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In 1991 Billy and Akaisha Kaderli retired at the age of 38. Now, into their 3rd decade of this financially independent lifestyle, they invite you to take advantage of their wisdom and experience.

Placencia, Belize

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli

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Home to some of the best beaches in Belize, Placencia is not a bad place to get stuck. We found ourselves needing to hunker down over a long holiday and finding a room was a bit tricky. It's a town where you can relax, but don't let your guard down completely.

 

Leaving Punta Gorda, we were headed to a town north of there called Independence and it was to be the first stop of the day.

Rising early we readied ourselves for taking the 7:50 am bus. The early morning light was peaceful as we headed to  a green clapboard house, sat on a bench and waited for transport to arrive.

Being in Central America, we were surprised that the bus was on time.

 

Another Blue Bird School Bus, but not decked out like the Boy Toys of Guatemala

The bus ticket from Punta Gorda to Independence was $9BZD each.

Fortunately, we were able to get on at an early pickup and find a seat. Quickly the bus was jam-packed with standing room only.

 

Affordable family transport all through Central America

One can learn a great deal about a culture through the music it produces. Reggae was blaring the full 3 hours we were riding on this bus, and I found these lyrics to be particularly notable:

"Leave di young girls alone

How can you have di heart for a school girl, Mon?

Let her see her future without being a baby mother

The world has many place for a woman

Leave di young girls alone..."

The song had the grooving beat of Reggae and the words were easy to gloss over... for about 20 seconds. All of a sudden I was unexpectedly thinking of Belizean daily life: Man/woman relationships, Man/child relationships, the poverty and struggle of single motherhood and more.

Oh boy.

 

Here I am, windblown by tropical breezes and thoroughly bounced by the bus!

Immediately upon arrival in Independence, we are met by a small pickup truck whose driver motions to us to jump into the back. He'll take us directly to the dock to catch the Hokey Pokey Water Taxi, which is right where we wanted to go. The ride was free and the people were very cordial. 

 

Dockside at the Hokey Pokey Water Taxi

The quickest and most enjoyable way in or out of Placencia is by the water taxi system, costing $10BZD, about $5USD per person. Again, we were impressed by the competency of this tourist transport arrangement.

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They are expecting us when we arrive off the bus.

It's a fairly efficient system they have going on here. Business owners who run the water taxis know just when the buses arrive in Independence. Transport is available to take you straightaway to the dock, and clerks are ready to take your BZDs and throw your gear into the boat.

Away you go!

 

Taxi times and prices are posted

A relatively pleasant 35-minute boat ride takes you to right to Placencia.

 

This is Main Street in Placencia

Far more cutesy and tourist attractive than Punta Gorda, Placencia is a typical Caribbean flavored gem-of-a-town.

A peninsula rather than an island, the attitude is still distinctively Island time.

More lyrics from the ever present Reggae music:

"Here I am on island time

Here I am on my ganga farm

Here I am smokin’ and tokin’

Here I am on island time…"

Dat's deep Mon. Lots of tinkin' went into writin' dis song!

 

Brilliant colored clapboard houses built on small stilts in the sand are the norm.

Placencia has just about anything you might want : Internet, a table, a bicycle... What more do you need?

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De Tatch Restaurant daily specials

Oh yes! Food!

De Tatch has internet available for their patrons and their specials change daily. For $10BZD you will receive a huge tasty portion. Hamburgers, foot long burritos and other mains are available. We especially recommend their conch fritters and their fish fingers.

YUM!

Can you hear the Reggae music in the background?

 

DeTatch's famous fish fingers

This is a typical lunch main with fish fingers, potato salad, red beans with coconut rice and fried plantains. Prices are affordable and you won't go hungry.

 

A lone palm, a single beach chair

Even though Placencia was gearing up for a holiday week, one could still find the enviable beach prize of peace under a palm.

 

Lydia's Guest House

Our first hotel was booked solid for the coming week so we had to find other lodging. This initial minor chafe brought us to finding one of the best deals on the peninsula: Lydia's Guest House.

Staying here was like staying with Aunt Bea. Even though we all had to share bathrooms, they were huge, immaculate and there were no shortages of them.

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Included in the price of $50BZD per night was maid service, wifi access, view of the sea, kitchen privileges, and purified drinking water.

Laundry was extra, but at least one did not have to carry it to town for cleaning.

 

Placencia's Post Man

Lydia offers single cabins for rent behind this guest house. They are so popular that they are often rented out one year ahead!

Here you see Placencia's Post Man delivering mail to the residents of Main Street. For the most part, one can walk or ride a bicycle just about anywhere on the peninsula.

 

Another look at Main Street

Lydia told us that this paved walkway is called a "jealousy sidewalk." Generally, there is room for one person at a time going each way on the walkway. A man will follow behind his wife and when they greet other residents of the town, he can tell by the enthusiasm of the greeting from another man to his wife if his marriage is in danger.

In the "Olden Days" people would wheelbarrow their groceries and supplies to their home from the center of town.

The concrete sidewalk was a major improvement in the lives of the locals.

 

Placencia's famous beach

This beach has to be the quietest beach we have ever been on. There is no lapping of waves, no jet skis or motor boats, no blaring radios and the only sounds are of the wind and the birds. It is so calm that you can hear conversations people are having who are several houses away. If someone drops a tool or is using a hammer you can easily pick up the activity wafting on the breeze.

It was here that a Rasta Mon approached us and began an unusual conversation. His name was Jason, but everyone called him "Service."

"What kind of service do you give, ...um... Service?" Billy inquired.

"Dat's between me and di udder person," Service replied. "I be lookin' for a sweet white girl now."

"Why would the color of her skin matter? Isn't that, um.. sort of ... well,... racist?" Billy wondered.

"Nah, Mon, it ain't di skin, it's di way de body is, di way di mine tinks." Service assured us.

(Hummm! A man who appreciates a woman's mind, I'm reflecting to myself, digging my toes into the loose sand...)

Then Service turns to me and lays on the charm. Startled by this twist of events and a bit annoyed as well, I let um... "Service" know that "dis sweet white girl" was sweet on her husband, and wasn't interested in going shopping.

Harumph!

I realize that some Cougars would have appreciated this attention, but as for me, I think his name should have been "Trouble!"

 

Billy gettin' wise

We walked everywhere in Placencia and on weekends there were home style restaurants set up right by this Wisdom Tree. During the holiday, some restaurants closed, but that is the time the family restaurants opened up.

We had some local Creole style shrimp for $10BZD and stew chicken for $7BZD.  The meals came with stew beans and white rice, cole slaw and the best fried plantain we had ever eaten. It's a really good value and was great fun socializing with the locals - who seemed surprised that some tourists would come and eat at one of their homes.

 

Airline ticket house and tee shirt store

This was probably a one story home on stilts with the lower shop built on at a later time. Houses on the bottom floor can be flooded out when the ocean rises in large storms. While this does not happen frequently, these floods cause a great deal of damage when they do. Most people live in the upstairs section of their homes.

 

Placencia's Post Office and Social Security building

The population of Placencia in low season is about 600. During holidays and high season it can reach a couple of thousand. For 600 people this Post Office and SS Office fills the need just fine.

I purchased some stamps here as a gift for a stamp collecting relative. They were gorgeous.

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Prices and types of tours are listed on the chalk board

Brightly colored buildings liven up the scenery and is typical of the Caribbean. As you can see, houses and stores are built right on the sand.

 

Some local culture

These men shoot the breeze and exchange stories at the intersection of Ol' Wife and Main.

We never found "New Wife Road" by the way...

 

David Perez's Fruit Stand

David's place had better fruits and vegetables than most other places in town. Their prices were reasonable, but the best deal was a fruit and vegetable truck that would come daily and park on the side of the road. They might not have every variety, but their prices were far better. If you have access to a refrigerator, just load up on the fresh goodness and enjoy!

 

The ocean is the life in Belize

People generally come to Belize to snorkel, scuba dive or go boating.

People speak English here, which many tourists find to be a benefit, and if you enjoy the life of the sea you might have found your paradise. sc

 

Enjoying the sea breeze at Yoli's

A favorite hangout of yachties and the local expat community, Yoli's bar/restaurant is perched on stilts out in the shallow sea. It's a great place for relaxin', eatin' and havin' a Belikin beer.

For lunch we had some fresh Kingfish which was just awesome. Recommended!

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If you sail, dive, snorkel, fish or drink, then Belize is a great place for you.

It's di island life Mon, and if you are looking for mental and cultural stimulation you may need to go elsewhere. You could bring it here, but then... you might forget where you put it.

Between the humidity, the laid back atmosphere, and the total lack of complexity, we found it to be fairly Brainless in Belize. Ambition was a scarce commodity.

 

Your beach chair is waiting for you...

We continue our 105 Day Adventure by moving on to Belize's largest caye, Ambergris.

And you don't want to miss that!

For more information, stories and photos of  Belize by clicking here

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About the Authors

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli are recognized retirement experts and internationally published authors on topics of finance and world travel. With the wealth of information they share on their popular website RetireEarlyLifestyle.com, they have been helping people achieve their own retirement dreams since 1991. They wrote the popular books, The Adventurer’s Guide to Early Retirement and Your Retirement Dream IS Possible.

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