Alas, all good things must come to an end, and today was our day to return to San Pedro. Not that that is such a bad place to go, by any means, but we'd been having so much fun on our various excursions in San Ignacio and the Cayo District of Belize, we hated for our time there to draw to a close. We really love spreading our wings by visiting new places and are so fortunate our retirement is allowing us the precious time to do this!
We saw this sign on our walk to breakfast -- wonder if the mayors from 1996 to the present feel slighted?
We tried a new place for breakfast this morning recommended by Becky and Gonzo, "Pop's". It was the least expensive place yet and full of locals, so it had to be good -- and it was. Barry got -- what else -- a breakfast burrito (with a choice of meat this time; he chose ham); and I got waffles with bananas and one egg on the side. The restaurant was just a short walk around the block from the Casa Blanca, our home for the past four days. We even got to see Pops himself serving some of the folks, though he did not wait on us.
Breakfast burrito with ham, Marie Sharp's, and fruit
The coffee was great!
Waffles with banana -- and watermelon
After heading back to the room to finish packing up, it was time to grab a bus back to Belize City. But first we headed down to the market square to pick up some fruit to bring back to San Pedro. Prices are much better on the mainland, as is the selection, so I wish we could have carried more. We got a papaya, some limes, and a beautiful bag of hot peppers. Unfortunately, there were no mangoes to be found. It's still a little early for mangoes since Belize prohibits imports from other countries (unfortunately!)
Emily picking out some limes -- 3 for $1 BZD vs. $1.50 in San Pedro. Love the locals smiling for the camera!
These beauties cost us $1 BZD (50c US) for the entire bag!
Next it was time to find a bus to Belize City. There are several different bus lines that arrive and depart at all different times, but so many of them go through San Ignacio that there's really no need to check a schedule -- if there even is one. Just walk on over to the bus "terminal" (parking lot) and look for a bus with a "Belize" sign in the front, indicating that it's heading to Belize City. If there's not one there when you arrive, there's pretty likely going to be one pulling in very soon. Sure enough, when we got there, one was just loading up.
Note the "Belize" sign in the front window -- this indicates this bus is heading east to Belize City
All aboard! We ended up having to check our backpacks as there was no luggage shelf inside this bus -- first time that has happened.
Our bus was delayed a bit getting into and out of the Belmopan stop due to a parade going on right outside the bus terminal. Belize sure does love its parades! We had planned on catching the noon ferry from Belize City back to San Pedro and hoped this delay wouldn't cost us. Fortunately, it didn't cause us to miss the ferry, but we were in the back of the massive line, and the ferry was PACKED. There were more passengers on this ferry than we'd ever experienced before, and we've taken the ferry quite a few times now. The main seating area was full by the time we boarded, so we got to ride up top with the captain, which was actually a lot of fun.
Our view of Belize City from the upper deck of the ferry
On the upper deck of the ferry with the captain
Since it took so long to load up the massive quantities of luggage and passengers, the ferry was late leaving Belize City and Caye Caulker. We were on a tight schedule once again as we planned to catch the Coastal Express water taxi back to our condo north of the bridge on Ambergris Caye. We'd thought we'd have a large time window, but being delayed by approximately 15-20 minutes cut into this window. Also, because of the large number of ferry passengers, Barry had to check his backpack, which we normally don't do. We prefer to stash our packs under our seats so we can make a quick exit. But there would have been no room for a bag the size of Barry's backpack, so we knew he'd have to wait for the luggage to be unloaded from the ferry once we got to San Pedro, thus tightening our time window even more. And we had to pick up Paisley at Pampered Paws
, where she was boarding. If we missed this water taxi, we'd have to take a land taxi back for double the price, as there is a two-hour gap between water taxis at this particular time of day.
When we debarked the ferry in San Pedro, we decided that Barry would wait for the luggage to be unloaded while I walked over to Pampered Paws to pick Paisley up. There was so much traffic (golf cart, taxi, and bike) in the streets of San Pedro at this busy after-lunch period during high tourist season that I had a difficult time even walking the block and a half to and from Pampered Paws, especially once I had Paisley on her leash with me; but I finally made it back to where Barry was waiting, and he hadn't even retrieved his backpack yet.
Finally, he was able to grab his backpack off the luggage cart, and we hustled down the beach to the water taxi dock with Paisley. We made it with about 15 minutes to spare, after all. In keeping with the theme of the day, though, by the time we boarded Coastal Express, the boat was packed to the gills with people, and of course we had carrying backpacks, Paisley, and Paisley's luggage too. This made for a very cramped ride, but we made it back to the Grand Caribe dock successfully, happy that we'd pulled off another one of our budget friendly travel adventures!
The pictures below were taken by the good folks at Pampered Paws and show the fun Paisley had playing with her friend "Biggy" while she was boarding. Biggy is a frequent doggie day care customer there, and the two of them are the best of friends. No wonder Paisley slept most of the next 24 hours after we got her home!
Paisley and Biggy playing with her "Kitty" -- she's had this toy since she was a puppy!
Paisley daring Biggy to come get the tennis ball
Paisley LOVES to play
Mine at last!
Stay tuned for "Our Sojourn in San Ignacio: Beautiful Birds" coming tomorrow...