My sister flew to Michigan to be at his side for a week. And, when he was able to be released from the hospital, she brought him home with her. It just so happens that for four months every year, “home” for my sister is Ambergris Caye in Belize. I happened to be in the “neighborhood”, so I grabbed a taxi, a bus, another taxi, a plane and a golf cart to make my way to my sister’s place. You may not have ever heard of Ambergris Caye, but it is the number one tourist destination in Belize.
The town of San Pedro was never designed to be the hub of Belize’s number one tourist destination. It’s three streets wide. Two of those three streets are one-way and the most common mode of transportation is a golf cart. There are already too many golf carts on the roads and development continues north and south of town.
Much of Ambergris Caye is pretty long and skinny. In the south end of the island, it’s not more than a ten-minute walk from the bay facing the mainland and the coral reef facing the Caribbean Sea. My sister lives four and a half miles south of San Pedro. It’s almost at the tip of the island and about a half hour drive from the nearest paved road. You can’t plan to go anywhere in a hurry, but being in a hurry is kind of contrary to “island time” anyway.
My sister and her husband host fishing trips for sportsmen who want Caribbean sunshine while most of North America is freezing. So, they have one main house on the Caribbean side of Ambergris as well as a smaller place on the bay. I know, it’s a rough life. In between the two homes is a sandy path, that ten-minute walk, and a wetlands area with spoonbills, herons, egrets and the occasional stork. Word has it, although I’ve never seen proof, that at least one six-foot crocodile also lives in that wetlands area.
It was some storm!
We had dinner at the house on the Caribbean side. I thought it might be best to get my brother home before the rains came and darkness settled. The drive on the golf cart was fast, but the bay side of the island was flooded. I never really noticed there was a seawall of stones along the shore. Well, when the winds blow in from the north, that stone wall doesn’t do its job. The entire yard was flooded. Heavy winds blew plastic patio furniture to and fro. My nephew, niece, and a couple of fishing guides searched the neighboring grounds hunting and gathering canoes, oars and anything else that might have blown away. Anything that could be brought inside the house was quickly pulled into dry safety.
It quickly got very dark. At one point, my nephew had to use one of those oars to chase off that six-foot crocodile who was also interested in some hunting and gathering of his own. How do you chase off a crocodile, you might ask? You hit him in the head with an oar. Just saying, if you ever need to know, now you do.
I have yet to see the crocodile who shares my neighborhood. He would certainly add some adventure to my experience. And now that I know to travel with a trusty oar in my hand, I have no worries about the encounter.
Yep, simply unBELIZEable!