Island Time: Belize

Mmm, so blue.

Once again we braved airports, planes the size of VW Beetles, and a boat ride to arrive on Coco Plum Island Resort (who is not paying for this post), a 16 acre speck of an island just off the coast of Dangriga Town, Belize. The resort is home to 18 cabanas of varying sizes, one over-water bungalow, a main office/restaurant/bar area, and a dormitory area for the workers. Other than that there are some hearty trees, sand, sun, the occasional water bird swooping in to say hey, and two resident crocodiles (one of which is named Rebecca). The resort is small, simple, and perfect.

Blondie got the copilot’s seat and she was pretty stoked about that.

Shadowy approach to Dangriga Town Airstrip.

Rather than bore you with our day-to-day on the island I will show you some of my favorite photos and throw in a little background to keep you moving about your busy life. However, before I do that, I must share a few more things about the resort…

First off, as some of you may know, I enjoy an occasional drink. As an occasional drinker and traveler I have come across my fair share of excellent bartenders, and the gentlemen that work behind the bar at Coco Plum are easily top ten in my book. They can make you a Panty Ripper and a gin tonic while singing a perfect karaoke rendition of Gangnam Style (in Korean no less), all while never forgetting your names or complicated drink order. That is impressive and even more so when you take into account that this place turns over every week.

People leave behind their shirts with all manner of stuff written on them. My favorite was the one that said: “We are married but not to each other Texas-NYC (names redacted)”

Secondly, some resorts bombard you with dining options which may be overwhelming, especially when traveling in a group with various appetites and eating restrictions (I have none, of course, because I am the Man). Coco Plum comes at it a different way offering only one or two options at each meal, each option guaranteed super fresh, all while taking into account the dietary needs of everyone in the party without any fuss. Every effort was spent to keep us comfortable during our stay, and for that we are thankful.

And now for a few photos…

There was a lovely moon during our entire stay – where I come from that is a good sign.

This photo gave me an idea for a project to work on during those lulls where Blondie reads and I go make noise somewhere else. There will be more like this on Afield in the near future…

The first sunset was a good sunset.

While this was mostly a relax and chill trip we did get out for a few excursions. the first of which was a lovely morning snorkel along a coral reef that was teeming with life. The water was a bit rough and yours truly did not feel his best at the end of the trip (It might have something to do with that occasional drink I mentioned above). However, I still had my camera and a job to do and managed to get a few solid shots.

Adventure team member AK going deeper for a closer look, making sure not to touch anything, of course.

Coral everywhere. Also, there is a fish in this picture giving me the stink-eye. Can you see it?

Blue Tang Surgeonfish making a swim for it.

Our second foray was to the mainland for a bit of zip lining followed by a float through an underground cave system at the Nohoch Che’en/Caves Branch Archaeological Park. I must admit that I do not care for these sort of outings – not because I don’t enjoy zip lining or lazy river time (I love that shit!), I don’t like group tours. There, I said it. I let groups piss me off. We’ve had some rough ones in recent past that we don’t remember fondly, and who wants to hate one of the days on their fantastic vacation?

I was wrong in this case though, because we had become fast friends with the other guests – a result of there only being one place to eat, drink, mingle, and karaoke on the island. You had to be close on a trip like this because the day was going to consist of some very strenuous exercise, Fear,  four hours of driving on Belizean roads (more fear), dead baby jokes, coconut rum served in coconuts by a very helpful gentleman with dreads, and of course zip lining followed by a chilly float through a pitch black cave known as Xibalba (aka Mayan Hell). That is a solid day.

However, so as not to ruin the adventure for future travelers, I will leave out the park background and boring details, but trust me when I say that the day was awesome and after lunch look for the guy with dreads and get you a strong drink – it helps for the drive home, trust me.

Blondie fixin’ to haul ass. 800 meters and no brakes!

Nohoch Che’en/Caves Branch Archaeological Park – the guides refer to this cave, the one we are about to enter, as Xibalba, which roughly means ‘A place of fear…’. Nice!

Inside, looking back. Note the headlamps of the group in the shadows.

The cave walls illuminated by numerous headlamps gives them the Technicolor look.

During the rest of our stay we spent some quality time with our friends Luci and AK, while putting a serious dent in the local booze and lime supply – so much so that the resort ran out of limes for a day, a fact which Blondie was quick to razz the bartenders about every chance she got (the lime shortage was due to the May Day holiday actually, and bless those bartenders who have to put up with us on the “rowdy”days).

As usual, when we travel with Luci and AK, Luci and I venture forth to point cameras at stuff, leaving the other two to lay in the hammocks and read (I would like a hammock now, by the way). Here is a small offering of photos from our walks…

It never rained on us during our visit. It rained over there though. The pelican still doesn’t give a s__t about your rules.

During the good light hours, Luci and I would get out and catch a bit of local beauty.

The results.

The neighbors near sundown.

The Over-Water Villa, at that time occupied by a couple that have been to the resort nearly twenty times. Next year they’re renting the whole island. Baller move for a very cool family!

Probably the best seats on the island.

Hey-yoo! #Reflectiongram

A spotted eagle ray cruising the warm shallows while a starfish does whatever starfish do – this is not an easy photo to take or edit, by the way.

Our final evening dinner spot.

On our last night we enjoyed a romantic dinner for two at the far end of the pier. Once the sun sets all the big tarpon, nurse sharks, rays, etc can be seen swimming illuminated by the dock lights. It is both beautiful and a little disconcerting to be eating dinner above something that wouldn’t mind having a bite of you for dinner.

The final sunset – easily as good as the first.

Thank you very much for making it all the way to the end – you all are good people and if I were Willy Wonka you could come and tour my factory whenever. Stay tuned for more word from the east as Afield is heading back to China (HK and Dalian) for a short visit. Until then be cool and be nice.  -Peter

 

 

© Peter Molgaard and Afield Book, 2012-2018. All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of photographs and original content without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used provided that permission is granted and that full and clear credit is given to Peter Molgaard and Afield with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. If you would like to use any of the imagery displayed you may send your requests to molgaardpmo@gmail.com

 

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