This is Part 2 of a recent holiday that I took when I went to San Pedro Town on Ambergris Caye. You can check out Part 1 if missed it HERE.
Life in the jungle: I attended a 7 AM Catholic mass. I am not Catholic. When biking through Mexico I would sometimes sit through part of a mass. But of course, they were in Spanish. I then did an 8-9 km (returned) bike ride southbound from the hostel. I would have liked to bike more except I didn’t want to find myself incapacitated from a painful tailbone like I started to experience yesterday. On my bike ride, I found a vendor selling passion fruit juice. I bought 2 bottles. I love passion fruit. After I dropped the bike off, I then revisited the Iguana Eco Sanctuary. I never get bored of seeing Green iguanas. They have always been a favorite lizard of mine.
I never bothered to take photos of houses or around town in San Pedro. Things are pretty run down on most back streets. This house seems to sum it up pretty good. Rundown and practically underwater during high tide.
Back at the Iguana Eco Reserve
At 1 PM I had a second session with my scuba diver instructor. He went over the breathing tests that we would work on again. I was very skeptical about my abilities. The urge for me to panic underwater is just too great. Even using the regulator mouthpiece is not a comfortable fit for me. We got in the water and I spent some time attempting to get comfortable underwater and breathing underwater again. But I found myself transitioning away from the tests to simply trying to get comfortable being underwater and exploring the ocean floor and all the fish down there where we were. After all, that was the experience that I thought I was paying for in the beginning. I saw a Southern stingray (twice) plus lots and lots of fish. I was in the water for 3 hours. That is probably the longest I have ever been in the water in my life. Yesterday, they said this session would be complimentary. Today the guy said his boss said I needed to pay $25 USD for this second session. After the session, I had to retrieve the money from the hostel as my wallet was at the hostel. Upon my return, he said no charge. Cool. I really enjoyed my time under the water but I am not a water lover. I have every intention of snorkeling every chance I can in the future but I will likely never wear a scuba tank again in my life. But it was definitely worth taking advantage of the opportunity when it was unexpectedly offered.
Tonight’s treat. I never even heard of this one.
From there as per my San Pedro routine, I went to Western Dairies for my evening ice cream.
This evening at the hostel
Life in the jungle: It must be Friday the 13th. I made arrangements to catch a ferry to Turtle Island. They have two (shark-attacked) rehabilitated sea turtles that are permanent residents there. I sat for 30 minutes on a very hot dock in the open sun. No ferry arrived. I had to walk back to the hostel to find out what had happened. Apparently, there was a communication error, and they are not taking visitors to the island until Sunday. So much for seeing a sea turtle on this trip. This was one of my goals. That sucked and really kind of screwed up my morning. The hostel felt bad and gave me a complimentary watermelon juice even though it wasn’t their fault.
All I really could do after that was wait for lunchtime. My afternoon plan was to rent a bike again and head back north again to visit Secret Beach to look for crocodiles. But I didn’t want to leave too early. I planned on eating supper out that way tonight. At the same time, I am mindful of the fact that biking that distance would be uncomfortable on my tailbone peddling these sand cruiser bikes.
I biked until my random route came to an abrupt end
North of town are random grids of roads with an occasional house
I biked about 16 km north up the caye before I turned around. (Therefore, about a 32-34 km round trip today.) I stopped at Sweet Water Resort for hydration and some beers. I happened to mention my desire to find some American Crocodiles while at San Pedro. They mentioned the Thirsty Lobster Bar a little further down the road had crocodiles. After a few beers, I headed there. Right away, I found a crocodile by the dock. I ended up sitting on the dock for more than an hour or so until right before dark. I suspect I saw 5-6 more/different crocs drifting in the lagoon. It’s hard to tell which crocodiles you are seeing for a second or third time. What an awesome experience. I no longer needed to go to Secret Beach in the dark looking for crocodiles in the dark.
The dock I had to cross over to see crocodiles. Pretty sketchy after 4 beers.
I didn’t expect the first one so quickly
When he came up for air. I was crouched down like 2 ft from him.
The lagoon he lives in. Notice the other crocs along the water surface.
I then headed (back) to the Moon Bar (right beside Sweet Water Resort) because I was told that Moon Bar was the place to go for pizza. And it was probably the best pizza I had since leaving the US almost 3 years ago. On my back to the hostel, I came across a juvenile croc on the side of the road. I didn’t get a good photo because we startled each other. Either way a great ending to another good day and a good holiday.
A bad but split second photo of a juvenile croc on my bike ride back to the hostel
Life in the jungle: My vacation is over. The line at the water taxi was once again excessively slow. I will not be using the other water taxi service next time.
On my way back to the water taxi dock
I have already described some of my impressions of San Pedro. Noisy, congested, busy, and lots of construction. But I do plan to come back. I suspect that I will appreciate my own little piece of paradise in the jungle a little more moving forward. Where I have peace and quiet and only the noise of wildlife and birds. Historically I have used hostels to catch up on work. During this trip, I was pretty intentional about creating a few new memories. I never got to see any sea turtles. But I snorkeled for the first time, I swam with Nurse Sharks. An opportunity to do some shallow water diving presented itself that definitely took me out of my comfort zone but I still went for it without thinking twice. I saw a bunch of American crocodiles which was an original goal. I hung around some green iguanas up close, even though I have iguanas at home. And I ate better than I have eaten since arriving in Belize almost 2 years ago. I was pretty pleased with the Sandbar Hostel. So far, it’s the best hostel I have stayed at in Belize. Overall, I am very pleased and happy with my little vacation.
A small sidenote for anyone considering moving to San Pedro for their retirement. In Canada or the US when you move into a new development area it is with the understanding that at some point the construction, construction vehicles and noise will eventually come to an end. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see with the slower pace of island life on San Pedro and the signs of future development wherever you turn that the noise and construction will never end in anyone’s lifetime. Technically today is as good as it gets on San Pedro and it only gets worse from here. Live on the mainland and visit the caye for a vacation, unless of course, you can afford your own island somewhere else.
Getting home to the village I walked home to get my bike so I could bike back for my luggage. It’s way easier to bike back to the village for my bags than hump them 2 miles home on my back in the heat. I didn’t get back home until almost dark with my bike. I went to feed my chickens and noticed something recently moved around in my chicken feed box since I got home a few hours ago. All of a sudden, I heard Joseph (the guy who was watching over my chickens while I was gone) calling from inside the chicken coop. He was like “Hey man you got a boa constrictor in here!”
Apparently, Joseph showed up earlier. Saw that I had been home but I was not home now. He decided to wait for me and he heard a commotion coming from the coop while waiting. A boa had a chicken in its mouth. Somehow, he saved my chicken and was now trying to extract the boa from the chicken coop. I’m happy my chicken is safe but happier to catch a boa constrictor. An even greater end to my vacation.
A quick blurry photo taken inside the chicken coop in the dark of the hiding boa Constrictor. Notice the scorpion also (lol).
A successful catch. A beauty boa & a great end to a great holiday.