We spent the month of February with Lori’s parents, traveling around Belize and then on to Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula. Our first major stop headed north to Mexico was one of our favorites: Caye Caulker. This was our third time on the island, and Caulker did not disappoint. We first visited Caye Caulker shortly after our arrival in Belize in August, and then again with Lori’s brother over the holiday break.
We had beautiful weather and got to try out a number restaurants and bars we hadn’t tried before — yes, even on this small island, it is possible to visit three times and still have unfinished business. After all, the island’s motto is ‘Go Slow’ — so apparently we’re just following the rules.
Lori’s dad even got to make some new friends. True to his style, we’d turn our heads for two seconds and Ron would be off chatting up some complete stranger. This bit of construction at the Police Station caught his fancy, leading to a conversion with one of the town police officers who ended up being from Barranco (not too far from PG). So many residents of Caulker, in fact, are originally from Toledo District. Not sure what brings Toledo folks in particular to the northern islands, but it’s been an interesting discovery.
We took Lori’s parents to one of our favorites, Rose’s Bar & Grill. While the food and sides were as delicious as usual, they had made some major changes in the two months since we had last visited. They doubled the size of the place (which is fantastic), but also brought the grill in. Before, the they’d grill up the catch of your choosing right on the street where everyone could see and smell its yumminess. Now, apparently, the grilling has been relegated to some enclosed part of the venue from where aromas have little hope of escaping. A darn shame, if you ask me.
To top it off, we randomly ran into a couple and young daughter from Central Coast California whom we had met just two weeks prior in a random little cafe on a lonely stretch of highway in Cayo district. The husband worked in economic development and the wife worked in public health. We were the only ones in the cafe on a random day of the week. Belize is funny that way.
Seems we stay at a different place on the island each time we come. This time, we stayed at the newly renovated Anchorage Resort Hotel on the southern side of the island. Anchorage offers spacious rooms for four people (two queen size beds), large private balconies with views of the water, and its own private hammock palapa, dock and palm-studded stretch of waterfront.
I’m realizing as I look at these photos that they are a bit deceiving, but speak volumes to the calm and tranquility that can be found on Caye Caulker year-round. There aren’t many people walking around in the photos, but they were definitely on the island. We were very surprised on our first trip back to the ‘Split’ to find it completely over-run with visitors. We had become accustomed to having much of the Split to ourselves during the day and sharing it with a few dozen people in the late afternoon before sunset. The main strip was also teeming with folks. I thought it a bit odd at first given that it seemed too early for spring break and too late for holiday break, but eventually came to accept it as just how things are in February on the island. Nice thing about Caulker (as these photos illustrate) is that the farther south you stay, the more relaxed and peaceful it becomes.
How many Iguanas can you count? (HINT: Three is INCORRECT.)
Morning at the Split — a refreshingly tranquil and relatively deserted time.
Another visit to Enjoy Bar! This time trying something new — shrimp and fish fillet (lobster’s out of season).
Trying out a new place: Breakfast at Coco Plum Gardens. A very unique place run by a unique individual, Chriss. The Gardens are an oasis of greenery and canopy on the southern side near the airport. Food availability varies, but the breakfast was very tasty. Coco Plum is first and foremost a Spa, specializing in traditional treatments. Apparently, their best known for their Mayan Abdominal Massage in which Ms. Juana, a traditional Mayan healer, attempts to realign women’s wombs…still not sure quite how that all works, but of course they were convinced that Lori’s ‘womb’ would benefit greatly from Ms. Juana’s handiwork. Like I said, a very unique place.