“(I’ve Been) Searchin’ So Long” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.

Yesterday began much as any other day for me. I got up slightly later than usual at 05.45 hours. Grabbed (well I had to make it first of course) a mug of black coffee and my iPad and headed for the veranda. The western one on the first floor.

There was a strong wind with a chilly ‘bite’ in it so I went inside and put on a sweat top. Much better. We’ve only been living here permanently for around twenty months but must be coming acclimatised – we are both feeling a drop in temperature so much more. Or is it that we are just getting older and the older you get the more you feel the cold?

Anyway, back to the veranda. I spent a little time reading The Times online and then just thought about life in general until my reverie was interrupted by Rubio who had arrived early (by now it was around 06.40 hours) to recommence work on our fence. With the mood ‘broken’ I decided that there was only one thing for it – breakfast at Estel’s so I quickly showered, shaved and dressed (including a sweat top) and was on my way by 07.15 hours.

I spent around ninety minutes there. I’m a slow eater but not that slow. It’s just that when I sit there I find the ambience so calming that I just lose track of time. I’m sure that Estel’s would much prefer a much quicker turnover of customers but – “the customer is always right”, or so they say!

One of the things I spent time thinking about was geckos. Geckos? I ‘hear’ you saying. “Why would you be thinking about geckos John?”. Because we have a number of them that are unwanted house tenants, that’s why. We hear them, we see them and we see what they leave us. Their droppings!


We like animals – in fact when we lived in the UK we (well Rose really) had two cats. One that lived to be nearly nineteen and the other one who reached her twenty-first birthday – so if we thought we could house-train them we would. But I don’t speak geckoese and don’t intend to use the time and effort to do so – much rather learn Spanish. So a solution is required and that’s what occupied my thoughts at Estel’s.

We know that the are a number of entry points for the geckos eg under the doors, through the windows when we have them open but concluded that the most popular route in is via the air conditioning.



In through the hole around the external pipework


and out through the air conditioning unit in the house!

The possible solution didn’t take me the full ninety minutes I spent at Estel’s to come up with but it did take most of it (brains a lot slower than it used to be). Expanding foam! So when I finished breakfast I went on a shopping expedition to get some.

I haven’t found any yet and wish I could say that I’ve been searching so long (phew, that’s the headline connection out of the way for another edition) but I only visited the one hardware store but I’m confident that I will find it on the island. Keep watching this space to find out if I am successful AND, more importantly, if it does the trick.

By the time I got home (in good enough time to watch Arsenal beat our North London ‘would be’ rivals Spurs in the third round of the FA Cup) Rubio and Mike were making really good progress on fitting the vertical planks for the southern side fence.



Inward facing side.



The headline for today’s edition is based on the single released in 1974 by Chicago which reached number nine in the US Billboard Hot 100.


  1. Tom U says:

    John, I was wandering around town yesterday and Sam’s Hardware across from the Social Security office on the corner has urethane foam.

    1. Thanks for the info Tom. Actually bought some yesterday at Castillo Hardware. Haven’t got around to using it yet though.
      Thanks again. Appreciated.

  2. Tom U says:

    Urethane foam for sure John… Over fill then shave off when cured even with the wall,,, then paint,,, preferably an elastomeric paint… Might take a couple coats to cover… Will keep my eyes peeled for it…

    Or,,, you can get some cats again!!!!

    1. Thanks for the advice Tom. I’ll obviously let everyone see the fruits of my labour.

  3. Lisa DeFrank says:

    We lived in Hawaii for three years and at first I felt the same as you about the geckos. I would have my husband chase them around and try to catch them…it was a show! Then I made peace with them; I discovered that they kept the bug population down in the house (my ONLY complaint about life in the tropics!). So, maybe the little guys do earn their keep?

    1. Hi Lisa, I’m not against geckos. In fact I know that they do a very useful job but some of the air conditioning units provide access directly above the beds. The pillows in fact. So we are keen to prevent the droppings in these areas.

  4. robert says:

    Hi John, we make home made Kahlua , its wonderful in the early morning coffee, i’ll give you the recipe if you like.
    Im sure you can get cans of expanding foam in Castillos,
    Fence is looking good. Home is becoming a Castle or maybe an Arsenal !!!!!

  5. Wilma says:

    John – we love our geckoes! Every dropping they leave you is at least one less live bug in your house. Much easier to clean up a dropping than to kill a bug and then have to clean it up too. By all means, close any gaps that you can (that will help minimize the bugs, too), but there will always be some you don’t know about or can’t reach. Anyway – my 2 cents on geckoes.
    Cheers, Wilma from southern Belize

    1. We know the good work they do Wilma. We also know that they will continue to get in but hopefully not via the air conditioning units – one of them is directly above the pillows on our bed. Or, our heads!

  6. Alan Slater says:

    Hi John……to help you with your morning chill problem, I would recommend Sambuca in your coffee. It appears to me that you are suffering from too much blood in your alcohol system. Sort of like antifreeze assistance!!!! You will have to experiment to find the exact dose!!!
    Alan S.
    P.S. Nice fence, John.

    1. Think I prefer brandy Alan so thanks for the great idea.

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