It was very difficult to leave after only two and a half days at the lovely Hickatee Cottages just outside of Punta Gorda. On the positive side, we would be stopping for a night in Placencia to break up the trip home to Ambergris Caye, a place we loved when we visited back in January.
Ian gave us a lift into town, saving us the long hike. We picked up a couple of things we needed, including a muffin at the Driftwood Cafe for Barry for the bus ride (I still had my PB&J muffin saved from the day before!) We were plenty early so had some time to hang around the PG bus terminal -- and to get a choice seat on the bus, since this is where the bus north originates.
James bus terminal and bus
Nice painted map of Belize in bus terminal
We got off the bus in Independence on the mainland and hiked 1/2 mile down the road to catch the ten minute Hokey Pokey ferry over to the Placencia Peninsula. Our last and only time on this boat
, it had been pouring rain, so we'd been under a tarp for the entire ride and unable to see a thing. Today was much improved!
Heading into the Hokey Pokey terminal
Our ferry awaits
Our soon-to-be new friends, Heather and Lauren, in the front row as we approach Placencia
Placencia IS just as nice on a second look.
We liked it before, and we liked it just as much this time around. Placencia is a charming and quaint village and never seems to be very busy, unlike San Pedro; however, there were a lot more folks on the beach now that school's out than when we were here in January. Back then we felt like we were the only ones there!
When we debarked the Hokey Pokey, we took a short walk through the village to our hotel for the night.
The "sidewalk" was empty
Colorful signs pointing the way
Loved this sign -- think this place was new since our last visit
We chose to stay right on the beach in the Sea Spray Hotel
, which was basic but clean and perfectly fine for a night. This location made it very easy to get anywhere in the village on foot. The price was around $45 US for the night. No air-conditioning, but we had two fans, cable TV, a fridge, and a coffee pot, and the side of our room ("Seabreeze" -- room 13 -- eek!) faced the beach.
Our room was the one on the first floor on the end, a great location for catching breezes
Right on the beach
View from veranda
Since we hadn't had lunch, only some snacks on the bus, we hit the Tuttifrutti Gelateria even before the beach. We'd only made it here only once on our previous visit to Placencia. That wouldn't happen again -- even though we had only one afternoon and evening here. Barry had a three-scooper with cappuccino, Bailey's, and mixed berry. I had two scoops: peanut butter and cappuccino. The gelato was even better than we remembered, if that is possible!
Sitting outside enjoying our gelato, we had a nice conversation with two young women we ran into there, Heather and Lauren from Canada. They had been traveling up from Guatemala through Belize and were on the Hokey Pokey with us. We'd end up seeing them a lot the next day as well. They were heading to medical and law school in the fall so were intelligent and interesting fellow travelers. We were able to share some of our "local knowledge" with them about Placencia, Caye Caulker (where they were headed), and San Pedro, where they planned to spend a day.
Tuttifrutti -- where the magic happens
After filling our bellies, we walked back to the hotel and hit the beach. Barry took a cooling swim, while I sat and enjoyed the breezes and my book.
Enjoying some R&R on the beach
Lots of folks enjoying the beach down a ways
The restaurant "Detatch", which we'd enjoyed on our last trip here, is right next door to the Sea Spray Hotel so was a natural choice for dinner. Though the food is not on par with some of the fine restaurants in San Pedro, it's perfectly adequate, and the setting can't be beat. They also have $4 rum punches all the time. Nice!
Sea Breeze Hotel on left, Detatch on right
I had the Spicy Cilantro Snapper Fillet -- tasty!
Perfect setting for a rum punch
Barry's mango chicken
Friendly dogs outside
Since we knew it might be a long time before we could indulge in the wonderful gelato again, a return trip to Tutti-Frutti was in order -- yep, we'd just been here a few hours earlier! But just look at all these flavors, and you'll understand why.
I mean, come on!
This time I restrained myself and had only one scoop -- chocolate. Barry went for three scoops AGAIN! This time his choices were coconut, lime, and kiwi. I did have a small taste of his lime and regretted that I hadn't gotten that as well (along with my chocolate, of course)!
Yes, this was definitely one of those trips where you come back heavier than you left -- but it was so worth it.
Stay tuned for our trip home from Placencia, the beautiful birds we saw, and bug bites in upcoming posts...