What a Glorious Day on Ambergris Caye to, Again, Be Bowled Over By Change!

I was gone for just about a month on my India mega-adventure and now I’m back.  I am a full time resident of San Pedro.  I live here all year- usually leaving once or twice for a family visit in the states for a week or two.

But I haven’t been off the island for this long in years – and it gives me a small taste of the shock people must experience when they return to the island after a year or two.

Things are changing quickly on our small caye – much of it stemming from the “new” road north.

And briefly…just my 10 cents.  It is my blog and all 🙂  It is SO time to start putting some regulations and covenants in place to make sure building is done in a way that makes sense (both aesthetically AND for the infrastructure of our small caye.)  This is an island dependent on tourism…and the current “jam as much stuff as you can on it as quickly as possible” situation is going to lead to one hot mess – one that turns off visitors to the island.  Laws really need to be put in place NOW.

Here’s a look at yesterday…first just some pictures of what a gorgeous day it was.

I was up north by Xtan Ha Resort.  GORGEOUS.  Still breezy but not too much.

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march14 (1) march14 (3) And the empty beach front just north.  I love this area.

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Okay.  Changes.  Blue Dolphin House (beachfront) has filled in and built a heli-pad!!!! on the lagoon side.  A heli-pad!  I wonder if it has been used yet…and how much DUST will be kicked up by a landing.

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A bit further south is this development.  I first saw the sign on Christmas eve – just a few months ago – on just an empty lot.  The announcement for June 2016, at the time, seemed laughable.

I am no longer laughing.  WOW.

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The original sign in December.

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Moving southward closer to the bridge is an eyesore of extra ordinary proportions.  Not just for our entire town but for owners and renters at Barrier Reef Resort (or Reef Village).  I am not anti-Ramon’s Village.  In fact, I love the manager & the staff, I had a fabulous time when I overnighted there and when I visited the Blue Hole with their dive operation.

BUT this sign situation is WAY out of hand.  A blight.  Almost completely unreal.  Look at what is being constructed across the street from a large condo complex.

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Your view USED to be the ocean.IMG_1211

Asked by the San Pedro Sun just this week, the mayor said he is “concerned” but can do nothing about what is being built on private property.

But towns around the world have covenants – especially those that are geared towards tourism.  Laws restricting everything from the height of the grass on your front lawn to the paint color of your house.  Any addition or change to your property currently needs to be okayed by the village council…why would it be a jump to restrict EGREGIOUS structures like this?

Am I allowed to put up a statue of a giant…fill in anything offensive you like here…on my property?  Or paint obscenities across the front of my house?  This is just silly.

Do we really need another Ramon’s Village sign saying “We had the best steak on the island” – Ellen G. From Texas in LED lights?  Why do we care what Ellen G. has to say?

Okay.  Rant over.  This sign is horrendous.

Let’s cross the bridge…still moving south.

Just a few buildings south of the Barry Bowen Bridge is the new “Park Place”.  Currently the hotel is not open…not yet.  But a large bar & restaurant patio is at the back of the building.  It does have a stunning view.

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The front lobby.

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And the view over the basketball court and Boca Del Rio Park from the back bar area.

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And then into town…and a much smaller scale.  This little taco stand has a sign announcing opening soon – La Fonda Tacos.  Cute.

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Just about a year ago, I wrote about a new business called Pou’s Cevecheria, also on Back Street.  It looks like they have already changed hands….and they are getting a whole new paint job.

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This new building that is going up on Middle Street is under full construction.

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I think that pole can take 40 or 50 more wires…right?

Just south, there is a new sign at our local book store.  This hair salon has a dizzying array of used paperbacks…old and new.  She works on swap or for cash…all very reasonable.  If you are looking for a read…Aquarius Salon is for you.

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And then just half a block south, this lot has been sold.  About a year ago, there was a beautiful old wooden house.  It was leveled and the lot put up for sale.  Word on the street is that it sold for $1million BZD while I was gone.  And construction has started already.

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The gravel truck was backing in as I turned the corner.  Does anyone know what the plans are?  At that price, I am thinking maybe they found oil beneath the lot?  Or gold?IMG_1224

After all the carnival painting, the manatee and the sea turtle are ready for their yearly re-paint.

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Last year they did a beautiful job.

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Real Estate Row…oh…I mean Front Street…has a new real estate office.  And this one glows neon blue at night.  (This is the former location of Master Lee’s shop and office.)

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And one of the older hotels in town, the Coral Beach Hotel (opened by Allan Forman – one of the founders of San Pedro’s tourist industry) has been rented to new operators.  The front half has been repainted and named Hotel Central Park.

They are listed on Booking.com but MAN could they use a new photographer.

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The side remains the same.

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Town…I leave you for one month and so many changes!  I can’t believe it’s March…I can’t believe EASTER is almost here.

Time flies when you are having fun.

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  • mysteryboy

    “You can check out any time you’d like, but you can never leave”

    • Without the pink champagne on ice. I am going nowhere…it’s my home and I love it here. But things like traffic and overbuilding are a real concern to me. And I hope to many others. It’s getting nutty.

      • stop your complaining….complaining in belize , on comments pages, is frowned upon…
        [pardon my complaining.

        • I don’t mind complaining…I mind bitching and moaning…there is a distinct difference.

          Oh yes…and there is only room for ME on this soap box. That’s the other issue.

          • hugs….?……………[lol]

  • Susan

    We’ve been coming down about every 6 months for two years and see big changes every time. Yes some good old fashioned covenants, rules, guidelines something, cause things are getting crazy in a bad way! Ramon’s that sign is horrific.

  • Rebecca ,,,my dear…the powers that be have already destroyed any chance of a future in quaint-bound tourism.
    there is little left of ”sanpedranno/a type island lifestyle” , for tourists to enjoy.
    the politicians… have allowed foreigners to destroy residential ,elite, tres cocos…and continually sanction, destructive projects , all over ,and near, ambergris caye.
    hopefully the residents…of tres cocos, will join in the ”class-action-law-suit”, to recoup millions , in lost property values…..from SPTC/B/GOB,..b/c of it.
    ………………..
    i am sure you were a tad shocked at the changes……..[so many more to come]
    but they will continue….
    like David Hannum , said….”there’s a sucker born every minute.”
    ………………..
    but one thing that is great….. your blog…
    continually seeing both sides…kool.
    india not only changed you, somewhat….but also, improved your writing style .
    really… you have the knack…to simply , write, past the visual.
    ……………….
    wow ,some fresh gringo, with a dream…. re-named the coral beach hotel……
    , and yet , central park is a basic ,2 blocks away…

  • The casitas look cute, but the duplex billboards…off the charts fugly! What the heck are they thinking?!

    • tarheelborngal……
      i’m sure the residents of tres cocos…, don’t think any multiple tourist rental units. .anywhere in tres cocos…are cute..
      what was SPTC/B thinking…indeed….
      they should never have been allowed to be built…as with many other commercial enterprises…in ”residential”, tres cocos.
      that..to me…..is the ‘fugly” part of the story.