To Punta Gorda
Skipper and First Mate Millard (Big Bear and Pepe)
Mon 26 Nov 2012 22:21
Our Journey to Punta Gorda, Belize
I had had four days of extreme “lower end troubles” – the result of having two nasty mossie bites react badly on me, obtained on our wander around Quirigua. This is now the pattern of things when I get attacked by a new-to-me species or strain of mosquito. Bear felt two chicken buses was going to push my luck and yesterday went to speak to Manuel at the marina to see what could be done. He phoned his friend Saul who would be waiting on the town dock at 06:45 this morning. Up and ready, note I didn’t do the usual “we jumped up at...”, on the marina launcha at 06:30 and there was Saul in the biggest surprise of our taxi using lives. A pristine Mercedes with 260,000 on the clock that is clearly this very nice young man’s pride and joy. An hour and a half and thirty pounds later we arrived at Puerto Barrios, Saul stopped en route to the dock so Bear could get our Passports stamped out, he trotted in on his own, no need for me to show my face........, then we stopped for Bear to buy our open ended return tickets and finally we said “farewell” to Saul at the dockside.
The song ‘traveling light’ sprang to mind
On the ferry wall map, we could see we had come from the yellow arrow and Saul had dropped us at the red one. We settled to wait for the ten o’clock ferry to get to the blue one, a journey Bear informed me of about one and a half hours. As a precaution I had had nothing to eat or drink since eight last evening but took the brave step now of having two Ritz biscuits and a sip of water. I’ll just make sure I know where the toilet is as I don’t want to drop the same heinous mistake I did in the massive Wal-Mart in Cancun, when I sent her indoors to the Tortilleria instead of the baños (bad move)....... None to be found here, so fingers crossed or in her case – legs.
Have you ever seen the sharp, chewed edge of a Ritz biscuit used as a Chinese Fighting Star
Bear’s cheek did
Duck Bear, Duck
Run Bear, Run
We were called promptly at ten to ten to get on the ferry. I use that term loosely as it is little more than a launcha. We watched as the crisps were loaded.
People got in, and out again as luggage was arranged and re-arranged. Apparently there were not enough passengers to make the run worthwhile, so the ten o’clock departure would only happen after a few more turned up early for the two o’clock. We thought the lady with the umbrella was a bit of an optimist !!!!!!
We pulled out of the terminal at eleven thirty five............
............only to nip to another jetty to pick up another person. The skipper felt we were laden enough with the front row of four, the second row with four (including one American lady with a local virtually sitting on her lap) our row of three and three behind us. Off we went at quite a lick.
No sooner than we had roared off, than the fenders tried to attack umbrella lady (who had stowed said implement in the now 25 mph headwind). Our steward – a Keef Richards look-a-like hurled himself over the crisps to lash everything down. Keef then adopted the position of figurehead and no sooner than he did his left index finger shot out and the skipper swerved to miss a containership buoy. This was clearly going to be a fun run.
We passed a couple of ladies and an O o. The Costa Rican gentleman behind me told us that he had worked for Chiquita – the banana people for twenty five years before changing to a rival company. He was off to Belize to video the new banana growth to see if the crop spraying at the beginning of the season had been successful.
Speeding along, Bear showed he wos well ard Millard, whereas I tucked down in my Royal Engineers anorak (thank you Joe)
The seasoned traveler in front of me made several calls. I only hope the piece of paper that escaped from her notebook wasn’t critical. Once or twice her phone came perilously close to never being seen again. The one and a half hour journey was in fact just over an hour as the skipper put his foot down all the way. Apparently the early ferry is much preferred to the two o’clock as the sea is generally flatter and thus the journey is dryer...... We’ll hold that thought to compare after our return trip.
All too soon Keef leapt into action as we pulled on to the Customs dock in Punta Gorda
We left the crisps in not bad shape, I’ll never complain about a few broken ones in the future
We said farewell to the busy Keef and bimbled toward Immigration. The official gave one look at our baggage, asked if we were carrying liquor and waved us through. Dragging two cases each, a backsack each and other bits and bobs the lad at the main gate pointed to our hotel just down the road.
Bear went off to register us with the delightful Charles of the St Charles Inn who assured us of good Wi-fi and television pictures. Judging by the size of the satellite dish, who were we to argue. We had a quick tour of the flowers in the yard and were told where we could find a good lunch. We settled Beds and off we went for a bimble around the town.
ALL IN ALL YET ANOTHER EXPERIENCE