Long draught between posts, but there were reasons, notably 1) there was nothing much happening to blog about, and 2) a second #%$#!@ che-chen uprising for me. I am apparently highly allergic to the stuff; in fact, I’m a regular Che-Chenista! LOL. A week or so of irritability again and I’m pretty much over it though.
We needed to go over to Chetumal for a prescription refill so while we were in Mexico, we decided to also go and explore Xcalak (pronounced Ish-calak), the fishing village south of Mahahual.
This time the border officials were quite the comedians: Three Mexicans clustered near the passenger side of the truck asked us rapidfire and in turn if we had any fruit? Oranges? Pineapples? Dogs? Cats? Tigers? Aw, got us on the tigers; Ray admitted we had one in the back. The Three Stooges, these guys. It was refreshing because sometimes the immigration folks can be pretty stern (not to mention that they’re packing).
Anyway, Xcalak is technically 10 miles north of the Belize border but that’s if you cross over by boat; it takes a lot longer than that to drive to it (about 3 hours). However, for all intents and purposes, it’s the same coastline as San Pedro on Ambergris Caye. So we were pretty sure we’d love it, and we did.
The highway down to Xcalak is a paved branch off the road to Mahahual, a little overgrown and maybe a little wilder, since we ran over a very large rattlesnake along it (accident, though Ray probably would have intentionally ran over the tarantula I saw crossing the road if he had seen it too). But I did say paved, so no complaints there.
The village itself is a bit ramshackle if you compare it to Mahahual, though more or less like the Belize villages we know so we felt right at home. The area is reknowned for its fly fishing, and the dive/fish outfits and lodges & homes up the sandy beach road from town are pretty sweet. Also, the reef is generally close enough that you can walk out to it and not be in water over your head (my kind of place). Sounds like a good locale to take up diving for a beginner like me, maybe? Looking forward to coming back here!
We drove back to Mahahual to overnight at the Hotel Quinto Sole again, thinking we might get to experience the town ‘awake’ if there was a cruise ship in, instead of the way it had been on our first trip there, ie, pretty much like a set from The Truman Show.
Love this place, and we had arrived in time for a Corona or two and a light dinner on the patio…
…as the light faded into a very pretty dusk.
Good call on the overnight, as look what showed up the next morning. One of us was up in time to see it pulling in (clue: it wasn’t me); nice view from the rooftop of the hotel…
It didn’t take long for the various cruise-mobiles to start dropping passengers. Besides these kind of fun ‘tiki tractors’ there was also a fleet of what I called the Nemo busses (since they were painted like a clown fish). I meant to get a picture of one but kept missing them on their rounds.
Here’s Senor Frog himself, greeting each round of new guests as they entered the malecon.
Other folks headed for somewhere a little quieter like this place.
…which also had fun little cabanas for rent behind it.
From our breakfast table at the hotel, we saw a mass of folks roll by in a Segway parade; we weren’t expecting them so no camera ready to capture the moment. Later the bike team rolled past, though, and we caught them from the rooftop.
We met some nice folks from Cincinnati up there who were also taking in the view.
The water toys were staying busy too.
So, a little more representative experience of Mahahual this time, probably. I left Ray to people-watch at the hotel and strolled the malecon north to the lighthouse to enjoy the scenery.
Stumbled into a semi-hidden sculpture gallery along a beach path. Liked this guy…
…and this one, too.
And this beached boat.
Here’s the cruise ship, docked at the port just north of town.
Look how close in the reef is here…
The view from the pier back to shore…
And a little weather rolling in…
Gratuitous beach shot…
But still a bright sky in the other direction…
Despite the breeze, it was quite muggy at this point, though, which is why I looked like this when I got back to the hotel and found this guy on the beach. He loaned me his gun as a photo prop. Nice hair, huh?
A parting shot on the malecon with our new friend Julieta and another server at the hotel.
Upstairs to pack out, and Ray had a smoke and a little happy dance on the balcony before we left.
Oh yeah, and we saw this on the way out of town. I’m guessing it probably means something to somebody, but I suggested to Ray that maybe what it really means is that someone DID eat the Canadians (scroll to bottom of this post to get that joke).
All in all, a nice little trip, and it’s funny how every time we go somewhere here, it feels like we’ve been gone for a lot longer than we actually have when we get back. Less than two weeks left now in Belize!