The police department has a pretty good map on the wall (thank goodness!) but it doesn’t show the neighborhood names and I’ve never seen an updated one online that shows them either.
Perhaps I’ll have to put this on my “to-do” list.
Anyway…right next to “my area” (which I think is Escalante) is the San Pablo neighborhood. And since I had two errands to do there yesterday, I thought I’d check it out. Plus…I’ve always been intrigued by the huge white wall that circles most of the area. What’s back there? Okay, it says a residential community. But it seems to be empty. What is REALLY there? Nuclear testing area? Small but hidden cattle ranch? Leper colony? Time to peep in.
But let’s start with the side of the neighborhood that borders the main street, Coconut Drive. The wall runs from Marina’s Store all the way around to Banyan Bay.
Marina’s is done up for Christmas.
Across from Marina’s, San Pedro’s famous Lion has opened a BBQ shop. He used to do it on the beach outside major night time hot spots (Wet Willy’s or Big Daddy’s) and has been known to serve some special items like deer or gibnut. You might want to try it.
Next is Super Buy South is Antojito’s, a great local food restaurant. They do yummy soup each day for lunch. Keep your eyes peeled for my favorite: conch soup. $10bzd and you will be eating two meals of rice, conch and cilantro coconut milky deliciousness.
And running behind all of those businesses on the west side of the street is my mystery wall. The Great White Wall.
Veer away from Banyan Bay, follow said wall up the road, and you will find the entrance. Behind a bit of growth is an empty security guard station.
Here is what you find…a bit like a ghost town, without the town. Cobbled roads, sidewalks, pretty street lamps and lots of tall grass. Wonder if I could borrow this area at night for a HUGE golf cart drive-in theater.
There are two nice houses built on the compound.
You can see the back of Super Buy here.
Well…no lepers. Just lots for sale surrounded by a very high wall with only one entrance. I left The Mansions area and walked around the wall. On the southern side there are some really pastel pretty houses with gorgeous flowers and backyards right along the lake. Pretty nice area to live.
And then at the back, the lagoon is right there.
And the Sausage Factory…love this place. And NO! I know what you are thinking…it is not the hottest gay bar in San Pedro, it’s an actual sausage factory. (My neighborhood in Chelsea, NYC had some great ones: The Man Hole for example…)
Want really good meat or simple cold cuts? This is your spot. The pork chops (thick on the bone) in particular are fantastic. Belize may not produce the world’s finest beef but we are pretty damn good at chicken, seafood and, in particular, pork.
And while you are there, don’t forget to pick up a spicy (or mild) beef stick (kinda a Slim Jim on steroids), these things are totally addicting. And people love them at a bar….the spicy, salty, crunchy will have them swigging beers like they are in a desert. And the things sell like hot cakes.
I continued down the residential road (that leads to Casa Picasso and the soda/water distributor) and found tons of unpopulated space. Some more forested areas, some more swampy areas but space! And just a mile south of town. And hold up…San Marcos? This area has two names? Or I’ve already entered another neighborhood? This is very confusing.
There is an abandoned (?) but cute church back here. It’s often called the Old San Marcos Church.
Stained glass intact.
But the pews have seen better days…
I headed back towards the main road, back to Marina’s and found myself wishing I had bought more than one beef stick.
And 2012…I’ll get cracking on that town map. Or at least put it on my list of resolutions…that list that never gets done.