From Benque to Belize City to San Pedro: It’s A Very Varied Easter Basket in Belize

Over the past two days I have travelled the country east to west and then west to east to check out the VERY different Easter weekend traditions.

Ambergris Caye to Belize City out to the border and Benque Viejo.
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The last two days, I posted lots of pictures of the very religious ceremonies that go on in Benque.

Gorgeous sawdusts carpets carefully laid out all day for the towns people.

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For the very serious and almost gruesome depiction and re-enactment of the crucifixtion of Christ.

Here are some pictures taken by my friends Mary & Ken who were also in Benque…I was so focused on the street art.

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I hopped on a 1pm bus from Benque to Belize City – most people do not travel on Good Friday and there were few buses.  But mine was blissfully pretty empty and we got to Belize City in 2.5 hours.  (The previous day, in a VERY full bus that stopped at what felt like everyone’s house, the trip took almost 4 hours.)

Belize City, on Good Friday and then again on Easter Saturday, was pretty much a ghost town.  I woke up at 530am to a heavy shower pounded on the tin roof and then quickly cleared.  A beautiful breezy Belize City morning.

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If you stay in the 5 or 6 square blocks of the Fort George area of Belize City, I swear the place can look charming.  A word I have never heard used to describe Belize City.

The big event was the Saturday morning 86th Annual Cross Country Bicycle Race.  The riders, many Belizean, some foreign, start from Belize City at 6am, cycle all the way out to San Ignacio and then back to Belize City sometime around noon.

We headed to the finish line at the newly refinished BTL Park.  With kiosks, a boardwark over the sea and actual grass, this park looks lovely.  (Another word not often associated with Belize City.)

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I TOTALLY could have grabbed this!

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The race was being broadcast on TV and radio so the audience knew exactly when to line up to watch the riders come in.

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The whole thing was over in about 4 seconds.  The crowd seemed quite disappointed.  EVERYONE wants a Belizean to win and this year, that didn’t happen.

Here is a picture taken by my friend Will Moreno…I totally missed the winner coming across the finish line.  These guys MOVE!

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I took of shot of the 2nd place finisher posing (the one in orange and blue) and headed out…

IMG_4915Time to hop a crowded boat back to San Pedro…or party central – The Belizean Riviera.    All of Belize, it seems, heads to the beach for Easter.  Placencia, Caye Caulker and Ambergris Caye are jammed packed.  Hotels full.  Golf carts rented.  Kegs flowing.  This scene might be the exact opposite of what was going on in Benque.

Here are a few photos taken by the Tipsy Tuna in Placencia showing some of the Saturday contests and festivities there.

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And then the scene as I got off the boat in down town San Pedro…now I know where all the people in Belize City are!

There is always a beer branding competition going on…Lighthouse and Belikin had repainted the now “Lighthouse Luna Loca” bar.  Digicell was providing free Wi-Fi…

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Carib had teamed up with Blue Cafe.  A business that I, frankly, thought had closed.IMG_4921

And Heinekin teamed up with DJ Debbie at the Tacklebox.  I wouldn’t bet against Debbie…her party was clearly the most happening.  Everyone had a can of Heinekin in their hand.

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It’s great when even the senior citizens can enjoy themselves.

IMG_4928IMG_4930And so there it is.  From the Bible to bicycles to booty dancing all in one weekend.  All in one country.  I hope everyone has a very very happy Easter.

 






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