A Busy Beautiful Day in Belize City: Street Art Festival, Canoe Racing, Cracklin’ Pig & More

Yesterday morning, I jumped aboard (I had an excellent night’s sleep) the San Pedro Belize Express water taxi for the ride to Belize City.  An easy hour and a half later, we pulled in and the conch & lobster boats were looking as beautiful as ever.

IMG_9055I know what you are thinking.  Belize City beautiful?   Well…some of it is.  And these working fishing boats look pretty to me from every single angle.

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No time for dilly dallying with boats.  It was about 11:20am and there was a canoe race ending at the Riverside Tavern.  This Guinness sponsored Boom to The City Canoe challenge is one of the pre-races for the BIG La Ruta Maya Race that takes place in a few weeks over the Baron Bliss Holiday weekend.

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Yesterday I made it to the Tavern just in time…

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Some are surprised to find that Guinness is so popular here in Belize…bottled and loved.  Especially by local guys.IMG_9059 IMG_9060 IMG_9061Two minutes later the first canoes came in.  40 miles and they were paddling like crazy.  Neck and neck.

IMG_9062There were senior groups, mixed male and female teams…

IMG_9071 Inside, Riverside is a proper, heavily air conditioned tavern.  Classic style bar…

IMG_9073And very classic bar food.  Fried mozzarella sticks, nachos, really GREAT burgers and this…

IMG_9080a delicious tower of proper onion rings.  With ranch dressing.  Good onion rings are not common in Belize.  Good onion rings served on what is probably a paper towel roll holder tower with ranch dressing?  A $10bzd revelation.  Worth stopping in for alone…

After the race…

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Riverside packed up.  At the last table, I also order the Blue Cheese burger.

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REALLY good.  Ordered medium rare, received medium rare.  Lots of tangy blue cheese.  Tasty homemade bun to soak up all the medium rare juices.  Flavorful meat.  Yum.

And I love a burger that you can order by size.  Trust me…the smallest one is perfect after you’ve climbed the tower of onion rings.

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No time to stay for the award ceremony, there is an art festival to attend.

belize-street-art-festival (1)Love this sign…near one of Belize City’s really icky canals.  If you somehow get caught in that water, drowning is one of your lesser worries.

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Albert Street, one of the two main streets, was closed for the festival.  The very pretty colonial court house.

IMG_9083And the park across the street has been fully re-done with a fountain…

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And this statue.

IMG_9085Mr. Antonio Soberanis Gomez grew up in Orange Walk at the turn of the 20th century and was an activist in the Belizean Labor Movement during the 1930s and 40s – following the Great Hurricane of 1931, the Great Depression and the decline of the mahogany trade.  Thanks wikipedia.

The new park really looks great.

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There was a competition setting up for beautiful sidewalk chalk art.

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Amazing, right?

Lots of food.

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IMG_9091IMG_9092Art really does come in all forms…

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Love this organization.  IMG_9100

 

I took a walk around the bend, along the water.  Belize City is very secretly beautiful.   The Baron Bliss memorial lighthouse across the river’s mouth.

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And the Bliss center.

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Not time to leave yet.  Over to Hour Bar for a quick drink.  This bar, owned by Kevin Bowen, is relatively new and a lovely location.  If you are looking for the breeze in Belize City, it is here.

I also need to go back to try the burger.  They were looking delicious too…

IMG_9133And they were doing some SERIOUS BBQing, grilling, smoking…

IMG_9129How could I not take a picture of this 25lb crackling piggy?  Or is it a possum.  Nope…definitely pork.

IMG_9132On my way out the door, they were carving him up and selling him by the pound.  It’s Pig By The Pound Saturday after all.  I asked about the head and was offered it whole for only $20bzd!  I declined and am kicking myself now.

IMG_9130Sorry to those who are squeamish but how priceless would it have been…to crack open a styrofoam container on the water taxi, mid-ride, and start picking at this?

Ugly?  But I’m sure delicious and more importantly, TOTALLY bloggable.






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  • TarheelBornGal

    Poor piggie! Some interesting sights there in the City — thanks for sharing (other than the pig pictures).

    • Belize Blog

      For some reason, I’m running into lots of pigs recently.

      • mysteryboy

        all four-legged species?

  • please tell me you didnt stay at the ”seaside guesthouse”….[from that photo].

    • Belize Blog

      I didn’t. Considered it. Have you stayed there?

      • yes i did.
        a whole lot of yrs ago…

        2 in thick dirty foam bedding..
        2wood slat beds…
        2dirty sheets…
        one pillow/no case …..my 5 yr old son got it….wrapped,.inside my t-shirt.

        i’ve rough’d it b4 but geszzzzzz krice….
        it was like the worst hostel…from the hippy-60’s…ever…!!!
        and the room was wierd ,
        `bout 5 1/2 ft wide and 20-ish long…!
        the fan sounded as if a monkey , that was holding a wrench..had been thrown into a transmission…..
        couldnt sleep with that noise….[a sweaty night]
        oh–and no shower.

        i seriously cant believe that termite infested building is still standing…lol

        but seeing that photo and the view to the light house tower..from up that alley….sure did bring back a few memories…must have been 1991 or 92…..i think a guy named ”phyl”..had something to do with the place… back then…

        we stayed at the bakadeer inn…on cleghorn st. …the next night…”kent.”..took good care of us there…!!
        [ if i recall, correctly]

        still standing….amazzzzzzing.