We woke early despite our best efforts, and examined our sunburns and injuries from the boat trip the day before. We had both slathered on high-SPF sunblock throughout the day, but even that didn't stop it from thoroughly toasting us. My bruised arm was sore, along with my jaw from clamping my teeth down on the snorkel. I had fresh itchy red bumps from the resident insects who seemed to pay me a visit every night. I had even doused myself in bug spray and worn pants and a shirt to bed, only to wake with new bites on the tops of my feet, forearms, and even the palm of my hand. I sincerely hoped it wasn't bed bugs.
Charlie and I resolved to do nothing but stay out of the sun that day. We had coffee and breakfast and then commenced lying around in the cabana and on the porch. The wind had been blowing fiercely for three days now. It churned up all sorts of detritus in the water, turning it from crystalline blue to muddy brown, and ushering in large piles of grassy plant waste mixed with tiny bits of multicolored plastic. Humankind's detrimental effect on the oceans here was undeniably deposited before us on the beach. The resort staff busily yet fruitlessly spent the day raking and carting away piles of the stuff.
Charlie read Lord of the Rings and tried to smoke a cigar in the hammock, but the wind kept blowing it out. I tried to do some writing but the wind ripped a couple of pages out of my battered travel notebook and sent them flying into oblivion, somewhere inland behind the resort. Charlie and I trotted off after them and searched in vain, instead finding two unsightly landfills full of past batches of the same mixture of organic and manmade trash that had just washed up. All it would have taken was a hurricane or a nice big wave to wash it all back out to sea again.
Muddy water surrounds Capricorn's dock.
A few of his favorite things
A less idyllic scene
Looking north from the resort
We lounged around forever, wasting away the hours reading or playing FreeCell on the Kindle until it was time to go out and achieve our only goal for the day: to lunch at the Lazy Croc, the nearby barbecue joint that we had unsuccessfully tried to visit a couple days before. (Update: sadly, it appears this restaurant closed in mid-2014.)
Since we were going to be walking in the pummeling heat of the mid-afternoon sun, we heaped on sunblock, opted for clothing that provided better coverage, and doused ourselves in bug spray. No sense in completely destroying our already lobster-colored, bite-ridden skin. After walking a short distance down the messy beach, we found a path that cut through to the main road. The path itself was muddy and slippery and we had to carefully navigate around a large puddle, only to meet the main road at a point where an impassable lake of a mud puddle had formed between us and the restaurant. We returned back to the beach and discussed whether we ought to try cutting through the ritzy condo complex again. Instead, we found a sign for the Lazy Croc that pointed us to a small trail leading through a fenced grassy area. We crossed a footbridge over the lagoon, where the lazy croc herself slept, and arrived at the restaurant.
Yep, that's a lazy croc.
We were welcomed by the owner, Christiano, and a couple of other guys who seemed to work there but didn't appear to be doing anything. We sat at the slim 12 inch-deep bar facing the lazy croc's lagoon. Aggressive tarpon surfaced to gobble up the bread and sardines that the restaurant's proprietors were throwing into the water, but the croc never moved.
"Respect the Belizean Croc. He was here first!"
"NO fishin', feedin', swimmin', cussin', or fightin'"
"Mind your toes, kids!"
We opted to move to a table that was appropriately wide enough to accommodate all of the food we were planning to eat. We ordered a combo plate with pulled pork, ribs, and chicken, plus sides of macaroni and cheese, fried okra, coleslaw, and rice and beans. This was all served with fat slices of garlic-seasoned Texas toast. Charlie chatted with the friendly owner, who was from Toronto, while we waited for our food.
The music alone was a great reason to visit. They were playing blues and rock from the 60s, which were welcome auditory respite from the subpar local reggae that seemed to pervade the air in every other public space here. The place had a nice relaxed atmosphere and there were funny signs posted everywhere.
"BEWARE OF ATTACK CHEF"
The food was scrumptious; especially the pulled pork and okra. After we had finished, we pushed ourselves over the edge of fullness by sharing a piece of frozen key lime pie (essentially a key lime flavored ice cream on graham cracker crust). When we groaned our regret at overeating, one of the "employees" whose only job appeared to be telling the same jokes to every new customer who arrived, suggested that we lie in the hammocks on the restaurant's shaded deck provided specifically for the purpose of overeating barbecue. We declined and instead waddled back to our cabana.
The heat was stifling and I was sweating profusely by the time we arrived at our cabana. On the way back, Charlie spotted a syringe cap that had washed up onto the beach trail, so we agreed that it was no longer a good idea to walk on the beach without shoes. As soon as the we closed the cabana door, I cranked up the A/C and the ceiling fan, stripped naked, and sprawled out on the bed like a starfish. Charlie lay down next to me and was asleep within minutes, sawing logs like nobody's business.
After his nap, we went back out onto the porch and he had a terrible, short-lived cigar while I swung in the hammock. We ate Tostitos and cheese dip for dinner and spent the rest of the evening reading, writing, playing FreeCell, and discussing the imminent next leg of our trip.