Tony Rath’s Photo Book of Ambergris Caye Launches on One Gorgeous Day

Yesterday, the recent cold front* broke and the weather was absolutely GLORIOUS.  Breezy, cool in the shade, hot in the sun, sparkling blue perfection.

It all made perfect sense.  Because Tony Rath – Belize’s premier photographer – was in town.  To unveil, with Cubola Publishing, his new photo book of Ambergris Caye.  ALL AMBERGRIS CAYE looking absolutely gorgeous.

I was there.  For the ceremony – just in time…the national anthem had just started.

* Belize Cold Front:  Wind from the north and temperatures that can dip as low as 68, generally ends with a bit of heavy rain

The event, the book sales and signing, was held at Parham Plaza – formerly Hostel la Vista – but before that, the Sands Hotel.  Check out this article in Ambergris Today – the Sands was built in the 1970s…but more interesting, it is property owned and still operated by one of the oldest families on the island, the Parhams.

And just as interesting.  The property is a Maya site – that has been excavated a number of times over the years.  The ORIGINAL San Pedro town.

So a perfect spot to release the new book – with a history of the island…Maya town to coconut plantation to fishing village to tourist mecca – packed with gorgeous photos of the caye.

Take a look at how GORGEOUS Parham Plaza Hotel is.

The gardens and the view from the 3rd floor hammock garden.  It is an oasis in the middle of bustling San Pedro.

The presentations began.  A speech by the Mayor.  And then some readings of the history by school kids.

Here’s Melly reading about the Maya history.

I love hearing about the history of this island – changes and the struggles.  Here’s a nugget I picked up yesterday.

The first hotel on the island – located at what is today’s Ramon’s Village – was called the Reef Colony Club .  6 to 8 luxury rooms, a pool and a dock, it was scheduled for a grand opening party at the end of October.  1961.  Just a few days before, Hurricane Hattie – one of the strongest Belize has ever seen – caused massive destruction across the country and totally destroyed the hotel-to-be.

The first hotel in San Pedro wouldn’t open for a few more years – as the island slowly recovered. The Holiday Hotel opened for business in 1965.

I bought more than one copy.  But got mine specially signed.  Thanks Tony for playing along.

Rebecca – My Inspiration 🙂

Awesome.  Now here are some pictures of the BEAUTIFUL DAY.  The reason why this island is SO popular.

This book will be available in gift stores and shops around the island.

Here are some more of my photos of the lovely weather.

Sunset at the camp – on the west side of the island.

And then this morning’s brief patch of fog…

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