Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Biking Ambergris

On Ambergris Caye, we rode bikes practically everywhere we went.  We loved that because we ride bikes at home almost everyday.  Lots of locals also use bikes as their primary form of transportation to and from work and school.  In comparison to our favorite little island off the coast of Mexico, Ambergris just seemed much more bike friendly.  Specifically, we felt much safer riding bikes on Ambergris because car traffic on the island moves at a slower pace. 

Translated, that means Ambergris taxi drivers don't seem to be in kamikaze mode.  There's plenty of traffic, especially in San Pedro Town, but people don't seem hell bent to get from one place to another in record time.   We noticed bikes riding down the middle of the street with cars and golfcarts behind giving them the right of way.  In fact, the few times we rode in taxis, the polite drivers  patiently waited behind pedestrians, bikes, and/or golfcarts in the road without honking horns, much less trying to force them to the side to swerve around.

It's just my opinion, but Belizean time seemed a notch slower than Mexican time -- if that's possible. That's a good thing if you're on vacation! 


Bike racks can be seen all over the island, so obviously, lots of people ride bikes!




If a person's in need of a bike repair, El Guapo is there to save the day!  We passed this sign on Middle Street almost everyday.  Several times, I saw El Guapo himself out front, but didn't have the nerve to ask him to pose with his sign.  (Guapo means handsome in Spanish.)




Our first week on the island, the hotel didn't provide free bikes, so we rented from Joe.  Joe's bikes were in good repair, and I think the maximum charge a day was around $10.  He surprised us and pro-rated by the hour, so we ended up paying less than $10 for two bikes the days we rented.



I think I may have posted this guy's photo before, but he wins the award on most unusual item transported by bike on this trip!  He's got a papaya tree (at least it looks like one to me?), and he was very happy about his find!




Most of the island bikes are simple coaster types with pedal brakes and no gears.  I'm still trying to brake by back pedaling and we've been home three weeks!



Just like on Isla Mujeres, vendors use trikes to sell food and produce up and down the island.


This bike hangs from the roof of a dive shop, Chuck and Robbie's, where Craig did his dives.  I'm guessing they found it in the deep and brought the artifact back to decorate the shop!



This Caye Caulker bike has a sophisticated air, especially since it matches the B&B sign.



We stayed at Cocotal Inn and Cabanas the second week.  They had a large lineup of free bikes for guests to use, so we pedaled up and down the beach paths north of the bridge everyday.   The bikes were also useful for picking up supplies in town.  Most mornings, we'd ride over the bridge to San Pedro town to stock up at the bakeries, fruit stands, and grocery stores. 




Lots of locals ride two on a bike giving a lift to an extra child on the handle bars or back of the bike.  So when I spotted this modified bike below at a house, I thought it was so cool!  The hitchhiker gets his own seat!





A cool little bike on Caulker.


As a side note, I'm a happy girl today!  I had my doctor's appointment yesterday and my internist ruled out the heart as the cause of my Tony Soprano flop in the mountains last week.  So, I'm free to move about the country.  My guess about the cause was probably right on the mark.   I really should have gone the extra six weeks and gotten my M.D. certificate.  (That's a JOKE!)  





4 comments:

Ann said...

Another great post! And glad for the good news~!

Drgeo said...

Will there be a pool on what the doc guessed? Craig could copy brackets from his basketball chart! Don't bet on my guessing right-- I'm rooting for Indiana to beat Kentucky on Friday, which is a long shot. I'm hoping your improved health is a safe bet.

Life's a Beach! said...

Guess I should give an update. Had the ultrasound on my carotids yesterday. I stared at all those pretty colors and percentages on the screen trying to figure out what it all meant. I should know sometime next week. Fingers and toes crossed!

Tamv said...

Thanks for sharing...my husband and I have been to Isla Mujeres 5 times in the last 20yrs and loved it but vowed never to go back. it was time to try new places. We leave for Ambergris Caye in 2 weeks. Looking forward to biking daily to explore this island!