I'll let you in on a little secret. Occasionally, blog posts need to percolate on a blogger's mind for a month or two (or more) before they actually get written. You just can't rush these things...
In all actuality, I have a really hard time talking about Belize. Thankfully, I think the grin and the twinkle in my eye that appears at the first sound of the country speaks for itself. Something about it just spoke to me. That country was my jam, my love language.
Here at the tail end of another Indiana winter, writing about warm, sunny, happy Central America sounds like the perfect plan for my day though.
San Pedro actually consisted of WAY more than just jumping into the ocean to kick it with an abundance sharks and rays and turtles. For instance, I met a soul mate.
Ha. Chicken drop. The highlight of every Thursday in San Pedro is cheering for a chicken to take a poop. I'm confident atleast 80% of the inhabitants on the island were huddled around that stretch of beach that night.
What is it, you ask? You purchase numbers and hope like hell that piece of poultry takes a dookie on your number. You win a pretty decent chunk of change if that happens. Of course you also have to clean up the mess, first. Sadly (thankfully?) none of us ever got that opportunity.
Naturally, right in the middle of the festivities, the power on the entire island goes out.
That's not an exaggeration. The. Entire. Island. Apparently the blackout stretched up into Mexico too.
So hey... foreign country, no cell service, no power anywhere... we do what any sane person would do, blind-eyed our way to the town square to get street meat. Thank the heavens for whoever invented food carts and generators!
Jenn had headed back to the states the day after our Shark Ray Alley experience, so us three musketeers had upgraded out of hostel life for the first time since stepping foot in Belize, and shelled over the cash for a hotel on the beach. Conch Shell Inn. She was a hot pink beaut, and when we blindly stumbled back to her that night in the dark we found the fellas at the dive shop on the dock having a hell of a good time, so we graced them with our presence for a while. Somewhere between the chicken drop and 9am the next morning the power had returned, and we were able to bask in air-conditioned bliss for the first time in a while.
It's weird being somewhere so laid back. I am not lying when I tell you there isn't much to do. But there isn't much to do in the BEST way possible. You can leisurely walk down the beach to grab coffee, and sit there chatting for hours. Or belly up to your favorite bar to drink Lighthouse and play Three's all night, every night. Of course, when you do that, you become the bartenders best friend. And if you're real lucky, you may even learn your bartender stars in a local island soap opera, and then you REALLY get to give him a hard time! (Be careful though, as we came to find out sometimes other patrons get so annoyed by you hogging the bartender's attention that they write about you in their TripAdvisor reviews)
The entire San Pedro adventure really hit it's pinnacle the morning we rented a golf cart. Being our last full day on the island, we realized we had yet to go to the much talked about Palapa Bar. Since it's on the northside of the island you have a few options - a long ass bike ride, or a shorter long-ass golf cart ride.
We took the cart around the island for a little exploring before venturing out to Palapa. I'll never complain about the potholes on Indiana roads after navigating those dirt paths. The bar was a blast, drinks were delicious, we made friends with some other patrons and wasted away our afternoon soaking up an equal mixture of rum and sunshine.
The problem came when we realized the day had faded into night and we had good 30 min drive ahead of us with no streets lights (hell there weren't even streets). We gracefully exited the bar where I turn the key and quickly learn our golf cart had no functioning headlights. Whit swooped in and saved the day as she grabbed our iPhones and flipped the flashlights on, proudly holding them out over the windshield. Linds is on the back is yelling at us to go faster as she's getting eaten alive by mosquitoes, we're all bouncing around because the "road" isn't really true to it's name, and I'm just trying to figure out which of the double palm trees I'm seeing is the actual one, and which is the tree that vodka invented.
We made it out alive, barely (Linds lost a shoe), and happened upon someone from the golf cart rental who had heard (damn gossipy island folks) about three girls running rampant sans headlights, so they promptly traded us for a new golf cart, and we made our way a few blocks further for heaps of chicken wings and very large glasses of water.
As we returned our 6 hour golf cart rental that we kept for an additional 18 hours I realized this is another one of those times you just thank God you are on the most laid back island ever, and they really didn't even seem to mind. Slurping up one last iced coffee and heading to the tiny airstrip I was the saddest little puppy. I was far from ready for our time in the BZE Islands to come to an end.