Tag Archive: San Pedro







Into Belize & the islands

Checked out of San Miguel Hostel, Flores and took an overland through to the border crossing at Melchor Mencos. Headed east to Belize City port for an hours transfer by boat north to Caye Caulker. Belize City is fairly uninspiring, and we did well to just head on through to the ferry port and grab a boat out to Caye Caulker. Checked into Blue Wave. C27, so very pleasant and blue skies. Unfortunately, afternoons were characterised by  rain clouds gathering and dumping on Caye Caulker most afternoons. However (08.10.18), decided to move on north after three nights to San Pedro for a two night stop. San Pedro is a tad larger than Caye Caulker. It has little in the way of sandy beaches, more in the way of a sandy beachfront promenade with numerous wooden jetty’s leading out 30 metres or so to decks with two or three wooden seats to sit and contemplate. Early afternoon decided to have an early dinner at the oxymoronically named “Happy Lobster.” Paradise Cream is a must, for those seeking a nice cool homemade ice cream on Coconut Drive, San Pedro.

09.10.18 We’ve had a warning of Hurricane Michael forming in the Gulf of Mexico. Decided this morning to leave San Pedro on Wednesday morning 10.10.18 and get the fast boat over to Chetumal back in Mexico. However, this evening, out for a meal at Sandy Toes.

10.10.18 Leaving from San Pedro turned out to be  a rather tasteless affair. Sad to say it was the “Usual Suspects”….Immigration control… the officer a certain Senjōr Quan, took exception to us blanking pages in our passports from being stamped, with blue insulation tape with “please do not stamp” written on it. This, we have done for years whilst travelling to preclude stamping “all over the place” and not maximising the space in the passports that is available. One peels the tape off as needed. Renewing a passport is really quite expensive and one wants to preclude early replacements. Well, he took exception to this and demanded that all tapes be removed! So this, and getting bitten by myriad mossies on a jungle walk in Caye Caulker left one a little jaded. Shame, ’cause the two islands were excellent in every other respect.

The handsome chappi above was easily 3 feet long from nose to tail, and was just chillin’ in a tree on the way out from the ferry terminal. The ice cream at “Island Cream” is to die for. Seems a little odd being back in Mexico after first flying out from LAX on the 09.04.18. Such a long time was spent in Guatemala then into Belize. Checked in at the Casa Anaya in Chetumal. headed back up the east side of the  Yucatan peninsula now. Will leave Chetumal on Thursday 11.10.18 and head west over to Bacalar lake area, before going to the coast again at Mahahual.

Saturday 13.10.18……….. Or maybe not…….Decided to just head straight back north to Playa del Carmen. There’s a few reasons for this. Sauntering back north stopping at various beaches and domiciles along the way for two or three day blocks has lost a little of its attractiveness in view of the inconvenience  unpacking and repacking in short succession. The accommodation at Playa del Carmen with Julio is so comfortable, especially with the convenience of a swimming pool & deck area for artistic endeavour. Thirdly, it is only a “Cocks stride” up the road to get to Puerto Morelos,  airport, restaurants & shops in Cancun. 

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The sound of Bob Marley and “We’re Jammin’ ” came drifting through the open door along with the morning sun. The previous night had been punctuated by the bangs & whooshes of fire-crackers and rockets exploding into the late evening air, as the village prepared for Independence Day celebrations over the impending weekend. The rain clouds that seemed to have had a propensity to roll in as afternoon marched on, have thankfully, fallen away to leave the lake bathed in a balmy golden glow.

Lago Atitlán

Lake Atitlán is situated in southern Guatemala Central America with a maximum depth of about 340 metres (1,120 ft)[1] with an average depth of 220 metres (720 ft).[4] Its surface area is 130.1 km2 (50.2 sq mi).[1] It is approximately 18 by 8 km with around 20 km3 of water. Atitlán is technically an endorheic lake, feeding into two nearby rivers rather than draining into the ocean. It is shaped by deep surrounding escarpments and three volcanoes on its southern flank. The lake basin is volcanic in origin, filling an enormous caldera formed by an eruption 84,000 years ago. The culture of the towns and villages surrounding Lake Atitlán is influenced by the Maya people. The lake is about 50 kilometres (31 mi) west-northwest of Antigua.

Night Sky Phenomenon

Appeared from nowhere….and then, just disappeared!

Several nights ago, though still cloudy, the matt and star studded backcloth of the night sky, viewed in my indolent gaze, was interrupted by something, quite…well… astounding. I saw a UFO!…High in the night sky, it had suddenly appeared, and hovered. It was most definitely not a helicopter or a drone. Circular in shape and studded around its edge with orange lights. It remained for about ten minutes, and then, as suddenly as it appeared, it disappeared. It left me bewildered and somewhat stunned.

Passing Ships

Something that granted, I had not been unaware of in the past, but nevertheless has been very noticeable here at Casa Mdera Hostel is, the sheer number and diversity of people that pass through, pass by, and linger. It is perhaps, a function of the length of time one stays in a place that dulls that awareness. However, Canadians, Israelis, Americans, Mexicans, Spanish, Germans, English and of course Guatemalans, all alight here at some time. Here of course, and in this environment, it tends to be people of a more youthful vintage, availing themselves of the bohemian lifestyle, music, artisanat produce, therapeutic offerings and a meditative environment. The conversation inevitably revolves around where one has been, where one is going and recommendations for this hostel or that food etcetera. Not dissimilar to Ubud in Fiji in many ways. A recommendation to try a “Real Ale” bar in Panajachel (about 10klms along the lago/crater rim) brought me into conversation with a retired German surgeon who, after a divorce in his homeland, came out here seven years ago to start a new life. He acquired some land, a new partner, and built himself a property in Jaibalito (a small township along the coast from San Marcos. I spent a delightful couple of hours talking with him over a range of subjects, from life here in Atitlàn, to politics back in Germany and western europe.

Jaibalito, Lago Atitlan

Local Colour

Once joy at discovery of a small, beguiling local environment embeds itself into consciousness, it tends to leech its caché, pretty though it may be. I suppose it is a function of the heat, pace of life and finding interesting things to do, that are much closer at hand. One thinks of a hammock or a nice easy chair, where one can lie/sit back, and ease into a state of torpor and ultimately drift off to sleep. However, today (monday 17.09.18) will be different. Decided to take the ferry over to Panajachel to take a look round. The transfer took 40 minutes and cost 25 Qts (£2.50).

Around Lago Atitlàn perimeter

The volcano perches on the southern rim of the Atitlán caldera, which contains Lake Atitlán. Since the major caldera-forming eruption 85 thousand years ago (ka), three stratovolcanoes—San Pedro, Tolimán, and Atitlán—have formed in and around the caldera. Atitlán is the youngest and most active of the three volcanoes.

Tomorrow, Thursday (20.09.18) will be changing domicile from here at Casa Mdera, San Marcos over the water to Posada Man, San Juan La Laguna.



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