a Palapa on top and then building a bridge from her front door to the roof top Palapa. When she got back from Alaska driving Jeremiah the old faithful truck ,we hatched a plan to pour the roof . So 12 gringo’s labourers and 1 skilled Belizian set about the task. We framed it on the Saturday  a rare sunny day with a cooling breeze and planned the pour the next day . There’s a saying if you are pouring concrete it’s gonna piss down , guess what  IT PISSED DOWN … well i was talking to Giovanni the skilled Belizian and he was dubious that the concrete might spoil if the rain came heavy. Well the rain came heavy  , but informed  him of  some  white mans magic , the doppler radar vis rodi’s internet and we saw the rain was going to last 30 mins , he looked unsure as these guys are pretty good at looking at the clouds and predicting the weather . Forty minutes later the rain stopped and we started the pour. We mixed on the ground using shovels and sweat 2 cubic yards of concrete ,which was then shoveled in to buckets carried to the roofless building ,then a Man Mountain lifted the bucket above his head up to the roof . Man Mountain lifted the whole 4 tonnes on his own to that roof, although  i did see a bead  of sweat running down his forehead  he did pretty well  :) . I was never really into “The community spirit” back home as with everyone in the western world , i was trapped in the WORK  EAT SLEEP   whirlpool. Here  in Belize there is more time to relax and think about helping others who need a hand , it was a great day  and Rodi bought some beers and made a lovely chicken casserole for when the job was done.

I have disguised jman as he is camera shy and it was a little nippy a cool 26degrees celcius  so we had a little tipple to warm us up :)

I have disguised jman as he is camera shy and it was a little nippy a cool 26degrees Celsius so we had a little tipple to warm us up :)

Whilst Rodi was away in Alaska for the wet season down here (smart girl) her yard man planted some squash (pumpkin) and when she returned they had spread all over her yard ,so we took her some bananas and she gave us a couple large squash , i cooked one up roasted it and placed in on skewers with onions and bell peppers as an appetiser for a game of rummikub and it was soon polished off , i’ll warn you i’m no Gordon Ramsey  if you ever come to visit  :)

Rodi and H with Jeremiah and her house in the background on "The Peace"

Rodi and H with Jeremiah and her house in the background on “The Peace”

Whilst at Rodi’s on the day of the pour someone had brought some coconut cakes from a local bakery , i wasn’t expecting much but they were delicious , they reminded me of the bakewell tarts my granny used to make but hers had raspberry jam in the bottom , unlike Josie Pott’s Bakewell Tarts that had no jam in them .So i thought I’d include this photo to show Josie what a proper bakewell tart looks like ..I added my own raspberry jam

Josie Potts eat your heart  out  :)  ....  when she reads this she will say  *%$&@?&    :)

Josie Potts eat your heart out :) …. when she reads this she will say *%$&@?&   :)

We help out for two days at the Corozal Bay Sailing Club regatta , H organised the raffle which had some great prizes donated by local business all in the name of charity  and teaching the local kids to sail on the bay and did a splendid job of announcing the winners after  the last race had finished. It was a well attend event with around 40 boats taking part in the event which  attracted young sailors from all over  Belize , the weather was perfect  and the wind was good for both days. I was on the safety boat  which set the course up and then made sure no one got into difficulty , the day went without a hitch and was a great success.

I didn't take my camera , but borrowed this photo from a friend

I didn’t take my camera , but borrowed this photo from a friend

We had an all to often invasion of Army Ants , which really only stay around a couple of hours  then  leave taking spiders and scorpions with them. When we returned home i walked into the bathroom and jumped straight back out , shouting %$@* ,then re-entered to check the exact colouring of the snake I’d found on the sink counter top RED ON YELLOW DEADLY FELLOW  , yep a fully grown Coral Snake , i brought H into the bathroom and we watched it for a while then asked her to keep an eye on it while i sharpened my machete , grab my snake stick and got hold of it’s head and cut it off, the heart was pumping a little , but the more time we spend down here the less frightening these things are, though this snake sure does deserve RESPECT , i found a hole that  “The builder”  had left  on top of the shower wall , it took me 5 mins to fix a piece of tile across this hole to stop any further invasions , that’s what  you get from a roofing contractor ..RIGHT !!!!!!   anyway alls well that  ends well   :)

deadly fellow note - the head is cut off then the photo taken  :)

deadly fellow note – the head is cut off ,then the photo was taken :)

September Celebrations

Literally the whole month of September is taken up with some kind of celebration of sorts , they put out an activity list for each district  and next to each activity  it says FREE …this in not entirely true , as we all know in life there is a price or penalty to pay , in Belize’s case the price is always a HUGE Hangover  as these guys know how to party and it  gets started usually aroun11am  and goes on until 3 or 4am. I see posting on local forums of what  to do and how to stop noisy neighbours  wheeling there 7 foot high speakers out on to the porch and blasting music to there sometimes appreciative neighbourhood  , in short  this is how people party here GET USED TO IT  :) …..    We got chance to ride in the Carnival Parade with the Corozal Bay Sailing Club  a nifty Jeep wrangler towing a trailer with two  sail boats used to teach local kids how to sail on the bay. Our neighbours who invited us supplied huge bags of sweets to throw to the crowds of thousands upon thousands lining the streets. The weather looked ominous the clouds dark and heavy ,this must have scared the local gringo population away as the number of white faces in the crowd was pitiful,  but  luck  was on our side and the rain held off ..it was a GREAT DAY :) .

In Corozal we were greeted with thousands of families with kids with huge smiles on their faces ,unlike in worksop where walking stick weilding benefit frauds would hurl rotten tomatoes.

The following Saturday  we went to the Independence Celebrations the whole of the seafront in Corozal Town ( known as Miami Beach ) bustling with families and local food stalls set up selling all kinds of great value lunch time snacks . A marquee tent erected with Punta Rock blasting out a free dance party  (locally known as a “Jump Up”) gyrating it’s increasing rhythm way into the small hours.

I snapped a photo of these two aging hippies before they roared off into the sunset

 

Due to the amount of mosquito’s last year  in the rainy season ,i went online and searched for something to protect me from the hundred bites or so i would get when cutting the grass .I managed to source a bug shirt  http://www.bugshirt.com/    it’s super lightweight has lots of ventilation and does exactly what it claims i can cut the grass and garden no problem ,not a single bite thus hugely eliminating the threat  of Malaria and Dengue Fever , if not minding looking a little ridiculous ,but i was spurred on my my neighbours  yard man who saw me and said ..I would wear one if i could get one ..i was lucky that my neighbour brought it down  for me on his last trip just before the heavy  rains fell .

H Say’s this is a great photo of me especially the fact that my face is obscurred :)

It was time to take my truck in for it’s annual road worthy test unlike last year  ,things had moved on no longer  did the guy just say  is everything ok with the truck  but they actually started checking all the items on the list as i found out when i took Bertlams car  to be tested , everything was going fine until he said HORN i pushed it and it didn’t work , i smiled at him and to my shock he said GO GET IT FIXED…  in Belize this was a shocker  if you saw what vehicles they let on the road ..so we got it fixed and passed. This time i was ready so i checked all my lights etc and found the parking light was out , so i went to the auto parts place and he produced a blue light and said thats all we have .. i laughed but took it any JUST in case and went to another auto parts shop …this time they produced an orange one ..  i kinda got the message if i kept on going i’d have rainbow of colours  but of course  not a white bulb , the truck passed and we got our sticker LEGAL  for another year  :)

I met our friends MT ,Wood Nymph and Man Mountain at Bird island for a spot of fishing , they arrived an hour late , we fished for a while the girls got bored and went home  Dave -1 catfish ……  Man Mountain 0    i’ll keep you posted as the year goes on. I set the shot up below and said this is going to be a great photo just let me set the timer so i can get in it…   Nymph said if it’s really good then may be you should stay out of it …so i did  :)

Wood ,EMPTY and Mountain

    Right to left             Wood ,Mountain and EMPTY

Our neighbour flipped his Hobie Cat in a vicious storm and it floated off, so the next day we arranged to go looking for it in a another neighbours boat after 2 hours of grunting and shoving we got the boat in the water to find out the a rat had chewed through the ignition wires (ONLY IN BELIZE)  so i went around to see JMan who let us use his Zodiac Dingy with a 6 horse power motor to go cruise the bay and surrounding mangroves to look for it … we were all day looking to no avail then the next a phone call from Sarteneja 18 miles away to say it had been found …. The owner of the Sea Breeze Hotel came to the dockas we took the thunder bolt and gave us his phone “Just In Case”  and we got to Sarteneja  to find the  Hobie Cat chained to a tree ….  i went to the police station to find it empty but after a few hollers got a reply ..Hello i’m in here ….  it turned out to be someone locked in the cells over night trying to convince me there had been a misunderstanding ……  YEAH RIGHT  …..  we left and waited for the single policeman to return ….luckily  i saw  a guy i had met properly the week before who was sailing sound south and he had found some rigging off the boat which would have been up SHITE creek without it.. so luck was on our side and we rigged the sails on the Hobie Cat  and completed the 18 miles in just under 2 hours .

Special Edit

Our Friend Rodi a.ka.   Peace Belize   is currently driving from Alaska to Belize in a 1959 ford pick up truck called Jeremiah with a small boat on the roof she is currently in Mexico after her trip was delayed  due to heavy rain storms which moved up from Belize ….  we expect sometime in the next couple of days  and wish her safe travels along the notorious Mexican   Highways……

peace belize

Jeremiah in Galveston Texas waiting for flood waters in Mexico to subside

 

Twenty and Two

Every thing about our time in Belize……..   click this link  and listen whilst you read   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0vgxnTX2QiU 

We just had our twentieth wedding anniversary  and flew over to Caye Caulker for 3 days of fun in the sun. Mid week out of season is just how we like it and many  buckets of beer were consumed sat in the blue waters of the lazy lizard bar at the split. The weather was perfect and we lazed around in the day and partied at night . Most notably we had a meal at Habanero’s on our wedding anniversary washed down by a nice bottle of red wine. We ended up in the rankest place on the island but danced the night away ,with our bellies full of grog  ….  and paid for it the next  day  :)

20 years on ..life is good

20 years on ..life is good

We went back to stay at Popeyes Beach Resort and had a lovely sea view on the second floor and I watched the sunrise over the sea in the morning , Christina and Ron looked after us ,our stay could not have been any better.

Chilling at Popeyes Beach Resort with Christina and Ron

Chilling at Popeye’s Beach Resort with Christina and Ron

We arrived in Belize 2 years ago last week and the time has flown by ,we are well and truly relaxed doing what we want when we want . I am making some progress with the guitar ..i now have the start to Dueling Banjo’s down to a tee .  H is expanding her cooking skills she can now do scrambled eggs and Toast at the same time :)  .The weather is a glorious 82 degree’s all year round with a lovely sea breeze perfect for hours in the hammock.

We have had locusts arrive in the area on a migration ,not a biblical plague of such but they can be seen flying sluggishly in the early morning and at dusk. They have mostly orange wings and some purple or pink. They flash there wings in a courtship display whilst emitting and loud cricket like sound .quite spectacular. Sometimes when the conditions are right they migrate across the Atlantic ocean from Africa to the Caribbean . This fellow was cigar sized and posed happily for the photo.

Taking a rest at Rock lodge

A Locust taking a rest at Rock lodge

H returned from her trip to the Uk with a dart board and our Didgeridoo ,we had a wooden top made for the pool table in H’s roof top lounge which now doubles as large dining table .I had it made so it would split into two and is connected by dowel joints, an idea i robbed from our friends the Sibbo’s in the UK. We use one half of the wooden table top and hang it on the hammock chains and it forms a great place to hang the dartboard from ,which stops stray darts going through the screens . We have been practicing feverishly to crush all comers who dare challenge us :)  ….The Bertlams can be seen to be truly thrashed into defeat as i play a victory tune on my Didgeridoo!

I wonder what the local wildlife made of the new noise all the way from down under

I wonder what the local wildlife made of the new noise all the way from down under

Our friend Buffalo Bill was 65 last week so i offered to take him on a fishing adventure through Ranchito Lagoon and into the New River ,  it was a good 6 mile round trip and we were rewarded with 2 large Jack Crevalle  caught on a new shiny gold lure with a treble hook on the back , we had one more take that got off the hook and we paddled back with the wind in our faces back through the lagoon , as we’d been sat down for 6 hours Bill was quite stiff as he stepped off the kayak when we returned back to shore , the boat started to move back and he was unceremoniously baptized in the warm waters of the lagoon , luckily  no injuries sustained…  he drove back to rock lodge where h rustled up some rice and sauteed vegetables and the jack was filleted and lightly fried and finished off with a lime butter sauce , absolutely delicious about 5 pounds of meat from one fish , the dogs had to finish it off and bill took the fish carcass home for his house sit cats.  A couple of days later i returned with Nod my next door neighbour ,this time taking an easier route to “The spot” a mere ten minute paddle on a lazy river ….when we got there i saw the Silver King rise…my nemesis the elusive Tarpon!  I cast my waiting golden lure 80 feet right in front of him ,he readily took it and dove deep ..the line went slack and he erupted out of the water doing a cartwheel high in the air and dove again …. he lurched out again spinning and shaking his head and spat my lure out in defiance and was gone …. next time King i’ll have your crown …..  I’d waited 20 years for that fight and was happy to see him on his way ,he was a good 4 foot long and known in these parts to grow over 6 feet.

Intrepid explorers embarking on their adventure

Intrepid explorers embarking on their adventure

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