Thursday, August 18, 2011

Nightlife in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye

I took a small water taxi north about three miles to a restaurant which sits alone on a narrow stretch of beach in northern Ambergris Caye. In the day, it’s a non-descript wooden building with stairs leading directly from the beach. But at night, white Christmas tree string lights wrap around the railings beckoning the traveler. It would star in any tropical dream.

My friends were waiting for me in a tiny bar off an equally small dining room – six tables with white table cloths and crystal wine glasses. There was something very F. Scott Fitzgerald in the scene. Light warm breeze. Quiet jazz. Palm trees swaying. Moon river dancing on the sea.

While we were eating, the restaurant filled with five or six other people – normal contented tourists. After dinner, we moved to a small wicker table on the veranda to drink local rum. Then magic happened as it does in San Pedro.

One of the new arrivals whispered to one of the owners who said, "absolutely" and turned off the soft background jazz. Then another suntanned woman dressed in an oversized t-shirt, shorts, and a backwards baseball cap stood with her back to the mahogany bar and began to sing - a cappella. No words. At first she became a saxophone. Then she was a clarinet - then an oboe. Two songs later she sat down to her dinner.

Speechless and in awe, I took the water taxi home. Not a bad way to spend an evening on the beach in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye.