A new life in Belize

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



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  🙂



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