This is the place for photos and reflections of my visits to Latin America beginning in 2012. Previous blogs are linked on the main pages of my photo collections on flickr. HAPPY TRAILS!

Saturday, August 18, 2012


We flew from Placencia to BZE to the municpal airport to San Pedro. We found the views from the small planes almost worth the cost of the flights alone, though expediency was the priority that drove our decision this trip.

Both Belize City
and San Pedro town on Ambergris Caye are more attractive from the air
than from the ground, at least in my opinion. The great customer service at Tranquility Bay kicked in the instant we had our luggage at the airport with a taxi ride from Isais with stops for groceries and produce on the way to the dock.
The boat ride from San Pedro to Tranquility Bay takes less than 1/2 an hour, almost a shame given the gorgeous water hues we'd been craving - a feast for the eyes.
Our 1st glimpse of Tranquility Bay, colorful cabins on the left, then the dive shop, Aquarium Restaurant/Tackle Box Bar on the right.
Individual welcome - we loved being called a party. :-)
The beach is beautiful and steps from the cabins. This is cabin #11, the Budget Travelers room, which is the furthest from the restaurant and the water (but still close). We really loved the room, really loved it - comfortable, clean, and bright. When we reported the air conditioner wasn't keeping up with the afternoon heat, a new unit was ordered and installed the next morning and we were offered use of a neighboring cabin until installation was complete.

As with Placencia, we prepared most of our own meals. Marie Sharp's habanera sauce is 1 of our favorite products of Belize; this is the comatose heat level version - "Do not play tricks on the weak or elderly with this sauce".

Breakfast from the menu is part of the package at TBR; that combination of delightful staff, murals, sea breezes, view, and food were a highlight of my day (cue Bob Marley tunes in the background).

1 of my favorites: pineapple juice, scrambled eggs with vegies, refried beans, fresh fruit, and fry jacks.
This deck is arguably the most awesome internet hotspot on earth. In addition to schools of tarpon and spotted eagle rays that fed in the lights at night,
1 day 3 manatees swam by, a special treat that nearly all staff and guests witnessed (it's a small place, word spreads).
1 more awesome thing about TBR: neighbor kid Daniel is a flyfishing prodigy and generous with his time and expertise.
Here are a few more views of this photogenic piece of earth.

Mike took off in the early morning for fishing. Since he rarely returned in time of breakfast, they let me order for him from the menu and take it to our cabin so he could eat it when he returned.
An example of the flats he fished
His primary target - bonefish. He casted to some permit, too, but they're tough to convince.

Urchin art (Mike took this 1 and the 4 above)
Sea marble (I just made that up - I don't know the real name)
Some of my favorite critters photos

I couldn't decide which of these I liked best so I'm subjecting you to 8.

I'd like to pretend this 1 is a water color painting but really it's a photo I took of the shack just north of TBR that you see in many of the photos above; my camera was on underwater mode. It reminds me of how the television painting instructor, Bob Ross, used to say, "There are no mistakes, just happy little accidents".
On Friday there was a wedding at TBR. I was so impressed with the caring and efficiency of the staff and the beautiful flower arrangements. They made a path of palm leaves and conch shells from the cabin to the bamboo arbor by the water.
That night there was a beach barbecue, though a sudden downpour forced us inside for the meal. The wedding party provided live music and invited everyone to attend.
Mike and I traded bites of his 2 big lobster tails and my fish. Mike said the meal was a highlight of the trip.
In place of goodbyes we said, "See you next time" - we hope to return with beloveds in tow. Here the managers, Carlos and Isabel (with their dog Foody) see us off. That's the dive shop in the background.
Our Tropic Air boarding passes: can you tell which one is Mike's and which is mine?
Goodbye Ambergris Caye!
Goodbye Hol Chan (the trained eye will notice a few boats at the cut in the reef 1/3 of the way in from the left)
Greg Vandiver is a friend and fellow Guatemala/Belize fan who was leaving BZE an hour or 2 after us; it was great to catch up.
Another wonderful, memorable trip comes to an end. Again we loved every place we stayed and everything we did and - as always - we're already planning a return visit to Central America.