My Five: New Gas Station, Great Food, Sexless Papayas and more
Mawnin’ all. It’s the second week of November and the island is starting to get busy with visitors! This post: My Five – is an assortment of things happening here on Ambergris Caye and in my life. These are all topics I’ve been meaning to tell you about but ones that don’t exactly make for a stand-alone blog post…or at least not yet. So let’s just dive into it.
A. Double the Gas Stations?
As the number of golf carts and vehicles on our island seems to grow exponentially*, our island’s 2 onland gas stations were getting busier and busier. Well…that has now changed. Yesterday a HUGE new gas station opened on the island on the north side of the bridge – at the entrance to the San Mateo neighborhood.
There is also buzz that another gas station is just starting construction at the junction of Secret Beach. I’ve heard this from a few folks – and there is some construction starting but I can not fully confirm yet.
Here’s the current situation.
‘* Wouldn’t it be great if the issuing of vehicle permits were public information – like the SPTC would publish new permits granted in the paper quarterly? Why isn’t that public information?
B. Guests and Eating Out on Ambergris Caye
It was so great to have Jeff’s mom and our friend Ken visiting for the last few weeks from cold cold Connecticut.
Here they are with Jeff at the new camp wayyyyy up north (see official announcement and amazing art work here: Announcing Rocky Point Permit Camp, Spring 2024)
Every time they visit we go somewhere fun…eat out (which we hardly ever do!) and get to enjoy our island a bit more like you do when you first visit. We had some amazing meals – highlights:
- Everything at El Fogon Restaurant
- Delicious conch pizza and meatball pizza at The Truck Stop
- Incredibly beautiful setting and food at Matachica’s Bistro Restaurant – such good pizza too and really really great cocktails and mocktails.
C. Female Papaya – I don’t buy papayas very often – see my post: I Hate Papaya – but our visitors like it. I can’t hold that against them. We bought 3 papayas over two weeks and all…ALL…were completely seedless. And light in color like a sickly canteloupe – not the deep pinky-orange papayas usually ripen to.
The first one…I thought it was an anomaly. But the second…I had to ask my friend Andress – who worked in the papaya industry (at Fruta Bomba in San Joquin) in Corozal, Belize for year. What is the deal with these papayas?
His answer: These are locally called “Pumpkin Papayas” and are usually chopped down/discarded young. Papaya trees can be male (useless for fruit) – hermaphrodite (ideal) and female. If the female plant is unfertilized – you get the pumpkin papaya. They do not produce seeds and never really ripen and get dark and juicy.
You learn something new every day. What an odd and creepy fruit.
D. Coconut Oil Thermometer
The first few weeks of October were record-setters when it came to October HEAT in Belize. The sun was intense – and we were experiencing real-feel temperatures of 130F in the sun. Gorgeous but WOOF.
And then a “cold front” swept in…winds from the north with a bit of a chill and temperatures in the high 70s. Cold fronts are generally gorgeous in Belize and visitors scoff at the word “cold”.
You can tell when it is REALLY “cold” in Belize if you have a bottle of local coconut oil. Coconut oil solidifies at 76F. Here you can see the good oil vs. the over-processed-tastes-like-nothing stuff.
E. Upcoming Events
Since “the season” is ramping up, so are the events! I’ll try to keep you guys up to date on all that is happening especially on my Facebook page. But here are some to look out for:
The First Farmers Market on the Season at The Truck Stop Saturday, November 18th from 11am to 2pm
The LoveFM Lighted Parade (check out the 2022 parade) – it goes from Boca Del Rio Park into town at sunset…and will get even the most grinch-y curmudgeon in the mood for the holidays. (DECEMBER 17th 2023, sunset)
I’ve gotta wrap this up! I’m heading to Caye Caulker in a few hours…and hoping for good weather. Have a great weekend. I WILL be reporting back.