Tag Archives: caribbean

Belize City

Late in 2011, Delta had a seat sale, and I flew Tampa – Atlanta – Belize city at the end of January, 2012.

An uneventful trip, but there is a long taxi ride into Belize City.  Eventually, I arrive at the Belcove Hotel on Regent Street, near the swing bridge.  I must admit that the street, and the entrance to the hotel, had quite the forlorn appearance.

Belcove Hotel
The Belcove Hotel, Regent Street, Belize City
Haulover Creek
Haulover Creek, from the rear of the Belcove Hotel, looking north from the swing bridge.

I had booked a room with air conditioning and a private bath, both of which were unnecessary.  The weather was pleasant, and few were staying at the hotel.  Each floor had a full length balcony which faced Haulover Creek, which empties in the Caribbean Sea.

Working out the currency was easy.  Belizean dollars were interchangeable with US dollars at on two to one ratio.  When making a purchase, your change could be a mixture of both currencies.  I didn’t see the need to use a credit card any time during my stay.

I had read that Belize City was a bit rough.  This was very much an understatement.  The desk clerk at my hotel gave me instructions about where not to go, and to be very careful after dark.  The city has many run down and derelict buildings, potholes that would swallow a small car, and packs of roving dogs.  My local guide, O’Neill, said that should you hit a dog while driving, best to keep going.  The feral dog will now have several owners, all demanding compensation.

Derelict building Belize City
One of many derelict buildings in Belize City

Marlin’s Restaurant & Bar is located beside the Belcove Hotel.  It isn’t much more than a large room with some tables and a kitchen, and a covered patio facing out to the river.  However, I ate here every day, and everything was good, the beer was cold, and the people were friendly.

The British Colonial period is also represented here, several structures remain, including the oldest Anglican Church in the Caribbean – St John’s Cathedral.

More on that next.

San Juan, Puerto Rico 2010

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Downtown San Juan is old, crowded, and noisy.  Tight streets, I couldn’t find anywhere to park my rented Toyota Yaris except at the parking garage by El Morrow.  Beer costs more in these crowded streets.  Stumbled across this old wreck of what was once a hotel.  Long abandoned.

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Reminds me of Belize City, with its burnt out, abandoned or otherwise derelict buildings.