Spring in Belize
A princess arrives
San Ignacio, where I am now located is in the western part of the country, in the Maya Mountains, about 10 miles from the Guatemalan border. It has a strong Guatemalan, Mestizo and Mayan influence, not so much Garifuna (black Caribe), but some. There also are several large Mennonite communities nearby so you get those charming horse and buggy signs on the roads -- Mennonite Crossing, just like in Pennsylvania. And the great Mennonite produce.
It's a hilly town and I will either make good friends with
all the taxi drivers or get my cardio workout every time I go
shopping. Or rather every time I come home. But the taxi is only
US $2. Here is a link to some background information
about San Ignacio.
The stores here are much better stocked than in Dangriga too. I actually found de-caffeinated coffee that wasn't out-of-date and they have some wonderful, local medium-sharp cheddar cheese quite reasonably priced, so food at least, appears to offer more possibilities. There's still nothing like a supermarket though and lots of things you take for granted like pasta (or just plain noodles) are hard to find. And because the Coca-Cola Company has a mortal lock on this country, that's all you can buy in the way of soda -- Coke and Fanta in all its fruity glory. But rarely diet coke and never diet, caffeine-free. Bill, the owner of the Aguanda Resort, who found the living situation for me, says proudly, "We have everything they have in Belize City, you just have to shop around a little." He may be right.
San Ignacio straddles a river, the Macal, a branch of the Belize River. Although it's very hot, at least 95 degrees F every day, it cools off at night and the location along a sort of gorge means that there are breezes most of the day and in the afternoons it's quite windy.
This is the dry season and the end of tourist season. May is the hottest month in Belize -- something I did not know when I planned this trip. It's still north of the equator, so it should be spring, right? Well, no. But because you can't plant in May and the spring harvests are pretty much in, that's when they have the agricultural fair. I think it's a state fair, Belize-style. I can hardly wait.
Next I'll tell you a bit more about the house and the neighborhood.