|Exotic was the word that first came to mind when we tried to describe San Pedro, on Ambergris Caye, Belize. It was our first stop in Belize and our check-in point. By the time we got the dingy to shore it was almost 5 o'clock so the Immigration Officer gave us forms to fill out and told us to come back in the morning.
We arrived bright and early but found that the Officer had gone to the airport to process several officials arriving for a meeting of the leaders of several Central American countries, including the President of Mexico. We recieved another handful of forms from the Customs officer and filled them out while we waited for him to return. We waited and waited, along with many others and the Captain was getting a little agitated and irritated after a while. Finally the ordeal was over and we were legal. Unlike in Cuba and Mexico there were no charges, although apparently there is a small exit charge. We explored the streets of this fascinating little town. San Pedro is the main tourist centre in Belize and there was plenty of activity. Most people drove golf carts along the narrow streets.
English is the official language of Belize although we heard about 50/50 English and Spanish in the streets. We were very lucky to arrive on Dia de San Pedro, the patron saint, which is now celebrated with a 4 day bash. There was a little fair, lots of entertainment, fireworks etc. We were exhausted from our last few days of travelling so we enjoyed by day and crashed at night, listening to the sounds through our open hatch.
The anchorage is protected by a reef which stops the waves but not the wind. The holding was great and our anchor was buried deep but the wind howled the whole time we were there. Boats, including fast ferries whizzed by constantly, creating a huge wake. We loved the town but not the anchorage and after 2 nights were on our way. Yes we are behind schedule but we're getting close.