on March 1, 2013
Hickatee Cottages are just outside of Punta Gorda (known as PG by locals) and Ian, the proprietor, collected us in his pick-up truck. He apologised for keeping us waiting, although he was actually bang on time and arrived just as we had picked up our luggage. The luggage was stacked in the back of the pick-up and we were treated to an orientation of the town centre (more of that in another review) before heading out to the cottages. We headed off down a limestone road (sounds exotic but in reality it was littered with holes and bumps) before arriving at Hickatee. There are a total of 6 cottages in the grounds and as far as I can make out are all very similar.Registration was straight-forward and soon we were heading off to cottages 2 and 3. Whilst registering our luggage had vanished without fuss and was stacked outside our doors. Up a few steps to a shared veranda and then into our room. It was fresh and bright, but simple and utilitarian. A couple of comfortable beds, an open storage unit for clothes, a lockable drawer for valuables and a small sitting area with a bench seat and coffee table. A central fan was very effective in keeping the air cool and both of us had an excellent night’s sleep and were completely oblivious to the noises of the forest. Hickatee doesn’t do lunch so we were a bit thrown when we had settled in to be told that lunch wasn’t an option. Now that’s the way it is at Hickatee so I am ready to blame the travel company for this oversight. After a time Ian came over to the cottage with peanuts and bananas. There was enough to keep us going until the evening meal at 7.30! The other quirky feature is that they don’t assume that you will be dining with them. In real terms this makes absolute sense because they buy in fresh each morning. Thankfully Ian assumed that we’d want food and so all was well with the world. They also don’t do dinner on Saturday nights but he does make the effort to drive guests into town and then arranges a taxi to get them back to Hickatee. I enjoyed both dinners that we had at Hickatee but they were more rustic than "table rock" (see other review).Breakfast was "interesting" and although the scrambled eggs looked like that they’d had colouring added they tasted real good. We were served orange or pineapple juice, provided with plenty of bread, spread and comfiture. The American Breakfast consisted of the previously mentioned scrambled eggs, plenty of bacon, sausage meat, and tomatoes. A real feast and we certainly weren’t left feeling hungry.Hickatee has a great feel to the place, relaxed and homely and with a real enthusiastic host in the form of Ian. This section of the holiday was as much about experiencing the jungle as giving us time to relax. Although there’s no swimming pool there is a very welcoming plunge pool with tables and chairs around it. Just perfect to relax under the blue Belizean sky, enjoying the sounds of the Orapendula and the frog like squawk of the Tucon. A bird that seems particularly shy of visitors.Two full days in the PG area of Belize is probably enough but if you want to get close to nature and enough the attention of an enthusiastic host then I reckon Hickotee Cottages could be for you. It does have limited access to wi-fi but you’re asked to restrict usage and resist downloads or heavy ended browsing. Really it’s for emails and I had to resist even thinking about uploading to IGOUGO! Even Ian says that Hickatee isn’t for everyone and he would prefer people to carefully self-screen before confirming their booking at his jungle lodge. For us it was great as there is an easy pace of life here with an apparent commitment from Ian and Kate to the local community. We enjoyed listening to the cacophony of jungle sounds including the howler monkey and the barking of the Tiger Heron. Overall a great experience and recommended to those of you who want to be in touch with the basics of Jungle Life whilst being totally comfortable.
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