Archive for the ‘Exploring Caye Caulker’ Category
Once again our fly fishing guides put our tiny island on the international map!! This weekend the 4th annual Tres Pescados was held in Ambergris Caye – this tournament is where the fly fishing elite from Belize and around the world join forces to both gather data on the fishing area and also raise funds for local charities.
The idea of the tournament is to test both the fisherman and the Guides as each team of 3, comprises of a Guide and 2 Fisherman – together they must bring home and have weighed their best size and amount of fly fishing’s grand slam fish – Permit, Tarpon and Bonefish. Each year Caye Caulker brothers Parnell (Fly Treks) and Ken Coc (Anglers Abroad) compete for the fun of the sport, for the pride of Caye Caulker and of course, the title!!
The past two years Ken Coc has dominated the competition by his team winning and also being crowned as the Lead Guide in the competitions. This year it was his brother’s turn to light up the pride of Caye Caulker as Parnell came in second with Ken coming a close 4th.
With pride we must congratulate our Coc brothers as once again they did us proud. With this win sending a clear message (once again) to those who are interested in the sport of fly fishing , that Caye Caulker is indeed the island to be for competitive prices and quality guiding!!!
When you live here, year in and year out – you get to realize that in the day to day running of Caye Caulker there are some silent heros. These are the people who really do make a difference to our community but they get very little acknowledgement or praise for what they actually do.
One such person that will always have my huge respect is Luis Alcocer. Luis has been born and raised in Caye Caulker, truthfully not far from the Raggamuffin Tours office – and for 10 of his 29 year life, he has worked at the Village Council. Now truthfully there are a number of willing and able men and women that work at the Village Council (all of whom really should get a mention) but Luis has been one of the longest standing and that deserves a medal itself!!
Luis is the man that we have to thank for our clean streets. He walks up and down the island daily raking and picking up garbage and fallen tree leaves making the streets that have captured the imagination of so many, the picturesque images that they are today. What makes his job so unbearably exhausting is the tropical heat and humidity he has to undertake his work – and that, twinned with the unrelenting sunshine beating down on his head, would be enough to make most of us give up after a week – never mind 10 years!
What makes this man our hero today is that even though he has one of the toughest jobs in the world, Luis is one of the friendliest and charming characters on the street today. He remains so up-beat, despite being layered with thick clothes and hat to protect him from the sun – his demeanor being more of a person on the way to the Split for a relaxing swim and a beer than somebody at work!
One of Luis’s water stops is Raggamuffin, as he always stops in to fill up his bottle with our cold water – always polite, always grateful for his small reward and always, always with a huge smile on his face.
Thank you Luis for all your hard work for Caye Caulker – your endeavors have not gone un-noticed!
In so many ways the children of Caye Caulker are truly blessed with their barefoot, free spirited life-style that is so charmed. But once in a while we have to give thanks to the tourist/ passers by who wish to share their gifts - be it their talent, their knowledge even their purse to benefit our children!
Yesterday was one of those days as Rachel Fournet-Fayard, travelling from Paris, France wished to entertain the kids with her creative and fun talent – balloon shaping! Rachel met up with Adela at the Raggamuffin Tours office two days ago and together they hatched their plan for Adela to hold a kids party for her daughter Joannie the following day.
Rachel’s talent is truly beyond what any of us have ever imagined and the kids were amazed at what she created – from Octopus, horses, dogs, fairy wands and hats etc etc. Rachel even allowed the kids to interact with her creative technique and witness how she was able to put together these works of art!
If you want to see more of what Rachel’s artwork – please have a look at her website www.rachelanimation.com. Thank Rachel for entertaining our kids all afternoon!!
When you work year in and year out in the tourism sector of Caye Caulker to begin to recognize patterns and seasons both with numbers and the difference in demographic each month.
Whilst our high season definitely runs from November to May, an additional high season in the summer of July and August is traditionally witnessed for us in the ‘back-packer’ market of Caye Caulker. This small influx is like a blessing to us here on the island as it will allow us to save money to take us through the slow (almost dead) months of September and October.
This August and July has not disappointed as the Split, Caye Caulker has been quite the place to be at sunset with scantily clad Europeans running around and enjoying our Caribbean flavor!! For as long as I can remember, August has been christened ‘Italian Month’. Although Italians obviously travel throughout the year, August is a month which at home they take the month off and therefore Italians travel the world on mass during the month of August.
Their presence is distinctive as they generally travel in large groups – Adventuro del Mundo – and their leader will research for tours and hotels, their goal to strive for the best quality at the cheapest price. If there is generalizations that one can apply to these Italians is that they are always animated, fashionably dressed and they will definitely win the award for the Nation that wears the smallest swim attire!!
Whilst back 4 years ago their groups were at least 20 and perhaps above, with the Italian’s economy the size of the groups and even the number of groups have definitely dropped this year – however, their presence is very much still here and we are enjoying every minute of it as they make the Split seem colorful, well tanned and beautiful!!
Increasingly we are finding that Caye Caulker is finding itself toping the ratings tables for popularity in various media publications or websites around the world – but can you put your finger on the button as to what makes the island so special??
One can definitely not pin-point its success to one particular restaurant, hotel, bar or even snorkel or dive operator as we are but a small piece in the jigsaw puzzle that creates the bigger picture. Our success lies in our island’s unique charm and beauty and for that everyday we are grateful!!
Sandy streets – where else in the world can you stroll up the main high street, blown in the breeze, with the most magnificent view of the reef. Our sandy streets give us that laid back and ‘un-touched’ feeling that you have gone back 50 years or so in time to a small fishing village in Belize and nowhere else in the world is quite the same.
Along with the sandy streets come the lack of motorized transportation – most walk barefoot or use bicycles and even electric golf carts are chosen above engines – nothing moves too fast on this island!!
Belize is diverse in its cultures and nowhere so more than Caye Caulker. The ‘go-slow’ vibe of the island makes you feel you are less in Latin America but in the Carribean and with English widely spoken tourists can engage easily in conversations with all the local characters on the island.
The island is famous for its local food sold on the beach at affordable prices – various vendors are doing this excellently well serving fresh lobster, fish and shrimp fresh off the BBQ for their customers to be able to eat on the beach front.
The Split during the day and the I&I for the night time party. Not that I wanted to name businesses but it has to be said that the I&I is synonymous with Caye Caulker. With it’s rasta charm, its famous swings and hammocks, it has been around since the dawn of the island and everybody at sometime in their short or long stay has ‘swung their engine’ to its beats!!
The Split is the day time hang out spot for sun worshipers, the social butterflies and for those who just want to dive into the aqua marine water. There is no doubt that the Split holds a special place in every bodies heart as those from all around Belize come to enjoy a ‘bucket of beer’ with their feet in the ocean!!
And to top all of that – as that is not enough – at our doorstep we have the most beautiful reef in the world. People travel far and wide to witness the beauty of our ocean and the ecosystem within it – for us it is the jewel in our crown and we are immensely proud of it.
For each and everyone, your love affair with this tiny island is so very personal and most likely not like any other place in the world. We are thankful that we live here and are blessed enough to work here as Caye Caulker is truly paradise!!
It is no ‘old wives tale’ that after a storm, the fish find a safe harbor to feed and the Split here in Caye Caulker is a well renowned spot where they come in abundance to nourish themselves. Therefore yesterday there was a rather unusual spectacle at the Split as local fishermen, guides and various onlookers joined in the fishing bonanza!!
By the afternoon the sky had clouded over and it was almost strange to see instead of sunbathers, fisherman lined up on the sea wall to get their chance at taking home dinner. Red Snappers were biting all yesterday and in fact, locals believe that they still will be there today.
Good and even inexperienced fisherman were walking away from the Split with at least 3 or 4 good size snappers – just in time for their better halves to throw in the pot to cook for supper!!
It began on Friday with one of the most tightly contested Miss Lobster Fests in history and the rest of the weekend did not disappoint too!! Congratulations again to Miss Sylvia Joseph – she was definitely Raggamuffin’s favorite choice and I believe the island too. However, it must be said, in any given other year, any one of the other contestants could have been the winner!!!!
The turnout was enormous .. the streets from Friday onwards were teaming with those wanting fun and of course lobster and we were all rewarded with both!! After the very successful pageant on Friday night, contestants and the audience dance did not end until 4am. And again on Saturday, the big bash, the party did not finish until 5am!!!
The atmosphere was electric for the entire weekend, everybody was out to enjoy the music and the energy that this annual celebration creates. The Split also (as usual) had their say and provided additional entertainment for the weekend. Many of the night time revelers nursing their hangover with yet another beer or similar during the day – not forgetting their very memorable greasy pole hanging out on to the water causing much attention!!
This is the one time of the year that the lights are really upon Caye Caulker as San Pedro and Placencia had already had their Lobster Fest last weekend. We shone, we did ourselves proud in true Caye Caulker style – bashment – for anyone that wanted to celebrate with us!!
Thank you, thank you and thank you again to the Caye Caulker Lobster Fest committee – each year just keeps getting better – our expectations for 2013 are high!!
Lobster Fest is not officially underway, but we just wanted to to tingle your taste buds to let you know about a little of what you will be missing out of – or perhaps even taking part of!!!! The lobster is already being prepared this afternoon – the stalls set up and the preparation of lobster is ready to go …
The official Miss Lobster Fest Pageant is currently underway and photos will follow, however, we want to let you into a little secret of what will follow ….
As you can see, the Split has developed their own ‘Greasy pole’ (as yet un-greased) and locals and tourists alike have been practicing their skills for the past 24 hours (some have already perfected it!!!!). The Spilt this afternoon already had that ‘party atmosphere’ and we were there to join … were you???
Be there, or miss out …. LOBSTER FEST 2012!!!!
In preparation for the upcoming Easter festivities and of course to consistantly upgrade and improve our islands beauty, the Split has gained additional beach.
In previous blogs you have witnessed the construction of this beach but finally it is complete. Tourists today were finding their way back to the west side of the split as the beach is now extended and from what we can see, there is full approval!!
Roll on Easter Temptation …!!