Belize Blog Post 17 - Tired of work, time to Play!

Day 122 - Friday, 08th of February, 2013

Short Day, and a quick Internet break. Will post what I have, then maybe write more tonight. So.... ;)

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Ok, so we're back again.

Today is Friday, so again the crew worked through lunch, then was off at 1pm. Dad had a little welding project, so we ate lunch then knocked that out, the cleaned up and went into town for a while. We hit the market for some produce... its been a while since I went into town to do shopping, so a quick refresher there. Its an open air market, farmers market type setup. Lots of vendors, little stalls, selling local produce. Most things are pretty inexpensive compared to Canada or US prices. They weigh things for you, bag it up, and you pay each vendor. The fruits and vegatables don't look as pretty as they would in a Safeway, but in most cases, they all taste a lot better. Things like oranges and pineapples, maybe picked the day before market. mmmmm very nice!

Anyway, after the market, we stopped by Yim Saan Chinese restaraunt again, my normal internet access place. We stayed for maybe an hour, just long enough for me to upload the most recent blog post, so a bit of code wrangling on the blog software. And catch up with all the Facebook and Emails, well, at least the email I can download and read off line. Wish I could do that with Facebook, but really, that would be pointless after a week.

The afternoon felt really nice, to just be off the roof. We've been really hitting it hard the last few days, taking advantage of the nice weather, after the recent rains. It goes in spurts I guess, building the roof. Work like crazy for what feels like forever, then poof its done. Then you move on to the next one! At least the next roof will now be the last roof. That will be a good feeling to be on the last one, even though it will be the one that is the biggest. I kind of think it won't take as long, just because we've got more experience now, and also better tools than when we started.

Stay Tuned!

Day 123 - Saturday, 09th of February, 2013

Was hoping to sleep in, but of course woke up at 6am... rolled over, managed to stay in bed till after 7... By the time I got up, there were pancakes ready to eat, so I guess that's not so bad!

Sitting out on my deck, its a pleasant morning. Warm but not too hot yet, light clouds drifting along, and the bugs aren't so bad yet. There are some trees 15 to 20 feet away, little yellow birds hopping around, chirping. Its nice to have a day off once in a while.

Toward evening time, I looked out toward the jungle, and thought I saw something moving in the trees. Wasn't sure I even really saw anything, so I walked a bit closer and stood still, pretty soon the trees moved again and I saw a monkey in the branches. Not very big, and no, I didn't get a picture, sorry. Maybe the size of a big house cat, big long tail. Eventually we saw 2 or maybe 3 of them. They never quite came out in the open, still, was cool to see them, the first time since I've been here.

Dad, John and I went into town again, we got Pizza at Peppers, which is pretty good pizza, but not always very fast. We were nearly blown away by the ceiling fans, it got to be quite a joke. The lady came out with the pizza, and then gave us 3 paper plates, which blew away almost immediately. So we got a piece of pizza on the plates, and it was good again. Then we grabbed some napkins, and they blew away. If I ever need to set up my wind tunnel, I'll find out what kind of fan they used!

Day 124 - Sunday, 10th of February, 2013
Mmmm slept in until about 8am, well woke up at 5:30 but stayed in bed till 8am anyway!

I guess Dad didn't have such good luck though. I kind of remember there was a phone call on my phone last night, but by the time I got my eyes open it had stopped, and then I fell asleep again. Turns out, one of the college girl volunteers over at the home had been sick most of the last week, and she chose midnight Saturday night as a good time to go to the hospital. And people always say college people are smart. Anyway, so they called Dad, and he got to take the 3 of them to Belize City. Apparently they come as a set or something. So they were there until almost morning, lots of tests, poking and prodding, and no real results. And people scoff at modern medician, especially when its free.

On my daily agenda today, I made an adapter plug, so we could plug in our new welder to the other power receptical, in the first building. See, when Ross wired our new welder up, I had assumed we were moving forward, toward the last building, so I asked for all the wire to be set up in the last building. That all worked out great, until I found out there is welding to be done in the first building still... we have to weld the brackets up that the drywall hangers will be attached to.

Once the adapter was done, I helped John get set up with the welder. He has welded before, but its been a long time he said. I did the first weld, which turned out pretty good, then the tip got plugged up. Once I put the new tip on (the last one, go figure, we asked for more tips a couple weeks ago...) things worked nice again, and John was off and running. He's welding some things for his new house, like the spiral stair case. Will be cool to see all that put together!

Anyway, its about 4:30pm, the breeze is nice, its a warm sunny day, and I'm out on my deck again. Life is good.

Day 125 - Monday, 11th of February, 2013
No Comment.

Day 126 - Tuesday, 12th of February, 2013
Dodged a bullet today. Ok, not a real bullet. But still.

After some issues on Monday, I decided my roof building career is about over, so I took today off. And probably tomorrow too. Most likely the rest of the week.

So today I was at Yim Saan, using the internet and enjoying life off the property. I tried to buy an airline ticket to fly me out of Belize, and for some reason the stupid thing would never go through. Grrr.

I considered calling tech support, either with my bank, or with the airline, but since my phone is well, a jungle phone, I decided against that. Eventually I just gave up, and figured I'd try again another day, or maybe go into an airline office, either in town, or take a bus to the airport.

Well, after thinking about it, later in the afternoon, I realized 2 important details. First, I was trying to get out the day AFTER my visa expires. Not sure if they'd give me any grief over that or not, but best not to tempt the fates. And secondly, I was only trying to fly to Houston, which should have been much less money. And yet it was MORE than my flight getting here, which was Seattle to Houston to Belize. Hmmm.

So I think now, rather than flying out, I'll go back to my earlier idea of taking a bus, through Mexico. Should be much more interesting that just flying. I mean, the flight would take less than 3 hours. How much adventure could that be, compared to a few DAYS of bus travel through the untamed Mexico?

Another interesting observation. I don't feel bad at all. I mean, I don't hurt. There is no actual pain in my body, anywhere. This whole welding on the roof gig might have been bad for me. And all this time I thought this would be a good experience. I think it might be kind of like hitting your head on the wall. The only good part is when you stop doing it!

Day 127 - Wednesday, 13th of February, 2013
Well, another exciting day in paradise!

I'm officially on a break. As in not working on the building, at least for now.

Maybe I'm not very good at being on a break. Like today for example.

First thing after breakfast, I fixed John's air compressor. Didn't take very long, maybe 15 minutes. Most of that was spent getting ready, finding tools, getting an extension cord. I like the easy ones.

That went too fast, so then I helped Dad fix the back window on his SUV. One of the bolts broke on the rear window glass hinge. So he drilled out the broken bolt, and we found one that fit good enough. A little bit of black silicon and its good to go.

By now, its not even 9am yet!

So Dad and I went to the little church the kids go to, and we fixed some of the burgler bars there. Sad that a church needs burgler bars. People keep breaking in, to steal the electrical wire out of the ceiling. There are only a few lights, and some plug ins, so its not very high tech. Anyway, we took the little MIG welder with us, and when we were done fixing the bars, we welded all the nuts on. We have both seen the kids, when they get bored, walking around, with a glazed look in their eyes, trying to take the nuts off the burgler bars. Strange. So now they're all welded on, so that shouldn't be an issue anymore! And I never even caught the curtains on fire.

Back to the property, it was barely 11am.

I spent the afternoon working on my taxes. I have almost everything organized now. The actual filling out the tax forms goes pretty fast, I do that online, but what I'm doing now is getting the info all together so I can just zip it all along.

Usually I'd make a bunch of spread sheets, but I realized I don't have Excel on this laptop. Hmmm... I could have downloaded Open Office, which would do ok, but I didn't think of it the last time I had internet, and I think its kind of a big file. So I cooked up a quick Database, and hey, that's actually pretty slick. I have fields for Date, Category, Business Name, and Amount (and some others, but they're secret), and I can do a quick query to pull up only motorcycle related stuff, or only things I bought at a certain store. I'm liking this system a lot, I may use it again next year! Oh, for anyone who cares, its based on the same MySQL, PHP and HTML that I run my blog with. How's that for geeky?

Day 128 - Thursday, 14th of February, 2013

I went into town today, back to Yim Saan for some Chinese food and internet. Kind of nice going back to the same place, they get to know you. Sometimes you get to talk to them when its slow. Its usually slow in the afternoon.

In doing my taxes, I realized that I had made a lot less money last year than the year before. Kind of makes sense, I only worked half the year, and I took a pay cut for that job. What I hadn't considered is that my refund would also be about half of last year. That's too bad, I had way more deductions and receipts than what I could end up using!

Wow, did I ever spend a lot of money last year. I sure better get some good use out of the motorcycle and camping gear this next year!

Anyway, the taxes are efiled, so now its just a matter of waiting for the refund to get processed and direct deposited.

Day 129 - Friday, 15th of February, 2013
Dad worked till noon today, then we drove into Belmopan for some quick errands, and then we were on the road, going north.

We looked around a while in the town of Corozal, which is about as far north as you can go in Belize, then got a room for the night at the Mirador Hotel.

Corozol is about 100 miles or so north of Belmopan, passing through Orange Walk on the Northern Highway.

Day 130 - Saturday, 16th of February, 2013
Today started pretty early, as we had to catch the water taxi by 7am.

The water taxi goes about 60 miles in around 2 hours, with a few stops in between. By a little after 9am, we were in the town of San Pedro, on an island out in the Caribean Sea.

The boat we were on had perhaps 50 people on it, we were full to capacity. The water was choppy for much of the ride, maybe 1 to 3 foot seas, with some white caps, so the wind was blowing. On one of our stops, we managed to run the boat aground, and got slightly stuck for a few minutes. It was at low tide, and we weren't even able to quite get to the dock to pick up the passengers. Most of them jumped across, and one jumped into the shallow water and walked over and was pulled in. Then the crew asked some of the passengers to move to the back of the boat to shift the weight, and after a few minutes we were moving again.

The boat was powered by three Yamaha 200 horsepower outboards, so went pretty good for its size.

Once we got to San Pedro, we walked around a bit, and had breakfast. I'd decided that I didn't want to eat first thing in the morning, as I wasn't awake enough yet, and didn't think food seemed like a good idea before a 2 hour choppy boat ride!

After breakfast, Dad and I just walked up and down the beach for a few hours, looking at sail boats. We watched a group of kids sailing some pretty small boats, and they made it look pretty easy. I think they were in a class. Walking back I took more pics of sail boats, and some of the pelicans.

By about 2pm we had seen most of what there was to see, so we grabbed lunch, and then were on the returning water taxi by 3pm. They only run once a day, so if you miss that one, its time to go looking for a place to stay! The ride back was a bit smoother, and I had a better seat so was able to see more of the scenery on the way back.

I'm hooked, I need a boat, and to spend more time on the ocean. I guess all that time in the Navy must have warped my brain!

We stayed at the Mirador Hotel again.

Day 131 - Sunday, 17th of February, 2013
Dad and I did some exploring in the area, looking at some real estate developments. Some pretty nice places available, for not really a lot of money. Of course, its all relative, if you don't have any money, its a lot! But gave me some ideas to think about anyway.

After lunch, we started driving back, and stopped near Orange Walk, to see the big sugar refinery. We'd been seeing all the sugar cane fields, and the trucks hauling it, so harvest is in full swing now. The trucks are stacked crazy high with the cane, which doesn't really weigh very much. We watched for a while as they unloaded the trucks, then hit the road again. Stopped at Amigo's for supper, and were home before dark.

Day 132 - Monday, 18th of February, 2013
Woke up today to a cloudy, and "cold" morning. Cold being anything less than 80 degrees I guess now! I didn't wear a jacket or anything, not that I have one, but after the last couple warm days, it was cooler.

I spent some time today going through the pictures from Corozal and San Pedro, and then went into town. I had planned to update the blog when I was in Corozal, and then the second night, after San Pedro, the internet wasn't working in the hotel.

Anyway, I'm in town now for a bit, and finally am going to update the blog, sorry its been so long!

On the way into town I saw a dead iguana on the side of the road. That's sad, its only the 2nd or 3rd one I've seen, and I still don't have a picture of one. The one live one I did see, was really close to me, on the new property, when I was working one day. That was way back when I first got here, actually.

Guess that's about it for now!

By Carlin Comm posted on 2013-02-18