Stay flexible and go with the flow

I promised a series of posts about Yelapa, Jalisco, Mexico. And they are coming. But first, I thought I would share my thoughts from our recent trip to Belize and Guatemala. Then, back to Mexico and maybe some more Christmas cookies too.

30 hours to Belize: After an almost-full economy parking lot at PDX, four flights, and over 12 hours of layovers, we arrived in Dangriga Town. Our last flight was on a tiny (but almost brand new) Tropic Air plane, from Belize City to Dangriga Town. The airport there consists of a mobile home next to the airstrip. Tiny planes scare me, but the view provided some distraction — orange groves, wetlands, water in every shade of blue and green. We touched down, got our bags, and were deposited at a beachside resort to wait for our boat transfer. Cold Belikin beer hit the spot and we watched the water while we ate our fish quesadilla. With Marie Sharp’s habenero sauce. Love that stuff. It’s a carrot based sauce — orange, hot with sweet undertones.

Two pick-ups came to fetch us and three other guests to take us to Fantasy Island. We bumped through town and down a long coastal road to an area with man-made canals that someone built to create housing development that never materialized. Our boat wsa docked there, and the guys loaded up huge plastic cans of gas, bags of citrus, coolers of food, a stack of eggs in carboard crates, cases of beer, luggage.

Eddie, the owner/manager, drove the boat — with five guests and three of his staff. He said our trip would take about an hour. We bounce along and, thirty minutes later, I saw Fantasy Island come into view! The three pastel-colored cabanas, the dining room/bar, all over the water. We pulled up to the dock and the maintenance man, Alex, and the dog were there to greet us. Eddie handed Alex some to-go containers and then started the boat up again as we started to get off to get off.

“Were you booked at Fantasy Island?” he asked us.
“Yes.”
“Oh, I had you down for Marisol. No wonder — our cook Alisa called me this morning and said she was coming and I told her, ‘No, we don’t have anyone for Fantasy.’ No problem,” he continued. “I can get her tomorrow and then bring you back here. If you want. You may like Marisol. Tonight we will set you up there and you can decide.”

So we decided to go with the flow, be flexible, and we stayed at Marisol. It seemed like a lot to ask, having him staff the island for just the two of us. Being the only ones there could be cool, but could also be kind of weird and lonely.

Marisol is much larger. The island is maybe three or four few city blocks long and two wide, versus Fantasy Island being the size of a football field. There are a dozen cabanas, a few group rental houses, a kitchen/dining building, staff lodging, and an over-water bar. At the north end of the island is a tent camp for kayakers. One disapointing thing about this island is the amount of plastic garbage washed up on the shores from the storms. Really ugly. “We have ruined our oceans,” as one of the other guests said. I don’t remember any of the plastic on Fantasy Island, but we were there in March, a calmer time. Evidently, there has been a lot of erosion of the island since the last time we were there. They will clean up this plastic sometime, but for now and leaving it and the sea grass debris to help with erosion. Maintaining an island requires constant vigilence.

We had a fabulous week on Marisol. The weather was not entirely cooperative with intermittent deluges and a lot of wind. Still, it was good enough that we had 9 snorkels. Details about the fish we saw, with some of my husband’s underwater photos, will be posted soon!

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