San Pedro is the northernmost town in Belize where you can either check in or out of the country. Other cruisers and the cruising guide told us that checking in or out here was very easy. I found it to be exactly the opposite; I arrived at the Customs and Immigration offices at about 10 AM, allowing plenty of time for all the officials to start their day. The Customs officers were in, but they told me I had to see Immigration first; Immigration was not in. I waited and waited, asking around more than once if he would be in that day, and finally gave up around 10:45. But the first trip into town was not entirely a waste of time; I discovered where we could have laundry done, where some of the best stores were, and got a feeling for the lay of the land. Zipping back to the boat I collected the laundry, helped Joy into the dinghy, and back we went to try Immigration again, drop off laundry, and do some exploring.
Other than our experience with the officials, everything else about San Pedro was kind of like Alice in Wonderland. There were tiny little streets lined with small shops and restaurants. Golf carts zoomed around the town, a constant stream of them navigating the narrow one-way streets. Something was going on everywhere we turned. We found every imaginable kind of shop, store, and service you could want. At one tiny little place set back from one of the streets we were able to obtain multiple copies of all our Crew Lists, Zarpes, stores list, and so on. If you cruise in Latin countries, you will soon discover that you need multiple copies of everything. Every official wants at least one copy of just about everything, if not more, and you need one for your own records. Next time we head south we plan to carry a multi-function printer on board so we can make our own copies. Those machines are so cheap now you will be well served to have one with you. It will save hours of wandering.
Well, Joy continued her search for the best Pina Colada in Central America. She still hasn’t quite made up her mind, but she told the bartender about her search and that his was, in fact, the best. She made his day, and his face lit up when she told him that. This Pina Colada certainly ranked right up there. We chose this waterfront restaurant / bar for an early dinner and view of the sunset, and while we were just about the only customer so early in the evening, we had excellent service, fantastic fresh sea food, and a wonderful late afternoon dinner with drinks.
Everywhere we wandered in San Pedro life was pretty much just like this charter boat’s name, No Rush. Life moved at a very easy slow pace here, and it takes a bit of getting acclimated to really settle back and enjoy.
As the sun began to set, and dinner was done, we both realized that our Angel was quite a ways from where we beached the dinghy, and with all the local boat traffic, navigating our small overloaded inflatable might be a challenge. After all, we had a few supplies, three big bags of laundry and Joy’s scooter. Needless to say, we did not get the dink up on a plane on the way back to the boat!