Our story begins with a town hall meeting where it’s announced that Spain is sending a large force to invade and subjugate the English-speaking settlers, known collectively as the Baymen, and African slaves who had been eking out a living mostly by cutting logwood, which was highly valued for producing an indigo dye used in the British textile industry.
To the uninitiated, glamping is short for glam camping, a more luxurious or even glamorous take on the traditional approach to camping, eschewing the often tedious elements such as the setting up and taking down of tents, building fires, cooking outdoors with often questionable results and other attempts to enjoy the great outdoors.
This collection of canvas-roofed tents is located on the grounds of the luxurious Lodge at Chaa Creek, and guests at the camp are welcome to use the lodge facilities, such as the swimming pool. But the tents allow guests to truly feel alone in the jungle. There is no electricity, and after dark, the tents are lit by the glow of flickering gas lamps.
The other thing we notice is how people respond to being surrounded by nature. Often, when they first arrive, guests will be keyed up, nervous and anxious. Fair enough; many times this is the final payoff for months of planning, and then a lot of last minute preparations followed by the “Did you remember to lock the backdoor/turn off the gas/pay the phone bill…” questions on the plane.
Belize comes alive during the month of September as the nation celebrates its relatively recent independence from Great Britain on September 21, 1981. Independence Day follows St George’s Caye Day on September 10th, the national commemoration of a 1798 battle that marked the turning point of the early Spanish/British Honduras conflict and what is considered to be the defining moment in Belizean statehood.
Having recently returned from a trip to the UK where she used her diplomatic expertise to create stronger ties with London children’s hospital wards while putting her social skills to good use in organising and hosting a successful fund raiser for paediatric care in Belize, Ms Simplis Barrow is again on the road – this time on a trip to the other side of the planet.
While destination honeymoons set in exotic tropical locales have been growing in popularity in recent years, new-kid-on-the-block Belize is experiencing an increase in romantic couples seeking affordable luxury in an idyllic setting, according to the Lodge at Chaa Creek’s wedding and honeymoon planner.
Being at the moment on the other side of the world from the Jewel, we don’t get to see Breaking Bad until the day after most viewers do, so it was with even more than the usual anticipation that we waited for it to air. Yes, we’ll to admit to being totally hooked and agree with most of the world that BB is a truly great creation, works on so many levels, blends high art with pop culture, etc.
The owner of the Lodge at Chaa Creek said that the eco resort’s inclusion in a recent USA Today travel guide “bucket list” is good news for the nascent Belizean tourism industry, and further proves that environmentally sustainable, Green tourism can provide a high quality travel experience. Lucy Fleming, who with her husband Mick started Chaa Creek by accepting guests at their small family farm in a remote part of Belize in 1981, said that recognition such as USA Today’s provides an important boost to the Belizean tourism industry, which since it’s relatively recent inception has struggled to achieve name recognition in the highly competitive Caribbean travel industry.
If you ever find yourself on the Macal River, I can’t recommend canoeing down it enough. Big enough but not too big, it is the very definition of meandering as it winds its way down through rainforest, pastures with some lovely little rustic houses and even the occasional gravel beach on the banks. The day we went there was just enough of a pleasant current that paddling was more to steer the canoe than actually power it.