We have arrived in the booming metropolis of Corozal Town. Population in 2007, roughly 8500 souls. Most of them running around on bicycles and motor scooters. How quaint! Our host informs us that he and the other 9 gentleman in the truck have come to town for the express purpose of going to the lands office. We stare out of the window the entire time as we pass through the town. Built on the edge of the Corozal Bay which in August is the most amazing shades of green and blue. Minutes later we arrive at the lands office and discover that they have chosen not to open today. Maybe tomorrow. A moderate amount of grumbling ensues and we are informed that we are going back to the village. "Oh wait!" I cry. "I want to see the whole town!" I cry. And our ever helpful host proccedes to drive us around the block before telling us we have pretty much seen everything. This is my 2nd clue that the town may not be the urban center that I have been expecting. We politely explain to said host that we are not nearly ready to be heading back a bush quite yet. He politely leaves us on a street corner and informs us that all we need to do is take a taxi to the first hand cranked ferry and stick out our thumbs and someone is sure to pick us up and give us a ride.
By now I am becoming less than impressed with our host. So, much to my husbands chagrin I smile sweetly, thank him profusely and get out of the car. My sweet husband hops out right behind me as he has absolute trust in my decision making abilities and is kind enough not to let me see him rolling his eyes behind my back.
"Now what?" he says.
HaHa! I have not spent all those evenings on the couch, immersed n the world of Google to be suffering a set back this early in the game. Oh no! I turn the the open business right behind me and stepping gingerly over a wheel barrow, 3 rolls of vinyl flooring, a large bucket full of brooms and rakes, sliding behind the false wall of concrete sacks and ducking under various sundry products suspended at varying heights from the rafters I approach the young man who appears to belong there. "Hello" I say smiling brightly, "Do you happen to know Charolotte Lanore, of Charlottes Casa Belize?" I had written back and forth to her a couple of times over the past year and a half. She has another story that I will leave to her to tell. But it ends with her opening her own real estate business in Corozal. But I digress. Still smiling brightly at above mentioned young man, I get a wonderful bright smile back and he says, "Oh, Miss Charlotte! Of course, I know her well!" Ok, now Corozal is starting to feel a bit more like a small town. A really small town. Taking a real shot in the dark I ask, "would you happen to know how to get in touch with her?" He pulls his cell phone out of his pocket, dials her number, hands me the phone and smiles again. Dang!
Miss Charlotte answers on the 3rd ring as all true professionals do and after a bit of introductory chit chat she invites us to join she and her partner for lunch at the Purple Toucan. She asks where we are and I subtly ask the young man since i have no clue where I am and he informs me we are at Cintys which is only a few short blocks from The Purple Toucan. So off we go, walking through town, peeking into windows, smiling at all the people we pass who smile back and wish us Good Afternoons. I am really starting to enjoy myself. For the first time since landing in the village.
Sadly the Purple Toucan no longer exists, but it was the place to see and be seen in 2007. Basically a roof over a vacant lot between two businesses on the main commercial street in town. Jose and Yolanda could put out the most amazing meals from the tiny kitchen tucked in at one end and nicer people you will never meet.
We sat down to lunch with Charlotte and Larry and spent the next two and a half hours sharing our adventures in village visiting, what we were truly looking for and being interrogated by Larry. I guess when you sell real estate in a tropical paradise you get tired of the dreamers who come in totally unprepared for life in a developing country. Larry did his absolute best to convince us we were bat shit crazy and ought to go home. I have never admitted it to him but he really pissed me off and if I had any doubts about our move I would have lied like a big dog to keep him from thinking he had won. Have I mentioned my competitive personality? It sort of went head to head with his competitive personality. He fired questions ant me and I fired answers back. Of course I knew the land mass of Belize and length of the primary rivers. As well as average temperatures and rainfall for both summer and winter in any given district. Population density and make up and most common causes of early death. Also flora and fauna were covered fairly extensivley
And off we went.
A concrete house with a concrete roof. One mile back from the water and on a hill. Two bedrooms and one bath in a Belizian neighborhood.
It wasn't exactly like this when we found if but it had great bones. It was being used as a rental and was between tenents. Everything needed paint, all the tile floors needed to be replaced. The outside needed paint and the old fence was getting pretty saggy.
I loved it.
Im pretty sure my hubby was rolling his eyes again.