One of the things that comes with island life and being a blogger is sometimes travelers reach out to me asking if I would be willing to show them around the island a bit. This was the case with Michael. He arrived last Friday for a scouting trip to see if living in Belize was for him. Not only did he want to learn more about the island he also wanted to meet new people. So I agreed to show him around when I was not working. Here are a few bits and pieces touring around the island.
First Farmers Market and an Afternoon at “The Lake”
My friend Jack came with us on this one. On our way there we encountered a long line at the toll bridge and ran into friends Chunky, Ruthie, and Bob at Marbucks. They urged us to bust a move to The Truck Stop as it was packed earlier and some of the tables selling their wares were running out of stuff.
They were right. I missed Home Baked Bread and more but got a taster and an order in for pumpernickel. I did make up for it at the Farmhouse Deli as you will see further down in this post.
My thoughts on the First Farmers Market
Even though we all know events rarely go off perfectly, this one was an overall success for many reasons.
- A guaranteed fun social event – it is always nice when you know you will see a lot of people in one place.
- A perfect way for islanders to do one-stop shopping at all the great businesses that do not have a local storefront.
- A chance to get farm fresh goods at a reasonable price – I hit the end of the day sale big time and saved $5 a loaf on really good bread. Sadly as I was going to get my wallet, the last of the meat sold out.
- Also, a great way to get on island email and mainland shipping lists. In addition to local places sending out email lists when they have products or taking phone-in orders, you can arrange a delivery order with many mainland Belize businesses. Once they give you a price, you just pay at the bank here and send them a picture of the receipt to have your shopping flown or boated over.
- Misters to cool off as it was hot enough to bake a potato in the sun that day.
As for a travelers perspective, Michael was not so much into the shopping but found people watching at the market good enough that he wanted to go back there Sunday to hang out some more. So we chatted with the Sunday crowd, sat on the dock, watched corn hole and ate barbecue and ice cream.
This time around Pirate Girl was too busy working to crack up on camera, she did say the Pirate Girl Brownies commercial worked well and a few people had commented on how funny it was it when they came to buy brownies.
This time it was Jack was who the subtly amusing one a couple of times, in the beginning, two scenes of this video. The first one becomes more noticeable after the second one.
A Different Side of the Island Than Most Travelers See
Since I knew Michael was interested in fishing and boats I figured a trip to the barge dock and boat yard were in order after the market. We chatted with long timer Kevin at Captain Sharks. We learned about Pengas, a type fishing boat common throughout The Caribbean, Central America and other developing countries. They are the boat of choice here as the raised bow cuts through the choppy water better. They are also good in shallow water making them very versatile for both inshore and offshore use.
I Googled Penga history on Michael’s advice and found an interesting article – The History of the Panga where the author went onto talk about the story behind pangas, the boat that changed the world.
According to Heather Steinberger “In the 1970s, Mexican President Luis EcheverrÃa authorized the building of pangas throughout the country. The World Bank financed the project, and Yamaha partnered with Mexican builders, including well-known Imensa in Mexico City, to produce the boats. The Japanese company provided engines of course, as well as its own engineering expertise.” She went onto say “Today, the panga is changing the world in a different way, as we saw on our sea lion trip. In La Paz and all over the world, the panga is now the boat that drives the tourism industry. The sturdy little boats are carrying anglers, sea kayakers, divers, snorkelers and whale-watchers ” and all the requisite gear.”
Sharks also makes the V hull type design as well as fiberglass molds. Those are quite popular here and I know a someone that had one built.
Since they got along well, Michael had made further plans meet up with Jack again Sat night at Palapa Bar music night. I was happy to finish a busy Saturday with deep fried bacon and my farmers market score – 2 loaves a delicious Rye and yummy Molasses brown bread. Both from Ian Anderson’s Farmhouse Deli located on the corner Rio Grand and Nim Li Punit St. in Belmopan – phone number 822-3354.
Other Bits of Island Life Tour
In addition to going all through town and about 4 miles north, we visited Chez Caribe and the south area to see some nice houses and the ocean view. Island City was the hot sauce souvenir stop since I have a 10% off card. They have a big selection and you can save 10% (with a $20 purchase) on weekends on most items without a card.