Friday, April 1, 2016

Easter week in Belize

It seems as though Easter is a very big deal here in Belize. Having only been here a couple weeks short of it last year we did not experience anything other than the recovery. About a month ago people started to utter little things that started me wondering. There was talk of food shortages, traffic jams, packed beaches, and the ATM running out of money. It started to bring back flashbacks of "The Great Beer Shortage of 2015". Naturally it called for a trip to the hardware store to stock up on beer and sodas and the preparations began. Cash on hand, check. Fresh vegetables, check. Ice, check.

The stories started getting bigger and better as Easter WEEK drew closer. Now it sounded like all of Belize leaves their homes and makes the pilgrimage to Placencia. Buses packed to the gills with people with their beach gear were expected. There also started the talk of the Great Exodus from town by the people that live in the village. It started to remind me of Daytona Beach at Spring Break time and our plan began to formulate.

Friends were coming into town for the week and we wanted to show them "our" village but it seems as though they were going to be getting a slightly skewed view. Getting in on Thursday we were able to beat the influx of people at a few of our favorite watering holes.


On Good Friday no liquor is sold until 6pm and every grocery store is closed. We decided to make a trek into the jungle to one of our favorite waterfalls and a spur of the moment detour to Ben's Bluff. Now Ben's Bluff is labeled as a "rigorous" hike but only an additional 1 or 2km (depending on which sign you believe) further than the waterfall. Being from the States, and not caring too much the metric system, it seemed like a pretty short distance further. Well, not only is it likely to be the 2km distance but they must be including the vertical difficulty into the "rigorous" definition. Being that this was a hike to a bluff the tree canopy also became non existent and the sun beat down like we owed it money. One of our climbers had to tap out before making the summit. To protect their identity they shall remain nameless but for the sake of the story, lets call her Beth. The waterfall was a welcome reward on our way down the mountain as everyone was worn out. The only major failure was walking back to the parking lot and with the car in sight the cold beers were beginning to sound great. Unfortunately, the cooler that was packed with such great care was still sitting on the counter back at the house. Let's not mention his name. Surely wasn't me...


On Easter Sunday we were set to participate in the "Not-A-Regatta". In order to get ready we went out with Jeff and Daytripper Catamaran Charters on Saturday. The trip is one of our most favorite things to have our guests experience. Its a great sail out with plenty of rum drinks to be had along the way. After snorkeling at a couple of spots and a lunch break we sailed back in with rum drinks in hand. The crew got into shape and felt pretty good about our ability to perform the next day.



Sunday came and you could feel the excitement at the captains meeting. Plans were set and we prepared to set sail. Getting to the starting line early we honed our skills jibing and tacking, threading between boats and crossing within inches of other swiftly moving boats with the grace of a dancer. You could feel the excitement in the air. The 5 minute warning came and we prepared for a great start. Watching the time and doing some fancy sailing the start was announced and we were off! The crew performed well under Captain Jeff's watchful eye as did the catamaran. After a photo finish it was off to celebrate.

In Belize they celebrate Easter Monday it seems. A great way to come down from your full weekend of partying. Everyone that had not yet left was soon to do so. All that was remaining was to clean up the massive amounts of garbage that piled up in the main party area. That task was complete by the middle of the day. A big thank you to the guys that completed that task! The beaches were once again mostly empty and the locals breathed a sigh of relief.

All in all it was a a good time but not the village that I have come to enjoy. It seems silly to say that it was too many people but once you start getting used to knowing everyone on the street when you add to that it does seem like a lot of people. Wish me luck on our trip back to the States...


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