Jamanji Bar.

Trip Start Dec 22, 2006
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Trip End Feb 10, 2008


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Thursday, April 26, 2007

We all but ran to the showers in the morning. It was so nice to have hot showers and feel clean again; even if the feeling only lasted until the water was turned off. After our showers we were greeted by the Harbour Master who informed us of all the amenities we had at our disposal during our stay at Old Belize. Obviously we already knew about the toilets and showers, but we also learned that there were laundry facilities, a private beach, a restaurant and a museum. All very fascinating but the one thing that caught our attention the most was the laundry facilities. It had been some time since our last laundry day and the sheets were starting to emit a not-so-pleasant odour. While we waited during loads, we worked on our website and replied to some emails. Oh yeah, we were able to connect to the internet signal from the restaurant at Old Belize for free! 
 
In the afternoon we decided to explore the rest of the marina. The private 'Cucumber Beach' was being enjoyed by only a handful of people when we showed up, however we had noticed several tours coming and going throughout the day. The marina had simply built a sand bar through the waters of the Caribbean and Voila! a private beach and swimming hole. Now they in the process of building a swimming pool as well. We took a leisurely stroll back to the van and admired the variety of moored boats. You never know, perhaps our next trip will be a circumnavigation via sailboat?!
 
April 27, 2007 was much the same as the day before, with the exception of not having to do laundry. We had been trying to make phone calls home ever since entering Belize however we were finding that our Skype account would not work. Unsure of why that was, we searched a few forums and soon realized that the Belizean government blocks any outgoing telephone systems that are not directly from Belize. Thankfully, we also learned that we could sneak by the government simply by purchasing a VPN which acts as a tunnel to securely send our information over the internet. It was worth the $40 as we were finally able to once again make phone calls. We celebrated our newly found communication device with a few cocktails before retiring for the evening.
 
Today was the day we were bidding farewell to our blissful marina home, however before we left Michael got a bucket of water and a rag and washed 'Nilla's exterior from tip to tail. She was rather dirty, but that was not the driving force behind the bath. We were both keen on finally putting some bumper stickers on her rear windows. We had collected a few along the way, however most of them we had packed along from Calgary and it was high time to display them. A special thanks goes out to Bernard for all the stickers that are related to tools, car parts and motor vehicle performance. What do you think? Looks good?
 
After a long morning of cleaning and primping 'Nilla, we once again hit the Western Highway. The roads in Belize have been wonderful so far as they are evenly paved and most have at least a fraction of a shoulder. Whereas the Northern Highway had been flat and covered in farmland, the Western was more hilly. There was still a lot of farmland, however beyond the farming were rolling hills covered in dense forest and low-lying vegetation. It made for some nice scenery to enjoy while we sweated away in our mobile sauna.
 
As we drove through the city of Belmopan, we noticed a large Agricultural Show was taking place. It was later in the afternoon and we figured the festivities were going to be ending soon, so we drove on by. Our destination was Caesar's Restaurant / Gift Shop, as we had heard that they allow motor homes to camp on their property. It was definitely a nice piece of land with a beautiful gift shop and a restaurant that smelt magnificent, however they wanted $23BZ per night. This was a tad too excessive, so declined and hit the pavement once more. We were no more than fifty feet down the road when we spotted a sign for Jamanji Bar that boasted the cheapest beer we have seen in Belize, at $2.50BZ a bottle, and they offered camping. As long as the price was right, we had a winner.
 
We pulled into the driveway and were immediately greeted by the proprietors, Linda and Graham Jeal. We were informed that the charge to camp was $10BZ a night and we were more than welcome to hook up to their electricity...plus they had hot showers. This was more inline with our budget so we agreed to stay, and went about setting 'Nilla up behind the Jeal's house. Then we headed to the bar as it seemed to be alive with energy. The place was lively alright and most of the customers were oil rig workers. As we looked around, we noticed that the walls were adorned with many wooden plaques from different British military outfits. We both ordered our first Belizean beer, Belikin, and one of the oil rig workers commented that it should actually be called 'Beliskin' as it gives your belly more skin. Ahhh....rig humour.
 
Linda's mother, Sandra, came over to chat for a while as well. Although she claimed to be exhausted, she was very friendly and took the time to tell us some history about the bar. That was when we learned that all the military signs used to hang in a bar called JB's just down the road. Apparently JB's was the only bar on the Western Highway for many years, so it obviously became a favourite among the soldiers stationed in Belize for training. It soon became old hat to have the outfit hand their plaque over to JB's once their training was complete. Well JB's closed down a couple of years ago and the Jamanji Bar (also JB when you use acronyms) salvaged many of the signs as they are a part of the history of the area. Sandra was rather passionate about the subject as her husband is ex-British military. It was a neat story. Sandra also mentioned that she would be heading to church the following day and Geraldine asked if we could join her. She of course had no objections and she retired for the evening, we made plans to be ready for church by 9:45am. The night was still young so we decided on a game of pool. One game turned to three as Michael won the first and Geraldine won the second...there had to be a tie breaker. For those that are actually interested in this trivial piece of information, Michael won the third game. Immediately thereafter Geraldine became very tired and wanted to go home to bed. She is not a sore loser, she was simply tired.
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