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
  • Draft Belkin beers all round and even managed to get two large beer mats for Bob and Timberlakes  bar back in blighty :)
  • We fish for fun, they fish to eat . A tarpon on the left and a Jack Crevalle on the right.
  • H grabbed the camera ..i looked up at the roof ..it all turned out just fine

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Scooby doo

We had friends over from England ” The Realmy’s” on a repeat visit in January. To prepare for this I didn’t drink for a whole month …YES   a whole month just to give my liver and stomach  a well deserved rest , before the alcohol onslaught. H decided not to partake in abstinence as she said she didn’t want to mess about with her normal diet and keep her body in ” equilibrium ”  :) We met then in Playa del Carmen  and jumped over on the ferry to Cozumel . I had checked the port authority web site which showed 15 cruise ships docked there on our arrival. I don’t like hoards of people at the best of times, but we were going there to spend time with friends so I was open minded  about what we would find  BUT feared the worse. We boarded the crammed ferry and made the 45 min crossing sat across from a nice family. They spoke Spanish and a little English so I conversed with them for a while and then asked the fatal question” de donde eras  ”   We are from Argentina they replied , and I’m from the UK . How are the Malvina’s these days I quipped , to nervous smiles all round … That was the end of that conversation  :)  . Our friends Bob and Timberlake  had booked a lovely place for us all just outside the centre in a quiet residential area with  private pool  ..very swish .. we headed into the centre to find it not busy at all..and it’s peak season .. the cruise ships don’t have any impact on the place they go on excursions and then head back to the boat if anything Cozumel is dead at night with  a few bars and some nice places to eat . The next day we went to a place on the beach ..called ” Dirty Sanchez” or something anyway the driver of the cab new exactly where to take us and we had a great day on the beach and then drinks and another nice meal at night. I would definitely go back to Cozumel and avoid the chaos of Playa del Carmen.    We then rode the bus down to belize and got a taxi from the bus station in Chetumal just to make it faster crossing the border. Because Bob and Timberlake had packed  for a 6 month holiday :) all the bags would fit in the small taxi that pulled up ..but they said NO PROBLEM  we can take two ..I said two cars is too expensive but we agreed 25 us dollars for all of us . The two taxi’s then set off at high speed racing through the streets of Chetumal. Mine and H’s taxi was a pile of shit the steering rack had gone no shocks and the guy had to jerk the wheel frantically to change lanes , it was also a standard shift gear box. it was not until we got to the border that h said no wonder we were all over the road the guys only has one arm so he had to shift and steer at the same time ..it was like whacky  races . We get to the border sort the passports out and then go to leave the guy asks for 25 us dollars and Timberlake said she had paid him .. he said no I want 25 more for your taxi. Well I just blew a gasket .. I told him not to f3ck me around as I wasn’t in the mood when he insisted I shouted for the police ..the guy said no we don’t need to do that I continued shout for the police until he got in his taxi and ” Did one ”  :)   .The next day we flew to San Pedro as Maya air had a deal on and we stayed at the Royal Caribbean resort 2 miles out of town a perfect location and cheap taxi ride back into town for eating and drinking.

Draft Belkin beers all round and even managed to get two large beer mats for Bob and Timberlakes  bar back in blighty :)

Draft Belkin beers all round and even managed to get two large beer mats for Bob and Timberlakes bar back in blighty :)

When we had sobered up and were safely back in Corozal we took the river boat tour to Lamanai from Orangewalk  which was pretty cool with a guide and lunch thrown in. The big change is that they have built a wooden stair case around the back of the Castillo so you can’t climb up the front anymore , but they still allow you to go to the top. The holwer monkeys made an appearance and I got to feed a large spider monkey at the side of the river on the way back.

Three monkeys in front of the Castillo at Lamanai

Three monkeys in front of the Castillo at Lamanai

At Christmas we drove through Corozal at night and saw the Christmas lights in the park so decided to pop back in the night after to take a photo. Big mistake there was a parade on and the park was packed so the panoramic photo I was supposed to get got cut down to this small snap shot as the throngs of people were milling about all over the place . I have to say for a 3rd world country the Christmas lights in Corozal put most other places to shame.

For a 3rd world country the lights in central park were excellent

For a 3rd world country the lights in central park were excellent

Ground hog day approached and I decided to buy H a painting for her birthday …yes …AGAIN ..and she was pleased to open an original of a Tiger shark by the world famous ” Paul Sandilands .. it helps if your fishing buddy has hidden talents ..he can paint ..but not sure about the fishing :) H is a shark fanatic …. the restaurants here don’t serve shark fin soup ..so I got her this instead :)

In the warm shallow waters, where we all like to swim on holiday

In the warm shallow waters, where we all like to swim on holiday

Corozal had it’s first ever open class kayak race and I was encouraged to enter just for fun. I talked to some guys who were much younger (some half my age) who were keen to beat me. I explained to them if it were a proper completion I would be in the seniors class , but I had experience on my side and they had brawn youth and vigour on theirs. I had to repair my kayak on the morning of the race by re-gluing the plexiglass bottom back in and wasn’t sure if it would hold. Anyway I was hoping for rough conditions on the bay as the other guys would have trouble steering they were flat water paddlers at best. The morning of the race the bay was flat calm ,but just before the start the wind picked up and there was a slight chop on the water. The route was a 3/4 mile sprint to the  thunderbolt pier touch with a paddle then back to the Jam rock bar. The race started and I eased in behind the leader riding in his wake , I felt comfortable and broke free and touched in first place and made the turn for home .With just metres from home there were just two of us side by side the pace quickening with every stroke with 2o metres to go I was ready to start the sprint ….. When like a torpedo from the saw 3 kids in a canoe came hurtling towards me I shouted go right and they turned left ramming me broadside. By the time I pushed them off and started to paddle again I was 5 metres down with 20 to go I dug deep but it was futile and finished 1/2 metre behind the winner. This is an open kayak race in Belize, no appeals ,stewards enquiries no nothing ,strictly first past the post. The guy in 3rd place came up to me and said I saw what happened ..he smiled and said …” My friend that’s racing anything can happen”   and he was right and I got to hang the winners medal around the neck of the guy half my age and was pleased to see his big smile …. in the words of Scooby Doo … If it hadn’t have been for those dam kids………..   :) :) :)

Left to right  1st -4th place   Jamie,Gringo,Bull and Quarenta

Left to right 1st -4th place Jamie,Gringo,Bull and Quarenta

The season to be jolly

So the hurricane season of 2014 is officially over , we experience below average rainfall and no hurricanes . Our water tanks are full and the dry season should be starting in the next month which means adios to the mosquitoes which were only around for 3 months this year.

There has been a few instances of dead fish in the bay this year which has led to questions of poisoning but thankfully the last few fishing trips have yielded healthy fish . A few months ago i thought that the whole bay had been poisoned until we bumped into a local fisherman on the New River , i asked if he had caught and he told his kids to hold up the fish , the boat was full of fish they picked the biggest two.

We fish for fun, they fish to eat . A tarpon on the left and a Jack Crevalle on the right.

We fish for fun, they fish to eat . A tarpon on the left and a Jack Crevalle on the right.

Vickers and Cody dropped in for the week so we hitched a lift down to Belize with a friend who was buying a boat motor. What i didn’t realize was that he wanted me to guide him to the Yamaha Dealership which i thought was on the main road . It turned out to be in the heart of the city which is a maze of one way streets that the Minataur would have gotten lost . Thankfully he had printed of a map which i navigated pretty well until we hit a closed Street and diversion . We were now in the streets that you are told never to go down so i suggested we lock the doors and windows . A wiley looking rasta man asked us where we were going and told us we had to drive around the back streets and upon our arrival was waiting  for us for a reward. We spent so much time in the Yamaha place he had gone when we walked out. H was a little nervous and our friend said she need not be , mmmmm  not to sure about round these parts.  The next week in the newspaper it said a guy was shot in the head, right where we were a couple of days after our visit , just another day in the city!!!  70miles from sleepy corozal

We met Vickers and Coy at the airport and caught the bus back up 65 miles journey £3 each , the buses are what everyone uses to get around , the rule is never leave your bag by the back emergency door as people use this to get off the bus and you might lose your bag. We spent a couple of days in Corozal then took the Thunderbolt water taxi to San Pedro and then hopped over to Caye Caulker. The Lazy Lizard was closed but you can still use the facilities so we bought a bucket of beer and a bottle of rum and made our own fun.

At the lazy lizard ,with a subliminal message :)

At the lazy lizard ,with a subliminal message :)

We stayed at the “World Famous” Popeyes beach Resort for a change :)  We jumped in the hot tub and the afternoon just melted away along with the bottle of rum. We shared the hot tub with a visiting  group of Germans and had a good laugh it gave me an opportunity to find out whats happening out there in the world  brush up on my  German. We returned to Corozal and another friendly German took us over to the Mayan ruin across the bay. It was such a nice day even H enjoyed the sail , we spent 3 mins at the ruins just enough to take this photo before clouds of mosquitoes beat us back to the boat.

3 tasty snacks at the Cerros mayan temple

3 tasty snacks at the Cerros mayan temple

Had two bits of car trouble , drove the car, stopped and it wouldn’t start so our friendly Hotelier Mr Lawrence did a few on spot electrical tests and we head off to a local electrical mechanic who got us going again and rewired our truck so you don’t have to start it with the lights switched on. Use of ramp to diagnose problem £3, 1 hours labour  to fix electrical £7 .  The second issue we had was the exhaust was blowing , i had previously had the joint welded up but it had rotten away again so the Belizian solution was to remove the catalytic convertor and replace with a straight piece of pipe £ 18 and we were on our way. For all those eco people out there i have 40 coconuts  to offset any carbon foot print :) .

Large cats have been sighted in the area a mountain lion was caught on camera and two jaguars have been seen at the dump . A couple of weeks ago my neighbours dogs were attacked my something large and had to go to the vets on two different occasions to get sewn back up. A couple of days ago we saw a large white tailed deer right next to the house , you just have to keep reminding yourself that we live in the wild. The upside is that the solitude is wonderful . I have worn out two hammocks in 3 years ,the other option was to stop in the UK and work until i was 67 ..let me think about that :)

I have been working down a large stack of national geographic back copies and came across this great effective simple idea for water purifying.If anyone is traveling to third world countries please share this idea with local people. ***Note  The risk of plastic decaying in sunlight is insignificant to the benefit of not contracting cholera or dysentery *****

Share this idea , save and improve peopes lives

Share this idea , save and improve peopes lives

Out of the vortex

Things have been pretty barmy around here . There was a brief wet spell in May which everyone thought was the start of the wet season.We waited to fill our tanks in June ,August  and have only just managed to get full tanks this week. Record rains last year have been followed by a long dry season having devastating results on the local crops. The wet season is upon us once more and has brought it’s first bloom of mosquitoes ,sounds bad , but there hasn’t been any between Jan and until this week .I took advantage and split some banana plants so we will see if they grow or not ..photo to follow may be :)

A couple of weeks ago a storm came from the south and on it’s leading edge was a water spout .It passed right in front of us as it made it’s way across the bay . H grabbed the camera and took this lovely shot , I was more concerned about the direction of this menacing vortex . It was about a thousand feet high and a hundred feet across at the bottom. Our first ever sighting of one of natures spinning wonders.

H grabbed the camera ..i looked up at the roof ..it all turned out just fine

H grabbed the camera ..i looked up at the roof ..it all turned out just fine

A neighbour had been having some land fill delivered and after the trucks had gone a hole had appeared in the road near our house . Someone stuck a log in the hole to warn people of the hazard . I went to fill it in and discovered it was a lot larger than I first thought it was ( not a common theme through my life  :) ) . So i met up with the neighbour to find out what we were going to do.It turned out to be a cave under the road   over 25 feet wide and about 6 feet deep .He started putting rocks in when he passed so i borrowed eco lady’s yardman and we got 3 pick up loads of rock and packed it ,by crawling inside. A good morning s hard graft and the job was complete. The neighbour turned up a couple of weeks later and thanked me by giving me this Mayan spear head probably a couple of thousand years old .

It's very sharp and was found locally..i was gonna mount it on a wooden shaft .. but then the temptation to use it would have been to great :)

It’s very sharp and was found locally..i was gonna mount it on a wooden shaft .. but then the temptation to use it would have been to great  :)

In August we took a jaunt over to Caye Caulker for our wedding anniversary .Maya Air had a deal on flights 40% off so we went over in style 18 minutes later we were in San Pedro then a quick hop over on the water taxi . The flights worked out at £120 return for two people ,better than riding the water taxi for 3 hours. We arrived early and headed straight for a late breakfast but everywhere was full or shut as we were out of season. So we decided on pizza and beer …kind of  :)        Popeyes Beach Resort welcomed us back …  It gets better every time we go ..they are now selling condo’s check them out!!!!

Pizza beer and the lovely H at the Lazy Lizard ..what could be better !!!

“Pizza” beer and the lovely H at the Lazy Lizard ..what could be better !!!

People always ask us what we do with our time … the usual reply is …. Just relaxing  and enjoying each others company . Well there is always something to do down here ,if you put your mind to it. A lot of people move here and find it boring or can’t find anything to do . Think of the saying the devil makes work for idle hands (  minds)   :)  .   I grew up listening to techno and dance music always favouring  rhythm over lyrics . But recently having a little extra time on my hands I started actually listening to lyrics of songs. I was amazed to find out that there wasn’t a rat in UB40’s kitchen at all . We have recently cleared some ” rats” out of our “kitchen”    and boy it really does feel good.  If you have a minute google the lyrics to the song , they are pretty good. H took this photo on a kayaking trip . It sat in my pictures on the computer for some time but now it seems it’s found it place on the blog ..RATS  watch out !!!!!

To all the rats out there ... your days are numbered  :)

To all the rats out there … your days are numbered  :)

All Clear

Our neighbour across the road has started to clear up his 34 acre parcel as a result we now have a great sea view from the house . H and i were kayaking in the bay the other day and she snapped this photo of the house .

The view from the sea to our house

The view from the sea to our house

The land was cleared by Mennonites who are the migrant workers who originally left  Germany in the 50’s went to Canada , then Mexico and are now in Belize. They do most of the arable farming in Belize and turned out to be excellent land clearer s. They turned up with a big bull dozer and worked 13 hours a day for a week , i asked John (who is on the right in the picture below) how much he got paid and he replied nothing , my family provide everything for me and when i get married i will get given land , a house and wages. These guys really did graft hard from dawn till dusk and were genuinely very happy. They speak a mixture of low German mixed with Dutch and a little English and Spanish . They live in Ship Yard which was an hour and a half drive each way ,how many people today would do that 6 days a week?

Just finished work 7pm you can just see the fire burning on the left hand side .

Just finished work 7pm you can just see the fire burning on the left hand side .

The circus came to town and caused quite a stir as it normally does. Lions ,tigers and other big cats all part of the show . There is a strong rumor around town that they pay £5 for any dog brought alive to them as food for the animals . BUT you don’t see any stray dogs around on the streets when the circus in town . After it left there was a large “Gang” of dogs on the park ,obviously survived another year :)

Rol up Rol up   £5   a dog

Roll up Roll up £5 a dog

I was in the petrol station filling up in town and H snapped this photo from the passenger window , the BBQ was inside the petrol station not more than 30 feet from the pumps , this is when you truly know you are in a third world country . I wouldn’t mind but it’s the only petrol station in town imagine what a bind it would be if it did go up in flames  :)

The sign in the petrol station says "No Naked Flames"

The sign in the petrol station says “No Naked Flames”

Our neighbour has had a dishwasher that hasn’t worked for 5 years and 4 different plumbers have been to try and fix it, when i asked what was wrong with it , they were told it won’t work because the pipes are cemented into the wall. This seemed ludicrous as the machine is brand new and only worked twice, so i investigated , stripped it down , we hand the pump motors , tested in town (£3)   they were fine we cleaned the filters out removed a piece of glass and hey presto it now works . goes to show “don’t be believe everything you hear ” …especially about  H and i      …..   :)

A mystery  solved

A mystery solved

Rio Nuevo

 

We have a retired artist friend who showed an interest for fishing.  This is quite common down here but when it actually comes to physically going out fishing, nothing ever comes of it.  People are way too busy doing nothing (a disease down here!) or something crops up out of the blue (belikin beer or rum overindulgence!).  Which means there are in reality very few people to go fishing with.  So over the space of a few months I kept bumping into Rafael the painter and knocking the idea about going fishing around but he thought I was another blagger.  He thought the easiest thing to do was buy a small zodiac inflatable and a motor then people would have no excuse not to go fishing.  In a month he had one shipped down from Canada and the first trip was planned up the Rio Nuevo (New River).  The little 6 horse power motor was just right for the 3 mile trip across the bay to the mouth of the river.  Once in the river, the water is always calm even after heavy rains and no more than 1/4 mile an hour flow.  If the wind is blowing it can actually push you up the river against the flow and usually provides a lovely air conditioning effect.  There are no mosquitoes on the river unless you go sit under the trees, which is where local fishermen in dug out canoes go to catch snook.  We tried this on our last outing and were ravaged by doctor flies, our hands and feet swollen like balloons!  On that maiden voyage Rafael caught a snook whilst trawling and he ate him that evening.  If you are ever down here Jill and Benny across the bay from us cook a great plate of fish and chips and use snook.

 

Capt Pablo with peacock bass

Capt Pablo with peacock bass

 

 

Wood Nymph’s brother Captain Pablo came down to visit with his “friend” Miss Magnum ;)…..an aspiring foot model (face wasn’t too bad either).  After she left Pablo and I took the double kayak to the New River and went fishing.  We collected live minnows for bait using chicken liver to catch them.  Basically you drop a few bits of liver into the waters edge and hundreds of minnows come in and gorge.  You cut the top off an old plastic bottle (there are always lots lying around) and then drop some more liver in and when the minnows come back to feed you scoop them up.  Pablo proved to be quite skilled at this, wading in amongst the lily pads….until I reminded him that that is exactly where the crocodiles hang out.  He backed out of the water proclaiming “I think we have enough!”  I paddled up the river and he was asking about the types of fish we could catch.  He had an interest in Peacock Bass and I told him I had heard people talk about them some 40 miles up the river, but had not met anyone who had actually seen or caught one.  We arrive at “the spot” and tried some lure casting.  Then we thought we would try our luck at a half submerged tree with the live bait.  The first cast was successful and we had a fish on.  We brought him up quick so the line didn’t get tangled in the branches and lo and behold we had caught a small Peacock Bass.  We quickly took the photo and then released it back into the depths, hopefully to put 20 pounds on for the next time we catch him! :)

Rafael with his snook at the mouth of the river

Rafael with his snook at the mouth of the river

Whilst fishing we have been using rock bass as cut bait on the bottom of the river to try and catch the elusive “River Monster” that I know must lurk in the depths.  We would fish with slack lines then wait for the line to slowly tighten, ready to set the hook on that monster fish.  We got used to striking hard when the line tightened only to find nothing on when we reeled in.  So we took our time and then the crabs started to come in by the bucket load.  Now is the season of the blue crab and Man Mountain suggested that we bring some back for him to cook up.  So on our last trip we brought some back for him to sample.  Well, he is still alive so I’m guessing no food poisoning!….next time I might try some too  :)

Blue crabs from the New River

Blue crabs from the New River

We now have 4 water tanks which hold a combined total of 2600 gallons and this proved just enough to get us all the way through the dry season.  This is no mean feat as the dry season is 5 months long with little or no rain in between.  Toilet flushing uses a large percentage of our water and for the next dry season we have a plan to dig a shallow well which we will pump water from, up to a 50 gallon drum on the roof.  This will then gravity feed the toilet.  It needs to be at least 8 feet above the toilet to give 4 bar of pressure.  Photo to follow late November if all goes well!  The wet season came a couple of weeks early this year and coincided with my birthday which certainly wasn’t a “dry” day :)  We went to the eatery Blues for a pizza and then back to our for a gallon of rum, pool playing and dancing.  I was a little delicate the next morning and had the first afternoon nap I can remember for a long time.

Pizza at blues  with H, Man Mountain ,Wood Nymph ,Capt Pablo and Miss Magnum

Pizza at blues with H, Man Mountain ,Wood Nymph ,Capt Pablo and Miss Magnum

 

Only IN Belize – Driving

Driving in Belize is not for the faint hearted.  Congestion is not a problem and you are never going to see a traffic jam!  There is no road rage – people don’t beep their horns, scream murderous obscenities through car windows, or give rude hand gestures.  Driving after dark especially on a weekend can be dangerous as the majority of people drink and drive.  police do not have breathalysers and I don’t know or have heard of anyone being caught for drink driving.  They have just started handing out “don’t drink and drive” stickers, but change will be a long time coming.  Any side of the road is ok, no one even blinks an eye, no flashing headlights to say you’re going the wrong way.  Most roads are dirt and you drive on the smoothest side of the road to avoid the 1000’s of pot holes and sink holes.  Drive over 20 miles an hour at your peril!  There are numerous speed bumps everywhere, some with new signs and a lot with no signs!  The ones without signs normally tend to be in the shade of a tree making them impossible to be seen and almost always next to a tyre repair shop – maybe there is a link here!  :)

 

Marie Celeste

Living on the bay with a constant easterly breeze, brings in all kinds of things that drift up unexpectedly. One morning the police drive down to the beach at 8am ,this is strange for two reasons .Firstly the police never come down this way as there are only five houses and secondly it was early morning surely they don’t start work until 10 or 11 :).   They hang around for 30 mins and leave ,curiosity gets the better of me and i take Zeus for a walk to the beach where a boat has been washed up.It is a home made sail boat with two out riggers, completely made of fibre glass ,with hand sown sails. It remained a mystery for about 4 days until we found out that there had been an “incident” at Sarteneja where someone was found shot and the neighbour had gone missing. The boat belonged to the neighbour and he remains missing ….. the mystery  continues…..

The Marie Celeste....another unsolved mystery

The Marie Celeste….another unsolved mystery

We have some friends called Lyan and Rana who are building a house just down the road, well a mile away but around here that counts as a close neighbour. They invited us on a fishing trip up the New River so the next morning at 6am we met them on the bay and set out to the mouth of the New River. I had heard from a friend who lives 6 miles up the new river that parts of it had been poisoned and he had seen thousands of fishing floating dead. There is talk of a wood mill in Orange Walk that periodically releases chemicals in to the river which kills fish, unfortunately Belize doesn’t have the environment agency to police these matters.  The only saving grace is that the flow of water through the river is so large that what ever goes into it is quickly diluted and flushed out. So i was skeptical of catching any fish ,but to my surprise we saw locals in a dug out canoe holding up a sizable Snook fish and  Lyan caught a Jack fish on a trailing lure ,which he released back into the river as it wasn’t the MONSTER we were hoping for ….  It was a really great day cruising the slow lazy pristine river.

The intrepid 4 in search of river monsters

The intrepid 4 in search of river monsters

I was  kayaking on the new River a couple of weeks later when i heard a low drone off in the distance . At first i thought it might be a fishing boat, but the noise went on too long. I realised it had to be the Sugar cane tug boat that moves all the refined sugar via barges out into deeper water where it is transferred to a waiting cargo ship bound for export. I see the barges pass through the bay daily whilst sugar cane is being harvested but i had never seen them in the river. I heard stories of the barges hurtling through the river bouncing off the banks and thought i wouldn’t  want to be in a kayak and witness that up close ..well today that’s exactly what was going to happen. I was just a short distance from a bend in the river and paddled into a gap between trees  and braced myself for a huge wake from the boat and barges bouncing off the bank .To my relief it passed by causing just a ripple in the water and barges smartly in line behind .

Up close and personal with the sugar cane tug boat and barges

Up close and personal with the sugar cane tug boat and barges

Last but not least we met our new neighbours  Nesca and Sgt Pepper.  They had a problem with their well pump but couldn’t get in the door ,finally the door was forced and the pressure switch was a charred tangle of metal and burnt plastic. So the Sgt and i set about replacing it. Only to find that the new switch was broken when we took it out of the box . In the land of NO REFUNDS ,NO GUARANTEE’S, NO RETURNS we returned to Villa Imports where i managed to get a free replacement …YES   a FREE replacement  … The Sgt said  what great people ,I assured him that was never going to happen in Belize again …EVER :)    Couple of days later we went kayaking.  H and Nesca took the double and had to be towed the last 1/2 mile to bird island but all in all did well. We fished for a while then tried our hand at finding Mayan pottery on the shore line and it wasn’t long before we came across  large pieces of broken pottery . The coastline is littered with remnants of 2000 years of Mayans living here and the coast line is pristine and would be exactly how they saw it. That night we had a bonfire on H Cove under the stars and swapped stories washed down with rum , life doesn’t get any better  :)

nesca PEPPER

 

ONLY IN BELIZE  -ROADS

Last years wet season saw the worst flooding in 40 years  and this played havoc with the roads.There are only 3 main roads in Belize every thing is is dirt and getting them repaired is a problem as the money allocated to repair is constantly ” REDIRECTED”  it all depends  on who you know or if there is an election as whether roads get repaired or not and if it’s a gringo road FORGET IT. Last year the Mexicans built a new bridge and border facility to cross between the two countries Mexico spent 13 million US dollars   in a “joint”  agreement ..Belize  spent  ZERO US dollars and the Mexicans had to pave the road on Belize’s side at  Mexico’s cost just so they could open the crossing. The hand crank ferry across the New River should have had a bridge over it 3 times over locals say , but the money  just disappears into the ether. The long and short of it is ….Things aren’t changing in Belize in the foreseeable future and we like it just the way it is  :)

 

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 .

 

 

 

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