“Waiting in Vain” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.

In yesterday’s edition I promised(sounds very magnanimous of me doesn’t it) that I would bring you all (anyone would think that I have an audience of thousands ) up-to-date with what’s been going on for Rose and I. So, without further ado I will start to do just that.

On Tuesday morning I caught the Belize Water Taxi 07.30 service to Belize City and on arrival at around 09.00 hours caught a taxi and went straight to the offices of Caribbean Shipping Service (this company acts as agent for Hyde Shipping, the company we used to bring our purchases over from Miami) to pay the invoice so that our container would be released.

As an aside I must mention (well I don’t have to really but it might be of interest to some of you) that if you are in Belize for any length of time and think that you might be using the Belize Water Taxi service quite a bit it could be worth your while joining the Rewards Program. It will cost you BZ$ 10 to join but thereafter you get discounts off the normal prices. For example a return ticket from San Pedro to Belize City normally costs BZ$ 50 but as a member of the Rewards Program it costs BZ$ 48. OK so it’s only a BZ$ 2 saving but … it adds up over time. So am I a member? Keep meaning to fill in the form but haven’t quite got around to it yet.

Anyway,sorry for that little diversion, let’s get back to the purpose of my visit to Belize City on Tuesday – the inspection, clearance AND release (sounds like it was imprisoned doesn’t it) of our container.

After paying the invoice I headed (I’d kept the taxi waiting for me) straight to the Port of Belize to meet with Milyn Gomez our Customs Broker and a day of excitement, not!

I wish that I could spice or glam up the process that followed but I can’t. My literary and creative skills are not that good. A descendant of Wilhelm or Jacob Grimm I’m not. Suffice it to ‘say’ that it was a painfully, numbingly boring process.

I just stood around whilst various people headed off to different offices with my paperwork and every so often I was told that my container would be taken to the Queen’s Bonded Warehouse soon. Live in Belize for a while though and you get to realise that ‘soon’ has a different meaning to what you are used to it meaning.

The lunch break came and went and I continued to just stand around waiting. I felt like I had waited so long that I might be waiting in vain but then Samuels aka “Buck” returned to find me – just waiting- and gave me the great news. Yes, our container was on the move.

“Buck” and I walked to the Queen’s Bonded Warehouse and got there just before the container arrived.


Backing up to the dock/inspection area.


In position.


Break the seal.

“Buck” and two other guys (I paid each of them BZ$ 50) then unloaded a sufficient number of packages to create a pathway for the Customs and Excise Department officials to inspect our consignment.




The officials then carried out an inspection and found nothing in the container that wasn’t on the list of items that the Belize Tourism Board had approved as being absent of tax and duties. Maybe it was my imagination (it can be a bit vivid at times) but they didn’t look too happy that they didn’t find anything in the container that shouldn’t have been there.

With the inspection over it was to close the container doors


and for me to lock it with the padlock I’d taken with me.


With the container locked I jumped in the cab of the lorry (truck for non-UK readers) to make the short journey down the road to the Caribbean Queen barge.


The antiquated (and well worn) dashboard of the cab.

Within minutes the driver was reversing on to the barge


and unhitching the trailer with our container.


Beside us another barge was being loaded with building materials and fruit/vegetables.


Ready to be loaded next were fourteen new golf carts for what to me seems like Carts Belize,one of the golf cart hire companies on Ambergris Caye.


Just in time for the busy Christmas and New Year period.

I don’t know if this is an exclusive or not but the driver told me that last week he loaded a forty foot container on the barge to Ambergris Caye for Steven Seagal. Not seen him on the island yet but …

By now it was close to 16.30 hours and time for me to head home but after hanging around all day I just couldn’t face the thought of a crowded water taxi back to Ambergris Caye so I took a taxi to the Municipal Airport and caught the last flight Tropic Air flight of the day.

The next morning (Wednesday for those of you that are interested in this type of detail) at around 11.00 hours the container arrived at our house where we were anxiously waiting for it.


“Don’t go by”.


Driver testing that our driveway (I use this description very loosely) was firm enough to take the lorry(truck) and trailer.




Rose unlocking the padlock.

We had organised it for Lloyd and two of his guys to be there to unload the container and take the packages to the areas of the house that we wanted them in and within two hours the container was empty and it was time for Rose and I to start opening the parcels.

The headline for today’s edition is based on the single released in 1977 by Bob Marley and the Wailers which reached number twenty-seven in the UK Singles Chart.


  1. lifeagain says:

    John, thanks for the inclusion i really enjoyed your photos and verbal description of the whole days/two days event. It was fun and amazing to actually see all of the locations and people and yes even the equipment involved. I like all of the photos but especially the photos of the docks and barges. It helped in bringing a true shared experience and visual. I am still happy to have stumbled on to your blog and today’s reading and pictures was kind cool. Showing the delivery truck eventually ending up at your home was fun. You are really getting professional at this blogging thing…….are you preparing us for some big literary en devour in the future?

    Thanks and remember to keep that camera dangling by your side at all times……..


    1. Well thank you Don, I am pleased that you enjoyed today’s edition.

      As to blogging, the longer I have been doing it the more I have found I like it. I have to focus though on not ‘getting too in to it’ because I can be a bit OCD and if I let myself it could end up taking too much of my time.

      Who knows though, I might well branch out a little. Getting ready to litter my sentences with “awesome”, “cute”, “delish”!

  2. tom says:

    John and Rose,
    Merry Christmas from snowing Montana. A definite white Christmas here.
    Best to you both,
    Tom in Montana

    1. Thank you Tom. Christmas wishes from Rose and me from a sunny Belize.

  3. kristina nadreau says:

    I am amazed that you got it through customs so quickly!!!!!!!! I would have expect at least a 10 day wait after hitting port of Belize. also your workers came on time! stunned! such fun to open all the presents, even when you know what is in the boxes…….. ty kris

    1. The consignment came in with a letter of approval from the BTB ie QRP status, so that may explain the speed of clearance. It was still too slow for us though!

  4. Erik Jensen says:

    Merry Christmas John & Rose, glad you can enjoy it with your favourite things.
    All the best.

    1. Thank you very much Erik. And may you and your family have a great Christmas.

  5. Mike says:

    I see why you said you are buried in cardboard! It must be wonderful to have most of the final “touches” in place though. Maybe now you can put a chair in every morning spot….

    1. Still got some cardboard to get rid of Mike and find ‘homes’ for the stuff but we are getting there. Very soon I will deserve a sit down!

  6. Jane says:

    Congratulations, and thanks so much for the wonderful photos and saga, John. Now the REAL fun begins! Enjoy the discovery of your purchases….

    1. Thank you Jane. Opened most of the boxes now. Like Christmas came early!

  7. Wes Witt says:

    I was concerned about the condition of the cardboard boxes. No damage?

    1. Three broken coffee mugs Wes. And one very small item (a non contact voltage tester) missing. Not bad. We feared worse.

  8. Carmell Dickson says:

    So happy your crate got there in one piece!!!!! Wishing you and Rose a very merry Christmas!!!!!!!

    1. Thank you Carnell. Really appreciated.

  9. Kris Jensen says:

    Good on you John & Rose that the long wait is over…enjoy your Christmas presents… 🙂

    1. Thank you Kris. A long wait but worth it.

  10. Kathi Moore says:

    I can’t believe what a saga it is to get anything done, but as there is no other choice, you’ve got to see the fun side of it. By the way it is -25 C here at the moment.

    1. Couldn’t agree more Kathi. Accept it for what it is.

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