Hmm, let’s see…

Yesterday I was booked from Belize City to Miami to Toronto, then I was book from Belize City to Dallas to Toronto, and today – May 5 – I’m booked from Belize City to Miami to Toronto.

I’m also out a gazillion dollars in extra expenses, like tips to drivers, porters, etc.

For one of cheapest countries (…as advertised), Belize has been the most expensive country I’ve yet visited – BY FAR. Even before I left Canada it has cost me money an addition $800 caused when my accountant neglected to file my 2013 income tax return (which put me another year older by the time I bought my travel insurance) to $1,400 more on account of being diagnosed diabetic … And so on, and so forth.

In a word, it has been a ‘disaster.’

Mind you, the temperature has been perfection, the Conch Shell Inn was charming, and the scenery on Ambergris Caye was delightful. I would also mention the small handful of people in my immediate circle (Vivian, Julie and Rambo at the Inn, and the waiters and waitresses (politically incorrect,🙂 ) at Lilly’s and Jambel’s.

That’s it for the money.

 

Hello from guess where … BELIZE CITY!

No, this isn’t Ground Hog Day. It’s ‘Screwed-Up Day’ with a vengeance.

You may recall a post where I said that travel is always an adventure, and that that each year is no different.

The first was finding my $300 prescription sunglasses missing. I hunted the room high and low, so the only other place I had been was a restaurant that didn’t open til 12:00, and I had to check in at the airport at 11:00. So, it was goodbye sunglasses.

I got to the airport at about 10:30 – I always leave plenty of cushion time (see above) – so I was checked in and waiting by 11:00.

No problem. I am now in the system with plenty of time to spare.

As it worked out I had PLENTY of time, because my 1:45 flight was delayed until 3:15, and when 3:15 came it was delayed until 4:20.

That was cutting it close for my 8:05 connection to Toronto, but then the word came down from nature and American Airlines that it had been cancelled altogether! [Storms over Miami.]

However, they did have a flight to Dallas, with a connection in the morning. Okay, I had paid for a hotel room in Toronto ($160) for tonight (May 4th), but I think I can collect from my $3,800 travel insurance – not counting on it, though.

In the meantime, American did give us hotel and dinner vouchers. The hotel was fine – accepted without question, but the burger shack (where I think I lost my glasses) didn’t (at least not the vampish-looking bimbos who were serve – inch-long, fake fingernails with their noses stuck in a cell phone.)

Later, the owner – a Lebanese from Toronto – was surprised by the news because he did.

So Tomorrow I say hello to Dallas. I wonder what adventures await there. :O

Homeward bound … First leg

Belize City: One down and two to go … Flights that is.

The flight from Ambergris was quick and uneventful, and I’m glad I decided to fly. The wind has gone down, but the boat ride is still long and rough outside of the reef.

My flight is tomorrow, and in the meantime I’m staying at the International airport. The room is large, but basic, and I think I’m the only one staying here – Which suits me fine.

It was good to leave that god-awful music behind in San Pedro, but wouldn’t you know it… Some guy who couldn’t do without his music (“noise”) fix, whistled for the entire flight.

I have a car and driver at my disposal (for a price), so I’m going to go to a restaurant nearby in a few minutes,

Just one more day of 28C temps, and then Brrrr

My good friends and family have done their best I’m sure, but as usual spring is taking her own sweet time getting to the cold country. It was only 45F this morning, and the forecast is for 58 (11C) on the day I get home. That’s a big drop from 28C. Yikes.

The wind has dropped considerably, which is good for flying (in a small plane). I don’t know whatt the experience will be like, but it will be an ‘experience’.

I rinsed out the last bits of clothing this morning, and already it’s already dry! Warm temps and a breeze is as good as any dryer. Even a fleece sweater dries in a couple of hours. It’s amazing.

I will finish packing today so that I will just be able to zip up tomorrow after breakfast.

Here are a couple of snap shots you may find interesting.

If you were going to park a bicycle in Belize, where would you park it?
If you were going to park a bicycle in Belize, where would you park it?

 

I had a breakfast companion this morning. I call him "Herman", and he is a regular at the restaurant. He's a vegetarian.
I had a breakfast companion this morning. I call him “Herman”, and he is a regular at the restaurant. He’s a vegetarian.

 

 

The final countdown has begun…

I’m starting to wrap things up for the homeward trek.

Today I did a small laundry that will be either packed when dry, or worn on the flight. My strategy for packing is ‘first-out, last-in’, so shaving gear and meds are last in.

I don’t know how it is, however, but things that fit quite handily into the luggage on the way down, don’t seem to fit on the turn around. It’s a mystery that has plagued me on every trip, so I end up leaving a bunch of stuff behind.

My diet is also important on these last few days. I am always paranoid about having to make an emergency trip to the washroom while on the plane, so I eat a lot of pastas beforehand. I also eat and drink very sparingly on the day of the flight – plus keep my fingers and legs crossed.

The wind has come up again (10-15 mph), so if it doesn’t calm down before I leave the island it will make an interesting flight in a small plane. However, it’s only a 15-minute flight.

Sand is also a problem when it’s windy. The sand is mixed with sea water, so it makes everything sticky.

I will be sorry to leave these 28C temps – especially since it is forecast to be 11C when I arrive! Yikes!

I’m back to my regular digs…

It was a nice change of scene, but – noise and all – it’s good to be back in familiar territory. Also among friends. My room was waiting for me, as were Vivian, Julie, Rambo, and (co-Owner) Cathy from Texas.

Now it is wrap-up time: Getting everything organized for leaving the island. Everything must fit into 2 pieces of luggage, and I still need a flight schedule from here to the international airport. It is being made for me so that I can get a 20% discount.

I will be sorry to leave the 28C temperatures for 11C, but I need the supports that only available in civilization. For example, I need a haircut. There is a barber shop nearby, but you have to step up onto a cement block to get into it. Also, I am running low on hypodermic needle-cartridges. Things like that.

I also need new lenses for my glasses. The sand has scratch hell out of the coating, so I have to take them off to see. My prescription sunglasses are not effected, though.

Now that the main tourist season is winding down, the noise level is winding down as well. That makes it almost ideal around here. Mind you we still have the pathetic souls (read “jerks”) walking around with ghetto blasters blasting, but fortunately they are passing. Also, I don’t think they are unique to the island. They are just part of a trending inconsiderate and anti-social society.

Fortunately I live in a neighbourhood that is fairly quiet (up ’til now), so I suppose I notice it more.

It is a partly overcast 28C with a gentle on-shore breeze.

Another superb day… With music (*sigh*)

One more day up the beach. In some ways it is a better setting than downtown – more parks on the waterfront, and better scenery – but there is no escaping the omnipresent din of crap music played too loud. They seem to wait for me to arrive before they ‘crank up the tunes’.

And, of course, they always have an “RK” (‘restaurant kid’) waiting in the wings. In fact, it wouldn’t be a meal without the blare of music and some kid screaming. It’s my karma.

Tomorrow I pay my dues to immigration for the last time – although I suspect that I will have to pay again as I leave the country. Tourists are ‘good to the last drop’. Also, I make my reservations to fly from the island. I fly from here to the international airport, and the hotel is picking me up there.

Some pictures I took on a walk-around:

 

An interesting old piece of driftwood. Looks old, and quite a massive tree. I don't think it's a palm root, but it could be.
An interesting old piece of driftwood. Looks old, and quite a massive tree. I don’t think it’s a palm root, but it could be.

 

The sea wall is made from local rock, which in turn are mostly sea shells.
The sea wall is made from local rock, which in turn are mostly sea shells.

 

A coconut seedling. We pay a hefty price for coconuts in the supermarkets; here, you have to be careful they don't fall on your head.
A coconut seedling. We pay a hefty price for coconuts in the supermarkets; here, you have to be careful they don’t fall on your head.

 

There are some rare patches of grass - a coarse, bristly type - but it is mostly arid. Sand everywhere.
There are some rare patches of grass – a coarse, bristly type – but it is mostly arid. Sand everywhere.

 

I rather like this shot - nicely framed. It is of an old, abandoned warf, with mangrove trees in the foreground
I rather like this shot – nicely framed. It is of an old, abandoned warf, with mangrove trees in the foreground.

 

Here is a better shot of a small mangrove stand.
Here is a better shot of a small mangrove stand.

 

Here's an interesting building. I believe it is a hotel, but it looks as though it may have been a rustic mansion at one time.
Here’s an interesting building. I believe it is a hotel, but it looks as though it may have been a rustic mansion at one time.

 

An old, derelict scow.
An old, derelict scow.

 

Finally, I think this fellow may be in need of a tire!
Finally, I think this fellow may be in need of a tire!