“Picture This” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.

So what have I been up to since the last edition? Nothing world changing but, nonetheless, important to me.

I’ve continued to do ‘battle’ with Atlantic International Bank Limited to make the wire transfer I actioned last Wednesday (yes, last Wednesday) for the down payment (for the wood) for the furniture and fence that we are going to have made/erected.

Rose and I had hoped that with a relatively quick transfer of funds the work on the furniture would have commenced on Monday of this week but here we are nearly at the end of the week and … Bankers!!!

I’ve (obviously) continued to enjoy my early morning time on a veranda with the mug of black coffee and my iPad. Choosing which veranda to sit on though has been massively influenced by whether it was raining or not (and it has rained a lot) and, if it was, which direction the rain was driving in from.

It has rained so much that although we have now been in our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize for nearly seven weeks our ‘under the house’ water tank is still in overflow mode. Mother Nature is great. Although I must admit that it feels like I am developing web feet!


BWS (Belize Water Services) “Eat your heart out!”.

The container of stuff we purchased in Miami arrived in Belize City on Monday and I have spent a fair bit of time(well not that much really because it doesn’t take that long to knock out an email or two but I thought I needed to inject some drama in to this edition) emailing Roshel Godfey at the Belize Tourism Board to find out if the necessary (without it we would have to pay duties and tax on the goods) letter of authorisation had been generated.

After sending emails on a daily basis (on one day I actually sent two) I decided that maybe it might be better to try to talk with her over the ‘phone and after three attempts I got through and within minutes found out that our purchases have been approved for importation and that the letter was produced on 4th December! Anyone know where I can develop physic powers? Or learn to mind-read?

It was obviously frustrating to find out that the letter was available BEFORE our container arrived and that we (via our Customs Broker) could have started making arrangements for the inspection by the Customs and Excise Department as soon as the container arrived but we are not going to get wound up by this. We are just pleased that approval has been granted because there is now every chance that we will have a mattress and a TV for Christmas. In advance (and hoping that I am not tempting providence) thank you Santa (and the Belize Tourism Board of course!).

On Tuesday I had a day out all on my own -yes, I went out without Rose! Well, this is not strictly true because I met three friends who picked me up at Corazol airstrip (I had caught the 07.00 Tropic Air flight from San Pedro) just after 08.00 hours and we headed off for a day in Chetumal. TIP – do always ask for a discount when you book a flight because it works. Rose and I have never failed to get 10% off. It pays to ask!

We breezed through Belize Immigration in around five minutes (thank you “QRP” card) and only took slightly longer (had to fill the immigration card out) getting through Mexican immigration and then straight to Burger King (I have never professed to be a healthy eater). Fully burgered up (OK, I know that there is no such word but …) we ‘hit’ the shops with my main (well the only really) objective to get some (notice the use of plural) Christmas presents for Rose.

I had a really fun-filled and successful (can’t tell you what I got for Rose because -surprisingly- she reads this blog) day and got the 17.15 hours (the last one of the day) flight back to San Pedro.

I did take some time earlier in the week to take a look at progress on the Sunset Boardwalk project (I know that some of you have expressed an interest in this) and its obvious that it is nearing completion.




Looking good!

Even though it has been raining heavily throughout the week work has continued on building the little rock wall around the lot adjacent to our house that we own.


Taking shape at the edge of the lagoon.



He’s a little guy (who am I to talk?) but he hefted those rocks like they were tissue paper!

Rose and I also found time (am I really serious? We have loads of time) to take a look and admire the Christmas decorations adorning houses and businesses around San Pedro.


From the low key.






To the more extravagant.

If regular readers are starting to wonder (worry even) that I have jettisoned (see, I have seen so much water I am beginning to use nautical terms) Estel’s for breakfast stop thinking that way. Of course I have braved the elements (including the bumpy road to the bridge) and partaken (nice word isn’t it) of my favourite of eggs (sunny side up), potatoes, bacon and tortilla. And obviously a mug of black coffee.

I’ve been there so many times now that I’m fairly (not totally) confident that I can choose a table that’s dry when all around it is wet.


A very wet and windy Estel’s.

I meant to mention in a previous edition that last week Rose and I had the pleasure of formally meeting Melissa and Ken Fellure. We’ve seen them around San Pedro since we first started coming here nearly seventeen years ago but had never spoken to each other (reserved Englishman and all that). We had a great chat during which we learnt that they first came here over thirty years ago.

Seeing an opportunity I asked Ken if he had any photographs of San Pedro that he would be willing to let me use for the blog and I am really pleased to let you know that he has. It gets even better though. He has already provided me with a selection of them on CD.

So? I hear you (I can’t really hear you) thinking. Well, picture this. In future editions (maybe even starting with the next edition -can’t contain your excitement can you?) I am going to include a shot of a scene or building from twenty to thirty years ago and a photo of what it looks like now.

Today’s headline is based on the single released in 1978 by Blondie which reached number twelve in the UK Singles Chart. Surprisingly (well, as far as I am concerned anyway) it was never released as a single in the US.


  1. Julian Foster says:

    Thanks for spotting Annie’s for me… we’ll have to stop there on our way to Casa Pandulce Bakery and try several to see where to go next. We’ll be staying at Paradise Villas so it is real close. I like the idea of lots of other good stuff too!

    That’s a very interesting picture of Estel’s in a rainstorm! I plan to have breakfast there this coming Sunday if all goes well! I hope to come by and “pay my respects” (old Southern expression?) one day to thank you for the work you put in on your blog. I don’t really think that you realize just how much enjoyment other people (strangers for the most part) derive in following along on your adventures. I can’t get my wife to make the move you’ve done – but I’d love to do so someday. I don’t watch any other “reality shows” other than my favorite blogs. That is, in my opinion, reality enough for a lot of us.

    Thanks John – and a Merry Christmas to you and yours,


    1. Well thank you Julian. Your kind words are really appreciated.

      I hope that you and your family have a great Christmas too.

  2. footballbat says:

    Hi John,

    Great update. Love the photos of Christmas lights around town and the wet and windy Estel’s. Thanks. Glad things are coming along and that Christmas might include the comforts of your own belongings.

    It’s one thing for that little guy to be lifting those massive rocks – quite another to be doing that sort of work BARE-FOOTED! Yikes!!!

    Happy Holidays to you and Rose.

    1. Thank you Derek. And a happy Christmas to you and yours.

  3. Brian Luepke says:

    Hi John,
    I know we should “just get used to it and deal with it” when it comes to anything bureaucratic in Belize, but I must admit I get frustrated, too, after 23 years of experience with the system here. I bet the Fellures have got it down pat by now though!

    1. Hi Brian. I learning gradually that you can speed things up a little but I doubt that I am never going to get things to move at the pace that I would like. So I suppose I am going to have to plan further forward and allow lots of time.

  4. Mike says:

    Looking forward to the old pictures! And thanks for the update on the Boardwalk.

    1. You are welcome Mike.

  5. Julian Foster says:

    Hi John,

    Nice to hear you are progressing, albeit somewhat on Belizean time, but what the heck. I’m looking forward to seeing the pictures you’re going to post. Neat!

    Now a question: One of your pics this post was of a place I’m not familar with, to wit, Annie’s Pastries. Would they have things like cinamon rolls, etc.? And just where is it located? We’ll have a cart for the two weeks we’ll be in San Pedro and I’m sure we’d find it but I’d like to know ahead as my better half loves cinamon rolls…

    Thanks for all the work on the blog!

    Be there on the 21 st… hooraaah!!


    1. Hi Julian
      Patience is definitely something you have to have here. But the container is nearly with us.

      Annie’s Pastries does ‘do’ cinnamon rolls and you will find the shop in Laguna Drive. Head north of Richie’s Supermarket and it is on the left side of the road.

      They have lots of other good stuff too.

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