So, it comes to this, our last full day in Belize then home to reality and that W-word… WORK! LOL, but I am very very grateful for the job and actually look forward to getting back to being a productive member of society. Well, The plan for the day was take a beautiful 2.5 hour drive through the mountains to the north back to Belize City and then hop a water taxi from there to San Pedro on Ambergris Caye for one night at the Alaia hotel there. Like I said.. that was the plan.

But this wouldn’t be a Wild William trip without something going wrong. Well today was that day. First we had a wonderful morning breakfast with MJ and Kyle from Plano. But the problem began there as we were supposed to be leaving at 9:15am but ended up leaving at 9:30. With our ferry leaving at noon this becomes a problem if you do the math quickly. Well I don’t think our driver got the message about our timeline either as he was in NO hurry to get anywhere. A stop at his house and then a long restroom break and we end up pulling up to the water taxi (ferry) 2 minutes after it left. Good thing I couldn’t get their website to allow me to purchase a ticket online last night!

Well, the boat ticket was $50 and it turns out that a flight is only $68 so for basically another $20 we get to fly for 15 minutes and be there in a hurry. The plane is a small Cessna 208 Caravan and we’re sitting directly behind the cockpit with a big sheet of plastic that has a sign on it that says tear in case of emergency. We wonder when we notice the tear in the side of the plastic if we should be worried LOL.

Well the flight was easy as pie, exist, pick up our bags and expect to find a taxi to our hotel Turns out that even though the hotel that I called personally said that they don’t have transportation from the airport, there was indeed a gentleman with a taxi waiting for us at the exit gate. So that was a nice surprise. Now San Pedro, it mostly a golf cart kind of island, but there are a tiny minority of cars on the island and we’re in one that is a taxi. Up to the hotel we roll and it is beautiful. A large resort with two main tall buildings, immaculate whitewash and friendly porter staff to greet us.

Now, more fun to be had. Since I am a Titanium elite lifetime member, I am entitled to room upgrades. But I actually used one of my suite rewards certificate to get upgraded.. or supposedly … it turns out that they didn’t upgrade me, had rooms available and then told me there was nothing they could do about it as it was “up to corporate” to handle those upgrades. (not true by the way, I’ve had the individual hotels handle this all the time). Well, this was after waiting for 40 minutes just to get to the desk. Needless to say I’m a little grumpy, but trying hard to keep my Beliezy vibe going. Then they tell me my room is on the second floor. Now, I’m definitely frustrated. I have had in my profile a high floor room request for the past 20 years of being a Marriott Rewards member. And I Just know that my “ocean view” room that I reserved is not going to be able to see the ocean (see third pic below). But they again say that they don’t have anything else available and I’m too frustrated and tired to fight it so I just take the room.

Finally in the room and the room itself is gorgeous. Full kitchen and fridge, sitting room with large screen TV, and a huge patio …. that looks directly into another building. Some Ocean View. I’ll be talking with Marriott about this. So I look out the other way as the rooms go front to back and the other view we have is directly info the machinery on the roof of the mechanical building. All in all for 75,000 points for one night this is off to a bad start.

Thankfully that’s where it ended. We quick dropped off our bags and headed down to the beachside restaurant and I had a fantastic burger while Ashley had Ceviche and a salad. Oh and of course a couple of outstanding Belekin Stout Beers.

Then back to the room a quick change into bathing suits and down to the pool. Its a beautiful pool and quite crowded compared to the other places we’ve been in Belize, but then all of San Pedro is more crowded than the rest of Belize we’ve visited. After about an hour of lounging around I get an excellent idea. Lets rent a golf cart for the evening. I mean, we’ve already made reservations at a nice beachside seafood restaurant, The Blue Water Grille. So I Google-bot my way to some entries and find a couple of places that are all booked up but the last gives me the name of Blue Hole Golf Cart Rentals and, voila, we’re set for the evening. They will deliver to the hotel in an hour and pick it up after we leave.. all for $35USD.. hell of a steal in my book.

Back to the room a quick shower, and change into dinner clothes and I’m down to the lobby to pick up the cart. This of course comes on Belize time, meaning 30 minutes late. But come it does and while I was waiting I pluck around on the piano in the lobby playing a little improv jazz and when I’m done I get an ovation from the bar staff behind me.. I didn’t even know they were listening .. that was a nice stroke to the ego!

Then off on our golf cart adventure. The security guy out front gave me the tip to head down to the bridge, turn right and I’ll drive right along the beach with resorts and over water bards all along at which we can stop and enjoy a cocktail or two. So that’s exactly what we do. The first place we stop is Wayo’s Beechside Beernet. A ramshackle thatched roof on stilts over the water with a lot of good Uncea-Uncea-Uncea music blasting (Gino knows what I’m talking about)! So we go in grab a table on the rail and begin to play the bar game that is on the table. I figure out what it is with the help of Google Vision which I take a picture of the thing and it tells me what it is. Well it turns out its called Shut the Box, and is quite simple to play, perfect for a bar LOL. So we paly for a while and I think I ended up beating Ashley 9-7 sets. But frankly I can’t remember she might have come back and tied things up at the end.

Anyway, we head off to dinner, make a wrong turn or two but finally find our way there. We’re a little early so we head into another Uncea-Uncea joint and have another beer before dinner and yell at each other over the music trying to9 have a conversation. Then we move on toward dinner, and for the first time on this trip, I’m accosted by scammers and hawkers. A guy holding a parking spot close to the front is clearly there with a bucket and a brush and is clearly going to try and roust us for a tip for doing nothing. Well we turn around and park farther down the line.

Then the wood carvers start badgering us for a purchase. Then they bum a smoke. Then they want to sell us joints. Finally we make it through the gauntlet and we’re at the restaurant and are seated right on railing next to the beach. A cool breeze blowing we order some wine and appetizers and life is good. I order a beautiful shrimp and fish “dynamite” dish and Ashley orders a Shrimp Quinoa bowl. Unfortunately when hers comes its got corn and beans and no broccoli or carrots which were the veggies that were supposed to come with it. It turns out she got the wrong dish. So she enjoys her Moet and I enjoy my Chateauneuf du Pape while we wait for the right dish and enjoy the ambience.

After dinner we head back to the hotel with the remainder of our wine and I order a chocolate lava cake from room service and get maintenance to come up and reset the lower limit on the A/C to something lower than 76 degrees. No way I’m going to sleep that warm! Well we sit on the balcony, do a couple crossword puzzles together and then I feel like I need to take a swim in the pool.. its open till 11 after all.

The pool is AMAZING.. nobody but Ashley and I hanging around, well eventually a couple of HS kids, but they kept to themselves. I finish my swim as I notice the moon rising over the ocean and then back up to the room a final packing of my stuff and I’m ready for bed.

The next morning we’re up ‘n at ’em at 8ish, a quick breakfast, ride to the Maya Air terminal, another jump to the Belize international airport, a boring 1.5 hour wait for our boarding to Atlanta (which by the way Delta screwed up again and didn’t upgrade Ashley to Comfort+ with me like they were supposed to and of course “we can’t do anything about it” was the answer, then it turns out the seat next to me is empty!.. they ALSO will be hearing from me) But the Atlanta flight goes smoothly, immigration takes a while but goes smoothly. Finally, we part ways and I arrive in Detroit to Gino’s smiling face picking me up. And then finally I’m home in my own bed where I sleep HARD for 9 hours.

Well it was a hell of a trip. Some final parting notes:

  • Belizean’s are some of the friendliest people I’ve encountered
  • The diving on the reef I would rank behind the Red Sea, and The Maldives as some of the best I’ve found in the world.
  • USD, BZD, the currency doesn’t matter, just be ready to tip, their wages are low and it doesn’t cost that much to make a difference in your service providers lives.
  • DO NOT USE SMART SIM cards… particularly if you go to the shop across the parking lot at the international airport. They will scam you for the card, then the data, then the texting, they the calling all separate without telling you up front.
  • Belize Dive Haven… a resort meant for diving as its name says. The staff and dive crews are top notch and all aces in my book. The resort itself has some work to do. Its concept is sound, but execution is lacking… corroding stainless which says they cut corners and bought really cheap stuff… cracking and mildew in grout in pool, tells me they are just a little shy on maintenance… Basically they went to the cheap side of everything when they built the place and it shows. Every amenity is just a “little” off.
  • Hamanasi Dive and Adventure Resort. 5 stars all the way. I’ve actually never stayed at a location that was so well trained. You could have a casual conversation about changing an adventure itinerary around the bar and without even asking a member of the adventure staff would be stopping by your pool lounger looking to make your request happen. Amazing staff. Amazing accommodations. Amazing food.

One Reply to “Easy Breezy Belizy”

  1. Nice trip Bill, thanks for sharing it. Diving is not my thing as I have a completely irrational fish phobia, so I would be beach or poolside like Ashley, but glad you enjoyed it.

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