We spent our last rainy overnight at the Ramada Princess Casino hotel in Belize City, then headed to the airport for Tourist Watch (we can say that now after 7 months in Belize) as we waited on our own flight to Roatan.
Finally we were strapped into a Tropic Air 12-seater with the flight crew and ready to go.
The weather was still overcast but clearing. Some pretty views just off the coast…
The airport was bigger and more sophisticated than expected, too. Customs even had a fingerprint screen to check if we were on anyone’s watch list. We had been half-expecting the two machetes and Ray’s Bowie knife in our luggage to raise an eyebrow, but we got the all-clear.
It was dusk by now, and a fifteen minute cab ride took us into that hilly terrain we’d seen from above. Our driver Caesar did his best with limited sunlight (and limited English) to point out the particulars along the winding road (did I mention it was a winding paved road?!).
Mike, the proprietor of Mariposa Lodge and our host for the next two days, met us in the driveway, and he and Caesar graciously helped us carry all our stuff upstairs to the 3rd floor apartment. Yup, we know how to put the lug in luggage. Next time we will be heading out much, much lighter.
Anyway, we chatted with Mike for awhile and met the resident cat Doby (she’s a sweetie) and eventually called it a night. Today it’s still overcast, on and off raining, but we did a short explore of West End Village. Some quick snapshots:
Lots of little funky bars, restaurants, and gift shops, interspersed with dive shops and convenience stores. People! Music! Food! Shopping! Without driving 40 minutes on awful roads! Oh yeah, we’ve been in the Belizean bush way too long. This is gonna be so great.
The lodge is set back from the main commotion on the beach, but we can get there in about in a minute. Just turn up this little alley from the street…
…and there it is. We’re staying on the top level, which feels like a treehouse.
And here’s Ray in his new office.
I’m thinking, good move on the trip to Roatan. 🙂