My biggest conflict about blogging is absolutely a double-edged sword. I fell in love with the old world charm of Ambergris Caye, Belize and the very thing I ended up doing for a living has been contributing factor in changing the face of the island by increasing tourism and expats. Increase = growth and change.
While I love my job, and I do try to do a lot of good for my chosen country. The above does affect me and sometimes my desire to write about certain stuff.
The not so new changes at Hungry Grouper Restaurant are a good example. One day my friend messaged me and asked “how come I did not write about the additions” He had seen a recent write up detailing the HGTV upgrades. Because he knew I was a big fan of Chef Argyle’s cooking/restaurant for a very long time, he thought I would have jumped all over it.
My answer was simple. I had verbally wished his business success and appreciated he wanted to add some style. However, I was not ready to promote that. Why? I was sad that the simple 6 or so item hanging menu board sign and indoor wall chalkboard were both replaced by multi-page table menus.
Instead, I chose to promote him on my 7 secret menu items article. By highlighting one of my favorite meals there that
Losers Bar is another one I have trouble adjusting too. I wish them no ill will but it saddens me that a restaurant and bar franchise with a less than positive name has made it to the Boca Del Rio area. I also heard from a good friend (on a travel budget) that their beers are a bit pricier than others on the strip.
Secret Beach Belize
Another big one I have a hard time with and am still mourning the transformation of is Secret Beach which is northwest on the island. I mean no disrespect to any of the businesses there. I hope they succeed and I always have favorable answers to people asking me about the place.
However, I am speaking my truth and the development of Secret Beach still saddens me. In my
For me, it started well before the roads were built. We used to go there on my friend’s boat. Once he lined up a tour with someone selling plots not far south of the area back when they were going for the crazy low price of $8000. Our other friend Paul and I got invited to go for the ride so of course we both jumped at the chance.
I remember that day and pulling up to the beach and loving landing on “Gilligan’s Island” as we had done many times before in that area. I knew that the land sale meant changes were coming. I had no idea at the time just how much.
The development in question never really got built up. As you can see by the above picture it was a jungle hike looking at land plots. Years later enter roads, and with them came the more public start of Secret Beach. A stone’s throw north of the area above. It became more accessible to the masses and slowly developed. Today Secret Beach is a globally known, thriving and popular beach area.
I know you can’t stop progress but sometimes it stings badly, and I mean no disrespect to anyone in saying that. We all have to make a living. I wish all the business up there well. I am glad people have a sargasso free place to enjoy the water and a fun tropical road trip. I even got Secret Beach listed in USA Today: World’s best picnic spots – Travel bloggers’ picks, when it was just getting started with businesses. There’s that double-edged sword again.
Sometimes when something so special is lost it takes time to grieve.
This first picture below is one of the reasons I am still morning. This island was once inhabited by ancient Maya Civilizations. When too many of the less developed areas get developed we will no longer be able to find important historical artifacts. The circled ax head is one I found on one of our pre-Secret Beach adventures. It was excavation free and literally laying there waiting for me. I enjoyed the thrill of what I had found for a minute, then donated it to
I will leave you with a few more Secret Beach pictures from the good old days – before it got its name and the secret got on G
If this next picture appeals to you, The Cave Beyond Secret Beach will too. That was a fun day discovering it with