Fresno, California, the city from which we hail, has a population of 500,000 people. We have relocated to a country of 367,000 people, in a district (the Cayo District) of 74,000 people, in a city (San Ignacio/Santa Elena) of 18,000 people (the second largest city in Belize, by the way).
In two brief afternoons of wandering through the streets of San Ignacio we have bumped into Allen, a new expat we met a few days ago in Corozal, Belize, his real estate agent, Ginny, who is now at the forefront of finding us a house, Marcus and Mr. G, our friends we met 3 years ago and have stayed in touch with since, and Eli, a Fresno transplant who recently arrived. Laurie also met a local farmer who set her up with her first batch of dark greens since leaving Fresno and we’re parked at one of the highly respected organic farms in the region. Belize is welcoming us.
It’s really great walking the streets of S.I. The population is very diverse and we don’t really feel like tourists here. Everyone blends together and this is one of the reasons we chose Belize. It’s a lot more expensive than Mexico, but, for the most part, less expensive than the states. Beer, however, is over a buck a bottle – and that’s not even a 12 ounce bottle.
As I mentioned before, our current digs are Hanna Stables. Our host is Santiago, a dashing, third generation rancher/rider/farmer. Santiago is one of 7 siblings who live on the 400 acre spread along with their parents. Santiago oversees the operation. Cattle farming, dairy, horseback riding for tourists, organic farming, a dozen little cabins rented out to tourists, and his first RV – us. Here is the view from the front of our RV.
|In about the center of the picture, at the peak of the "mountain," just|
to the right of the palm tree is the top of the pyramid, Xunantunich.
Pretty hard to take.
We have arrived in Belize at the beginning of tourist season so houses are a bit scarce. Additionally, we have 3 dogs – not a popular thing in Central America. That being said, Ginny seems to have found us a nice little place and it is literally, right across the road from where we are currently staying. The downside is it’s a bit more than we wanted to spend (it rents for $600 a month when we were hoping for no more than $500) and we can’t get in until December 28, but it’s cute, quiet and has a great open space for us, the RV, and the dogs. Plus, it’s near our new friend, Santiago. Since we can’t move in for a couple of weeks, we’re going to continue the search, but knowing we have a good, solid option takes the edge off the stress of house hunting.
In the meantime we continue exploring the area. Thanks to our new friend, Gordon, we found a great source for meats and chicken today. We've also been exploring the surroundings of our temporary home. We walked down to the river today and discovered as many glorious areas down below as up above.
|Our host, Santiago. If you click on the photo and zoom in, you|
can see our RV way in the background at the top of the hill.
More later when we get settled, plus – a summary/reflection on the trip down for those considering a similar journey or just interested in the overview.