Coffeeneuring – Ambergris Caye, Belize
I would not be waylaid again! Stops number five and six but only town number four in my Coffeeneuring Challenge 2015!
I even made two coffee stops on Sunday trying to make up for our Saturday wasted at the timeshare resort. (See my post Coffeeneuring Waylaid for that story.) I thought I could double dip by riding twice in a day. After consulting the rules, I realized I couldn’t do two stops in one day. Dang!
Oh well, my caffeine jitters were not in vain. We got to explore Ambergris Caye in Belize on a day that was too windy to be out in the water. I shifted my weekend to include Monday (invoking the “I don’t have a normal job” exception) allowing me to hit stop number 6.
We successfully procured bikes from Joe’s Rental Bikes. All day rental goes for US$7.50 The bikes are beach cruisers with coaster brakes. And just like any beach town, the bikes are rusty. It can’t be helped.
Our target destination was the suspiciously named Marbucks – north of downtown San Pedro. Opened in February, this outdoor coffee bar is part of the Daydreamin’ B & B. Run by Rob and Mar. (OK, so the name has some legitimacy…) It’s a four unit place that looks pretty nice and relaxing.
I enjoyed a Pumpkin Latte Frappe – primarily because I just watched a John Oliver video on America’s pumpkin latte habit. A nice icy start to the day as we continued our adventure north.
After some extra bumpy mileage on the dirt roads out of town, we rode back to our hotel for a nap and some time out of the sun.
Sunday Round Number Two
I had seen ads for the Rum and Bean coffee shop, located on the south side of the Caye – it seemed like a great target destination. Rested and cooled down, off we went.
OK – so this is just wrong! And no, we did not stop.
Not really knowing the island we just kept following the signs for Rum and Bean until the paved road ended at the entrance to Mahogany Bay Village. Late in the afternoon, we pulled into the resort gate and inquired if the coffee shop was still open.
In fact, it’s pretty much all that’s open (besides the sales office). But what a surprise! The shop had someone working on his laptop and others hanging at the bar. Numerous people stopped in while we were there – on bikes and on golf carts.
I chose a cappuccino to accompany our porter buns – a local pastry that tasted like coconut scones.
Stats for Sunday Morning Trip 5
Total mileage: 15 miles
Bike: Beach Cruiser
Stats for Sunday Afternoon Trip 5
Total mileage: 6 miles
Shop: Rum and Bean
Bike: Beach Cruiser
Monday Trip 6
Another day, another Coffeeneuring stop! Officially stop 6 with a repeat of San Pedro.
Once again Joe’s Bike Rental set me up with a cruiser and I set off just as it started to sprinkle. Thinking the rain wouldn’t get too crazy, I pedaled on. I was wrong. Completely drenched, I finally stopped under a thatched awning until it passed.
This section of road is built with cobblestones so when riding south it’s much smoother to ride in the gutter reminiscent of the Paris-Roubaix race.
Today my stop was at The Baker – a nice bakery run by an Irish ExPat couple. The drip coffee was nothing special but the cream cheese biscuit was delicioso.
Stats for Monday Trip 6
Total mileage: 12 miles
Shop: The Baker
Bike: Beach Cruiser
Observation on Bike Friendliness
As for bike friendly, the island generally is. All establishments here expect customers to ride up on their cruisers. My caveat is that the island is overrun with the golf carts and taxi cabs. But somehow the chaos seems to work. Paved roads end just a few miles out of town so once you are off the pavement, expect to have your teeth rattled.
I’m surprised no one has back fenders – when it rains, the sand and mud make a real mess. I was a spotted mess by the time I was done riding on Monday.
I’m almost done with the Challenge!