Well, hello there, Sirenian Bay friends!
I hear that spring is bringing finer weather to some parts of the world. Here? Well, it’s mana-T-shirt weather all year around.
If you’re about to break free from your cubicle or your studies, then sunny, beachy Placencia is the place to “sea”. And not just because it’s perfect for living life in the slow lane. It’s because the biggest party weekend of the year is just around the corner.
More than 80% of Belizeans are Christians, so Easter celebrations make waves here. Offices shut down, school lets out, and the locals travel to visit family, go to mass and check out events such as the annual Cross Country Cycling Race.
Here in Placencia, it’s all about being outdoors. The stunning white beaches are packed with party-goers, and the air is full of reggae beats and dance music. The crowds also gather and cheer on their favorite entrants in the beauty pageants and body building contests. And there are novelty contests galore. Kids can join in on soft drink and watermelon eating competitions, while adults can try to husk coconuts with their teeth.
If the crowds get too much, just step off the beach and back into town. In some Belizean towns a “golf cart” pub crawl is the way to celebrate this busy weekend. But here in Placencia you can just stroll up the boardwalk to find your next destination. And there are plenty. Over the long weekend the Barefoot Beach Bar, the Tipsy Tuna and the Corner will all be bustling with drinks, meals and live music.
One thing to remember – Good Friday is a dry day across the country. Rather than a rum and Coke or a Belikin beer, opt for fresh coconut juice or this manatee’s favorite: a seaweed shake. It’s also a largely meat-free day, so expect to spot seafood sizzling on the grill instead. The rich aroma of hot cross buns will make you salivate, and they’re worth every sand-dollar. Add some cheese and a cup of tea and eat it in true Kriol style.
Things get busy over the long weekend, so allow for a little extra travel time. With everyone out and about it can be like trying to swim through a school of fish, so drive, cycle or paddle safely.
If the tides allow, extend your stay through April and May and add Gladden Spit to your itinerary. You just may spot a whale shark or two. They’re no manatees, but they’re not bad sorts at all.
Until next time, this is Hugh Manatee signing off!