Ambergris Caye Stories and Tips

impressions / random thoughts

Our vacation is finally beginning. We arrived at the island of Ambergris Caye around 11:30am in the morning (9:30am our time and learned early the concept of Belizean time. We were told our room would be ready in ten minutes but two beers, a shot of tequila, and many conversations later, the room would be ready in "about 10 minutes." We cruised the beach and explored the small town of San Pedro. When we returned our room was actually ready.

We decided to hit the "town" that night, and walked a few steps up the beach to reach the main drag. It wasn't Times Square, that's for sure! There were a number of quaint little shops that we thoroughly enjoyed and, of course, there is always people watching . . . such interesting characters there!

We had a special dinner one night at the Capricorn lodge . . . read my review . . . it is VERY romantic. We took a water taxi to get there and back; the ride back to the main part of town was a great opportunity to look at the stars and enjoy each other's company. Then we walked the beach and hunted for a good party. We strolled past the Holiday Hotel but it was empty, so we kept walking until we came across Ramones--the reggae band playing there was incredible . . .

One day we went searching for a fishing boat but it turns out you can’t rent one because the coral there is so well protected. We found a guy, Ricardo, who had a boat and offered to take us out for half a day. Ricardo was pretty amazing--he drove the boat with his foot, stood on the edge of the boat, spotted bait, and then caught the bait in a net thrown over his head. Amazing!!! (To find him, ask anyone at HUSTLER TOURS where his boat is). I had a pretty good day--I caught six red snappers, three yellow tails, one grunt, and four barracuda. I am not bragging but I caught the biggest fish of the day, a huge barracuda. Rich had a good day also--three red snappers, five yellow tails, one puffer, four grunts, and one barracuda. We gave most of our fish to our guide, except for my big fish, which we took to Lily’s restaurant to have it prepared, blackened, and grilled just the way we wanted. It turned out to be the best fish I ever had. That Lily is a great lady, and her restaurant has a fun, relaxed atmosphere, is cheap, and very cool.

A few nights later, we went to the world-famous chicken drop. The game involves a board with 100 numbers that players buy for $1 Belizean apiece. The fun begins when all the numbers have been bought. Then, a volunteer picks up a chicken, bounces him three times, blows into his butt (for luck, I guess), and catapults it into the ring. The chicken then struts all over the board until he feels the need to poop; the number he poops on is the winner--as luck would have it, we won that night. The only catch was that, in order to collect our $100, you must clean up the poop--Rich had the honors of collecting our prize!!!

We then walked a "long ways"--about 10 minutes--down to La Margarita, where the food was okay, but uninspired and the margaritas themselves were way too sweet. After dinner, we took a crazy cab to Fido’s to watch the burnt-out hippie one-man band. He was hilarious and the atmosphere was mellow.

We found one place that will rent a boat . . . a leaky yellow-banana boat. We took it out to do a little fishing, which was a little difficult with no bait. The boat decided to stall in the middle of the channel and we started floating into the coral. To add to the situation, a huge storm blew in and drenched the boat. I began bailing so we wouldn’t sink. The boat finally started and we headed into shore just in time for the storm to pass. We tried going back out to fish, but the boat continued to stall and became increasingly difficult to start. We went in for a refund and to cut our losses.

The next day we found Ricardo on the beach and bought some lobster and conch (pronounced 'conk') from him--2 lbs. of lobster and 1 lb. of conk for US$15!! His lovely wife taught us how to cook the meal and even let us borrow a frying pan. We enjoyed the beach BBQ and the company. After dinner, we finished packing and prepared for heading back to the mainland in the morning.

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