Spent the night searching for functional internet and cable to track Hurricane Earl. Found out it had shifted and come right over us. Rain was heavy, winds were pretty intense, power went out for a while.
Keep in mind, most houses down here don’t have glass in the windows. Our little cabana only had louvered shutters. They kept us dry, but the storm kept us up.
Finally got back in bed around 3am and slept a couple of hours. This morning it’s still raining, but the winds are down to almost nothing. They closed the airport and all bus lines yesterday so we figured we might be stuck here.
Really want a hot shower and a decent bed. Haven’t had a good night’s sleep since we left Florida.
Went out and talked with Stephan and Simone of Pancho’s Way, saw a crocodile on the sea wall in front of our room. The river had come up just over a foot and we had no damage from the storm. Belize city flooded. Boats washed up on the roads and it was pretty bad there. San Pedro lost almost every dock and pier. The pictures looked like an explosion at a lumber yard.
Our new friends from Germany weathered the storm from inside Pancho, their modified touring rig. According to their highly detailed blog, they slept like babies.
(Stephan and Simone of Pancho’s Way)
Had breakfast of cheese and onion omelets with toast and jam, coffee and tea. Settled up our bill. One less night than we paid for plus 2 sodas, 8-10 beers, 4 dinners, 4 breakfasts… paid an extra $25 including a tip. $45 per night rooms. Two nights here plus all the meals set us back about $175 total.
In another random incident relating to local amusement, I found a leech on me. Apparently, they aren’t anything to worry about and make decent fishing bait.
Packed up to hike to the bus station, but the owner of the Lamanai Riverside Retreat caught us and drove us to town. The bus station was still closed, so he let us off in the center of town where the taxis hang out. He was apologetic, but the family had to go to Belize City and help his son after the storm.
Had to decide between hiking 6 hours to Corazol or paying $45 for a cab. We went with the cab. The storm was coming back and we didn’t feel like spending six hours in the rain on a road full of maniacal drivers.
Had a pleasant ride with a Guatemalan driver who only knew a handful of English words. If it hadn’t been for the random local offering to interpret for us, we may have ended up anywhere.
Made it to Corazol. Found the Blue Iguana, another place we booked through Airbnb, after our driver stopped a few folks for directions. Got checked in and found out they have a washer. Which is good because everything we own is damp and stinks now. I called ahead to make sure he had hot showers and good beds. Told Steve, the owner, that we haven’t had a hot shower or comfortable bed in about 4 days. He confirmed that he did, so here we are.
(My office for the day.)
Melvin, who watches the place for Steve, took us to a friend’s bar, Club 5th Avenue, for some dinner. Don’t miss this place when you visit Corazol. The food was spectacular.
I managed to convince the owners, Ian and his wife Carmen, to fry Geri some chicken and some vegetables for me. She said she had never fried veggies before, but they were really good. Geri shot pool with Melvin and we had a really nice time. Spent $24 on 2 dinners and 6 beers. Spent another $6 to tip the cook for attempting a dish she never made before.
We suggested she add the fried veggie to the menu. Let me know if you have some. Her homemade batter was amazing.
Met some local expats. One explained how he got here and all he was sorting out to build a house and get his stuff in. Reminded me of too many folks back home that are always looking for some sucker to solve their problems. The locals have been great at most places. It’s the expats who keep turning out to be irritating.
Walked around and watched the kids playing in the bay. They were climbing each other and standing on each other’s shoulders in a circle. The water is cloudy and almost white since the storm. Still haven’t seen much trash wash up. Might be the cleanest city in Belize.
Corazol is very nice. Much cleaner than most of the other areas and quiet. Planning to have a hot shower and a some rest. Looking forward to finally making it to Mexico.
Listened to Dave Matthews and scanned through pictures of Mexico for a while. The room still hadn’t cooled off much, even with all the windows open and two fans running. It was about 84 degrees when we went to bed.
(My amazing bride relaxing with a book.)
Another group came in late. We counted 9 of them. Sounded like 50. At some point I cracked and went down and asked them to give us a break. We hadn’t had a decent night’s sleep in days. They were apologetic. Other than some door slamming, I didn’t hear them again.
Geri stopped me on the way down to remind me how I looked and sounded. Yeah. A big, bearded guy running on minimal sleep might have come across as a monster, especially on that dark street. Got to keep it in check.
So, armed with plenty of water and (finally) clean laundry… we attempted sleep again.
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.