Day 35 – Last day in the water

We grab a nice breakfast at our Seaside Cabanas hotel, and then get picked up for our day of snorkelling.  We’re a little worried about Rebecca’s stomach as it’s another really small boat, and she takes some Gravol, so fingers crossed she’ll be okay.

We arrive at the first swim site, and there are tons of other boats there, and swimmers.  This is not like any of the other much quieter dive sites we’ve been to in Belize.  Once in the water it becomes even more crowded… looking down through your mask you realize that there are also scuba diving groups swimming underneath you.

We do manage to see a few turtles, some barracuda, lots of very pretty fish, and even a ray that swims through.  However, it’s a bit frustrating as the American family that’s on our dive boat keeps swimming (pushing) in front of us every time there is something cool to see, and also seem to want to free dive down to whatever we’re looking at to pose for pictures.  They even go so far as to touch coral and turtles, which we’ve been instructed not to do.  At one point I surface and tell Rebecca that if the guy pushes past me one more time, or kicks me with his fins again, I’m going to drag him under and start throwing elbows.

Our next stop is the infamous Shark Ray Alley.  As we pull up we’re surrounded by very large Nurse Sharks, and the boat captain starts throwing pieces of fish in the water to attract more.  We’re allowed to ‘pet’ the sharks while they’re feeding.  This doesn’t sound like a good idea to me, and regardless, we can’t get near them as the American family have almost capsized the boat by all rushing to that side to ‘play’ with the sharks.

We gear up and get in the water.  By now only a few sharks remain.  They’ve been trained like dogs to seek out new boats until the fish buffet runs out, then head to the next boat.  I’m a bit disappointed, and almost disgusted by the ‘intervention’ of us humans in the shark’s lives and habitat.

The next 30 minutes is spent playing with rays, which allow us to touch them.  Our guide keeps grabbing them and holding them in place so everyone can touch them.  This is also a bit off putting, but the rays do seem to hang out in the area, so they must not mind it too much.

Our third, and last swim site, is the Coral Gardens.  Here we take off on our own, away from the others, to explore this large reef area.  It’s beautiful, but there are also a lot of area of dead coral which I can only presume are due to so many people touching them.  Ignoring the overcrowding, and rude Americans, it is a nice day of snorkeling to finish off Belize.

Back on land we grab a quick bite to eat before our water taxi back to the mainland.

We check into Villa Boscardi with Francoise, and my first priority is wifi and to see what’s up with my parts.  To my amazement, her wifi isn’t working, and she doesn’t seem too concerned.  She does, however, offer to take us over to a restaurant that she is heading to for a party and dinner… and they may have internet.

Laptop in hand, we have another great seafood dinner, and I find out that there is no new news about parts from Guatemala.  Tomorrow I’ll be at the airport with Rebecca, and can drop into Fedex to see if they have anything.  If they don’t, I’m not sure what I’ll do.  Stay in Belize?  Head to Guatemala to get the parts in person?  Can the bike make it that far (over 1000 km), in a Spanish speaking country I’m not familiar with, that has a bad reputation for violence?  I’m starting to get worried.

Categories: Misc | Leave a comment

Day 34 – Belize or Bust

Up early this morning for a wonderful beachfront breakfast, and then off to Belize City. The only hang-up… the bike won’t start. The starter is seizing up again like it did in San Miguel de Allende. I’m quite familiar with the process now of removing the starter, lubricating the parts, and reinstalling it. We just need a battery boost to get it going.

The owners of the hotel have cables, so they get us going once my work is done. They also call Anthony over just in case it’s more than just the starter. We still don’t have word from Guatemala if the parts have been shipped, but all we can do is head up there, go over to Caye Caulker for some snorkelling, and enjoy ourselves while waiting.

With the bike running, we’re off to Belize City… running late now, so it’s going to be a scramble to make the last ferry to the islands. I do everything I can to pass cars and trucks on the highway, never quite sure if I’ll have power when I crack the throttle to pass. Sometimes the engine bogs down and we have to pull back behind the slow vehicle until I can get the engine to settle back down. That, and having no windshield, makes for a long, tiring ride for both of us.

We get into Belize City and find our hotel (Villa Boscardi) with less than an hour before the final ferry. A local was nice enough to escort us to the hotel because we weren’t sure exactly where it was, and didn’t have time to get lost.  Francoise, owner of the hotel, greets us and gets us set up with a place to keep the bike and our gear while we head to the islands. We’ll actually be staying with her tomorrow night, but she has allowed us to keep everything safe here until we get back from the islands. She also calls a cab right away. With less than 20 minutes before the ferry leaves we’re ready to go, have packed out of the bike for the islands, and head off in the taxi.

We frantically buy our tickets, and in less than 5 minutes we’re on the ferry. That’s cutting it close!

Caye Caulker is a pretty laid back island, with only dirt roads, and the odd rented golf cart. It’s small enough that you can walk everywhere. After checking into our hotel we find a cool restaurant up the road where the menu is presented on a table in front of the dining area. The catch of the day is literally lying there, and you decide what you would like, how big you’d like it, and how you’d like it cooked. Pretty cool. We go for snapper and grouper, and with a couple of drinks, and a walk up and down the main drag, call it a night.


The “Menu” at Rose’s Bar and Grill


Categories: Misc | 1 Comment

Day 33 – Mechanic Needed – Apply Within

We managed to get in touch with Anthony, the BMW mechanic, last night.  We arranged to meet him this morning at his place in Maya Beach.  Anthony meets us at his gate, and inside are a couple of nice bikes.  We set out together to start assessing the problem.  I’m hoping that we can just synch the throttle bodies and the idle/4K RPM will settle down.  10 minutes later, and no dice.  We try a few other things (spark plugs, Motronic reset, etc…, but it is appearing that the TPS (Throttle Position Switch) is not functioning.  On Anthony’s computer the bike doesn’t come off Idle Mode, and the throttle position doesn’t read any changes under throttle.  Worse, when we unplug the TPS, nothing on the computer changes.  This really leads us to think that the TPS took the brunt of the impact that knocked the Throttle Body off the engine.

That’s a $250 part, not available here in Belize… and not available in Mexico.  It needs to be shipped from Germany, and could take up to 30 days!  A bit more digging and we find one in Guatemala City.  Anthony has been trying to arrange importing parts from there for a couple of months, and now the timeline has been moved up.  Through broken Spanish, and a few of his friends at the airfield/customs we think we have the part on the way from Guatemala City to Belize City.  I’ll need to go up to Belize City to receive it.  That’s only 2 hours north of here, so I’m sure the bike can make it (fingers crossed).

While at Anthony’s we get an oil change in and fix the bike’s broken beak.

It’s getting late in the afternoon, and we need to catch the last ferry off the mainland for 5pm in Belize City.  We head off from Anthony’s, with a recommendation for a great restaurant on the way.  Just outside of town we make the decision to turn back.  We may not make that ferry, and don’t want to spend the night in Belize City.  Instead, we grab lunch at the Maya Beach Hotel, and the owner offers us a great rate for a room there.  We can’t say no.

Note:  Rebecca had a meal called “The Banana Boat”.  It was a French loaf, stuffed with shrimp, bananas, salsa, and melted cheese.  An odd combination, but amazing!  We’ll be making these when we get home.


Rebecca’s Banana Boat sandwich


Categories: Misc | 2 Comments

Blog at