“Travelin’ Man” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.


Up at 04.15 hours yesterday morning and out on the veranda with my mug of black coffee (no sugar) and iPad and settled in my chair five minutes later.

It was still. Very still. There were sounds, obviously there were, but they were hardly discernible. No barking dogs. No birds chirruping. No fish jumping out of the water. No breeze to speak of. Even the leaves on the trees were silent. It was so quiet it was bordering on being eerie.

It didn’t remain that way for too long though because within around thirty minutes of being out there the wind started to whip up. The trees started to rustle and then there were the differing sounds of the pitter patter of the raindrops as they hit the leaves, the trees, the ground and the concrete wall of our veranda.

Like so many of the downpours we have had so far this year this one didn’t last very long. Within twenty or so minutes it was over. Not even long enough to create meaningful puddles in our garden but enough time to whip the mosquitoes up in to a feeding frenzy. And I was breakfast!

They can be a real pain but I’m pleased to say that aside from the initial irritation/distraction when they “go for their nibble” I’m not really too bothered by them. I find myself scratching the attacked area but I’m not left with the weals that I see so many people affected by.

Not much time for “breakfast” for the mosquitoes yesterday morning though. Oh no. I was going to be a travelin’ man. I was headed off to Belmopan to get my passport extended.

Now I could have got either of the early morning water taxis to Belize City and caught a bus. Alternatively I could have flown to the Municipal Airport, got a taxi to the bus station and got a bus. But I chose the quicker, easier and by far more expensive travel option of flying all the way. At US$ 165 it is around US$ 110 more than the cheapest route (water taxi and bus) but …

Rose dropped me off at Tropic Air shortly after 07.30 hours for the 08.00 hours departure (which, as it transpired, didn’t leave until 08.20 hours) and I was the only passenger on the seven seater aircraft.

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“Just for me. Oh, and the pilot of course!”

We got in to an animated conversation as soon as I asked him his name. “Juan” he replied. “Me too” I responded. It takes Juan to know Juan (yes I know its terrible).

We retrieved time lost from the later departure (my lack of body weight (some might call me skinny) and we landed at 08.55 hours whereupon the Tropic Air staff called a taxi for me (you can just see British Airways or American Airlines, etc doing that can’t you!) and ten minutes or BZ$ 20 later I was dropped off at the British High Commission in good time for my 09.30 hours appointment.

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From being cleared by the security gate and handing over my application form and passport took no more than ten minutes. “Are you able to return at 2.30” I was asked. “Of course” I responded as I took off for a little walk around the City. And to get something to eat – I hadn’t eaten breakfast!

Here follows a few photos that I took along the way:

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And then I came across the little fruit and vegetable market.

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What goodies did they have on offer? Well quite a lot actually.

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I made a few purchases – haggling all the way – and decided that I decided lunch. Where to go? Well I’d heard about Corkers and decided I’d give it a “go”.

I took a table on the very small veranda, made my selections from the menu and enjoyed the view.

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And had a look around the place.

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A very British feel to the place. Not surprising really. The husband and wife owners are from the UK.

The service was very good and it wasn’t long before my Starter arrived

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An Italian vegetable soup that at BZ$ 10 I thought was good value. Very tasty. And filling. Would I have room for the Main Course of

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Fisherman’s Pie? You betcha! Oh the price? A very reasonable BZ$ 18.

Wondering about Corkers? Wonder no more.

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The sign that did a use me though was hanging in the Gents (Restroom for non UK readers).

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Mystery unravelled!

Belly full I took the walk (a very, very slow walk – I’d put on pounds!) to the British High Commission, got through security and picked up my newly extended passport. Mission accomplished!

I grabbed (where does this expression come from? I mean you don’t actually grab a cab. You’d need to be a superhero. Oh well, maybe!) a taxi and headed off to the airport but being early for my flight stopped off for a Belikin (or two). You’ve got to, haven’t you!

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El Rancho, conveniently located just across the road from the airstrip.

At these prices I was sorely tempted

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but common sense prevailed!

For the return journey a four seater aircraft awaited and I was the only passenger until we stopped off at the International Airport to pick up another two passengers. My time of flying solo was over.

What did I buy you’ve been thinking. C’mon you have, haven’t you.

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Not bad for BZ$ 50.

The headline for today’s edition is based on the single released in 1961 by Ricky Nelson and reached number one in the US Billboard Hot 100.

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14 thoughts on ““Travelin’ Man” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.

  1. To be able to charter your own private plane for $165 is a steal, I must say I have always found the local air fares about the same as British rail prices per mile so a bargain.
    But… There is always a but isn’t there, the cost of travel around the main land by bus can be ridiculously cheap if you don’t go for the air conditioned buses. When I visit Belize we always fly to where we are going, but get the bus back, the ride is never uncomfortable, and it is good to relax. If you put a value on your time though either are good deals.
    I hope to be in Belize in April next year, and will no doubt fly to San Pedro at some point, but get the water taxi back to the City.

    • Couldn’t agree more Jim. Bus travel here is ridiculously inexpensive. I didn’t have the luxury of time though for my trip. I enjoy travelling on the water taxis providing the boat is too crowded and I’m near the exit for the good breeze.

  2. John, great shopping and the green beans/string beans and broccoli looked super good.
    Did the vegetables come from the Mennonites also as in San Pedro?
    How do you collect the rain water for your below storage. It there a drainage pipes from your balcony’s and roof tops?

    • Hi Don. Since writing that edition we’ve had some broccoli and green beans and both were very good. Don’t know if they were grown by Mennonites but I suspect so.
      As to our rainwater collection, we gave a flat roof to our top floor and within this are 8 drains/ down pipes that take the water to our 45,000 gallon tank under the house.

  3. Hi John, Going back and forward to the US embassy brings back bad memories, Immigration are useless, run by immigrants !!! took them 11 weeks to realise id left the US and revoked my green card !!!
    Your dead right about the River Piddle, been going backwards and forwards across it , the local brewery makes an excellent beer …… Piddle Ale ive gotta bottle left for dinner tonight I was just a little worried by an Inn serving this beer, had a notice saying all ales passed by the management !!!!

    • Apologies for being so tardy Robert. The staff at the British High Commission were very good (Brits and Belizean alike) and I was “taken care of” very quickly.
      Never had a Piddle Ale (loads of piddles but …). Must try and out that right when I eventually do visit the UK.

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