28 June, 2007

We Needed a VacationTo San Pedro

We escaped to San Pedro on Ambergris Caye. We were a little apprehensive, from our previous brief stop flying from Belize City to Corozal. That had seemed to be just loud, and obnoxiously touristy. I guess with a vacation in mind, your perspective changes.

We arrived at San Pedro and headed up the street a block and a half or so, to Ruby's Hotel, on the beach, for the budget-minded tourist. We could have gotten a room with A/C but opted for a room with fan and on the beach-side for the breeze. Perfect. We were on the third floor. Elsie's room was on the first floor.
Ruby's Hotel on the Beach, San Pedro
Room numbering was unique - Elsie's was #20, ours was #12. There seemed to be absolutely no rhyme or reason... But, hey, no problem, Mon!

Check in was 12:00 PM. Being early, we stashed our bags in the hotel office and walked north to explore a bit of the town. We got back to the hotel a bit after noon. Things move at a slower pace on San Pedro, so we waited for the maid to finish with our room.
Elsie and Dianna Chatting While the Maid Finishes
Our room, sans A/C, was only $40BZ ($20US) a night. Hard to imagine, a hotel room right on the white sand beach, in the middle of town, for that price.

We had a private bath, and the balcony on the third floor, provided an unbeatable view of virtually the whole beach. The balcony was huge, and most of the time we were the only guests using it at all.
Spartan but Clean Accommodation
Enjoying the view
from our third floor balcony
Each morning, we not only enjoyed the view of the beach and the dive/snorkel boats heading out, but we would head around and check out the view from the front of the hotel. Early in the morning, it seemed particularly sleepy, with only a few golf carts and pedestrians out and about.
Downtown Views From Ruby's Front Balcony - Looking North
Downtown Views From Ruby's Front Balcony - Looking South
Ruby's didn't have a restaurant, but they did have a small take-out coffee shop next door. Hot coffee, johnny cakes with bacon and eggs, burritos with ham, eggs, cheese and beans - those were always our favorite breakfasts. Coffee and a burrito was $4.00BZ. How much more reasonable could you get?
Dianna Heading Into Ruby's Coffee Shop
Enjoying Breakfast on the Balcony
Here's the sign for the Water Taxi to Caye Caulker - as well as other points around the area.
San Pedro Water Taxi Sign and Schedules
Now, I ask you... What's wrong with this picture?
Tied up and Ready to Go
On one of our forays around town, while Dianna and Elsie went shopping for clothes, I strolled around and took a few pictures of workers adding touches to some of the construction/repairs around town.

The guys on the left are bending rebar in preparation to positioning it for a concrete pour. The guy on the right is painting a new fence going up near Ruby's.
Workmen Hard At It in San Pedro
Painter Hard At It in San Pedro
We ate and drank at several places around San Pedro. It's a nice place to visit, but, I wouldn't want to live there. Overall, it's just too expensive and too touristy. But that's it's purpose. We enjoyed it a lot. We'll definitely come back.
Dave Enjoying Chow
Dianna Showing Off Her Hard-Won Purchase
We always got up early - something about fresh sea air, lines banging against masts... You know, the usual. And with Ruby's Coffee Shop opening at 5:00 AM, who could resist? Sunrise began about 5:15 or so, here's a shot (below) of early sunrise. It was worth the price of admission.
Sunrise at San Pedro
The two shots below provide a vista, looking north and south, respectively, from our balcony. Remember, only $40BZ a night for this. It's a steal!
North From Ruby's 3rd Floor Balcony
South From Ruby's 3rd Floor Balcony
Even though we were only At San Pedro for two days, we sure did a lot of walking on the beach and in town. We ran across a tourist (seems like they were always from Boston) who told us a disjointed story of opening a business and drug-testing his employee (who failed) and some other stuff. At least he was coherent enough to take a picture of us on the beach. We returned the favor. He ploughed into the water for us to snap his picture with his feet wet. Probably the weirdest few minutes of the whole trip.
The 3 of us on the beach
Dave and Dianna visiting jewelery dealers
 and on the beach
Some of the other shots we took on our travels... The Water Taxi office - this is where you buy your tickets to take the taxi over to Caye Caulker. The guys hard at work on the right are getting a dive boat ready to head out early in the morning. Maybe going to the Blue Hole?
Taxi Office
Readying the Dive Boat
Just a couple of tourists from the mainland. Getting rid of time-share touts was easy. They'd ask, "Where you from?" We'd answer, "Corozal." Pretty much the end of their effort every time.
an unexpected dividend.
Tourists
Nearly constant companions while on San Pedro and Caye Caulker were the Frigate birds. these are big birds (five or six-foot wing span) that apparently are independently wealthy and don't have to work for a living. They seem to spend all day just catching thermals and practicing their gliding skills - mostly staying in one place as long as possible. Rough life.
A "Fleet" of Frigate Birds
one a bit more close-up
Well, you can only do so much walking and shopping and eating. Occasionally, you have pull the plug and just unwind. That's what we're doing here.
Enjoying the view, the sun, the experience
Enjoying the view, the sun, the experience
Dianna answering the phone... Oh, wait a minnit. She's listening to the recording of the ocean in the conch shell.
Listening to the Sounds
One of our dining experiences, eating at Caramba! Restaurant (Caramba's!) in San Pedro. We had fresh spiny lobster, shrimp, baked potato, salad and drinks - all for about $25BZ each. Can you beat it? Hey, if you go to Caramba! - ask for Spongepants. He'll treat you good for the evening. I told him I'd mention him in the blog.
Dianna Can't Believe She Ate It
Elsie Grinning Large
Just a non-descript fishing boat that seemed to want it's picture taken, so I did.
San Pedro Fishing Boat
Across the street from Ruby's a local residence. Not that we were spying, but that hammock is real. Folks really sleep in it every day.
Upstairs Home in San Pedro

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