It’s that time of year and Sargasso is coming back with a vengence. Island residents are already feeling the effects. My friend socialite Sandie was feeling nauseous big time from the smell down south yesterday morning and had to postpone our lunch plans. More about that below with lots of great pics, but first a bit on Sargassum in Belize.
Sargassum (Sargasso) is a brownish orange free-floating seaweed, which is a type of algae. It has many species distributed throughout the tropical oceans, where they generally inhabit coral reefs and shallow water. It originates in the Sargasso Sea (where there is millions of tonnes of the stuff) and is brought in by the Gulf Stream and the Atlantic Ocean currents. Until recently (like in 2015 when Belize had record amounts) it only went as far south as Mexico. There are varying theories about why it is making it’s way farther south, from global warming, to pollution, to wind storms.
When it’s not cleaned up off the beaches fast, it produces an awful pungent smell that may cause itchy eyes, breathing issues, nausea and headaches. The Resort owners along the beaches of San Pedro do the best they can and spend thousands of dollars every year to clean up the beach so it’s nice for travelers.
I would not recommend canceling a trip due to the Sargasso, and it doesn’t look like Trip Advisor contributors are even talking about it this year… which means it doesn’t seem to be that much of an issue for most folks.
Lunch on Belize Time
Sandie’s new plan after recovering from her morning Sargassum sickness was to meet up with Aimee, Emily, Rosemary and Adolph at the Palapa Bar. We made it in time to catch some of Dennisito, Keith and Kevin playing live – every Sunday afternoon. Great show as always and the place was pretty packed considering it is low season.
I Am Almost Back
As for me being back, I recently was down for a good two weeks with salmonella and ketoacidosis. It was a rough ride but I made it through. I am still recouping my energy but every day I get a little stronger.
I received great personal attention and quality service at Dr. Lerida’s Clinic. When I turned up I was immediately treated as an emergency case and given IV antibiotics (Cipro Bayer) and several blood tests. I received an official diagnosis before my visit was done – no wait time. When at Dr. Reyes office for my ultrasound their service was professional and super fast. He had agreed to see me on the spot when Dr. Lerida called him and I was back at her place within an hour.
I know many of you are planning a move here are interested in Belize Medical costs. Here is the breakdown of what it cost me to get on the road to recovery. In total I did 4 Dr.’s visits; 3 with Dr. Lerida and one ultrasound with Dr Reyes. All pricing is in Belize dollars and the first two totals below include 4% charge because I was paying with my bank card instead of cash. 75% of my cost was medication, medical supplies and laboratory. $981.50 for blood work, hydration IV, meds (7 days Cipro and 28 Metoclopramide) and Dr’s visit.
- $208.80 Ultrasound and Dr’s visit.
- $61.50 Dr.’s visit and meds (2 weeks worth of Esomeprazol)
Sunday Funday Pictures
It was a gorgeous hot sunny day in the 31° C or 87° F range. Perfect for aquatic people watching from our bar stools. We also got a fast rain shower and a rainbow. As you can see in the first pic. Sargasso season has definitely drifted in again.
Enough on the water fun and onto the real reason we were there, friends, food and music.