Slept late, couldn’t help it. Air conditioning had become almost as much of a treat as having my wife all to myself for the last few days.
Went to breakfast with Dana for more of that good stuff and met Carina, a former Olympic cyclist who is training the Belize Youth Club. Just an amazing bunch of people who we kept passing, but didn’t get to know until that morning. They were training by riding all over the lower and central parts of Belize. Seriously, riding about 80-120 miles a day.
Feel free to back up and click that link. These kids have serious potential as Olympic athletes. It wouldn’t hurt to like their Facebook page and maybe offer some support. Some of them are already clocking competitive times and don’t even have professional bikes yet.
(The kids from the Belize Youth Club)
She invited us to see her home in San Ignacio, so we are changing our travel plans. Her home was setup to be a bed and breakfast with 6 small cabanas for guests. Since we were searching for something like that, and because they were a blast to hang out with, we scratched a day off the calendar.
They loaded up and rode off into the sunset… er… sunrise that morning and left us with another day in Dangriga.
Walked town for a while and had lunch at a little hole in the wall called Steph’s Mek Mi Plate Diner. Stew beans and rice, split peas and rice, potato salad, fried veggies with ginger and fry jack. Washed it down with watermelon juice. Including a tip, $15.
Let me make another point here. In the classic style of southerners like myself, we can put away the groceries. But, this was pushing my luck again. Don’t stop at Steph’s and think you will be hungry again soon.
From there we met Charlie, a very pushy local with two teeth who wanted to take us on a walking tour of town. Passed on that one. Nice guy, but the thought of paying someone to take a walk with us wasn’t justifiable.
Went back to the room. Geri allowed the gravitational pull of lunch to drag her back into the bed and air conditioning, I went outside to do some writing.
(My office for the few days in Dangriga. The porch at D’s Hostel)
(Front view of D’s Hostel)
Met a guy who was convinced I was a navy seal he saw on TV. Didn’t take much to convince him it wasn’t me. Also met Simeon, Dana’s husband. Nice guy, talked for a while about the country and what we thought of it. Lots of good people down here.
Watched a group of boys racing and riding horses bareback through the park in front of D’s Hostel. Caught myself laughing out loud as one horse got loose and the boys turned into the Keystone Cops trying to catch it. On one sudden stop, one of the horses dropped its head and the boy slid straight off. It wasn’t just me. The other kids cracked up, too.
Apparently there are still wild horses roaming Belize. Saw several on the side of the highway when we came down. Didn’t confirm it. Just saw them and made the assumption.
Went to meet Walter and Joan one last time. To eat. Again.
Ended up walking all over town trying to figure out where we were having dinner. Had a local, carrying a bag of beers, ask me for money. Didn’t happen. Found the restaurant closed. Bought a beer and some water at the grocery store next door to Ivey’s Chinese place. Spent $13. Sat with a local 11-year-old kid who tried to get money from us. He was fat and sucking on candy. Told him to work on his salesmanship.
Had a big plate of veggie lo mien and egg rolls with fries. I had beer, Geri had a big lime drink. Bought dinner for all of us for $35. We had blown our food budget for the whole week by then. But it was so worth it. Believe it or not, I expected to shed a few pounds on this trip from the heat and walking. Not looking good so far.
Stopped at an ATM and pulled out $200 with a $9 fee. It came out in BZ money, so we actually pulled $104.50. That would not be the last time on this trip my math skills came into question.
One last night here. One more walk down to the water. Managed to contact our next reservations and let them know we were making some changes. Packed up to get ready for some more of that “bus-riding, sweat-dripping, smell-the funk-of-other-sweaty-folks” fun.
Can’t wait to see how this plays out.
M. Erik Matlock is a self-professed recovering knucklehead with more than 500 articles and four books in print. He shares his hard-earned wisdom at ErikMatlock.com, ProSoundWeb.com and through his books, which are available at Amazon.