Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Mosquito Coast: Belize

I'm spending five days in Central America as a bit of a breather between New York and my next long-stay destination, Chile.

I flew in on Wednesday. Each of the four planes I took from La Guardia in Queens, NY to Corozal in Belize via Miami and Belize City got progressively smaller, until the last one, from San Pedro in the island chain offshore from the mainland, had room for just me, the pilot and a couple from Tombstone, Arizona. We are on the Caribbean coast, so it all looks very tropical. Belize is a developing country, so it's also very ramshackle.

My main reason for choosing this particular place for a break was to see an old friend from my years in Hong Kong. Sue F and I last caught up in 1996, during a quick visit I made to HK that year. She retired to Portugal and then to Belize, and is now moving on to Guatemala. We had dinner here at my resort hotel, The Almond Tree, the night I arrived. On Thursday I did some work, then met Sue, her daughter Kim and K's partner Mark, for lunch at Blue's, a lovely place a short walk north along the bay.

Yesterday we drove to Orange Walk Town, from where we travelled upriver by small boat for about 90 minutes to the site of some ancient Mayan ruins at Lamanai. Saw some stunning birds, a couple of crocs, and some spider monkeys along the river. Back to Corozal for a swim in the hotel pool and an early dinner and chat with some other guests (Patty and Michael from Washington State, and Deb and Irv from Minnesota).

I've been working all day today, catching up on some bitty jobs and clearing up loose ends before I leave on Monday for Chile.

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