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Coco Plum Island

 

 

 

Most of the subjects on this web site are pretty weighty.  While that is the overall tone of Matters of the Mind, the question might be asked "How does the concept of normalcy fit into your life?"  The answer is respite in the most beautiful of surroundings.  In my life I have been more fortunate than almost anyone I know to have been born and raised, chosen to live, and chosen to visit among the most beautiful areas on this planet.  To provide our visitors with a sampling of those places, here is how you can soothe your mind and retire from the daily rigors of life.

Coco Plum Resort

Bascilio Zabaneh is the owner-operator of Coco Plum Island Resort in Belize, Central America.  When I was first looking to locate a place to visit in Belize, a place which had been highly recommended by my friend Steve S., I searched the Internet and found a listing for a small island resort that did not even appear in the guidebook that I had purchased about Belize.  Something about the colorful logo and the description of the Island struck me as a place to find a home away from home.  I sent an e-mail with questions about the resort to Bascilio's wife Michelle and a courteous reply came back promptly.  When I decided to call about the availability of dates to visit the island, I thought it funny that all dates were available and there would be no problem booking a trip.  Since the package included a trip to Mayan ruins, fishing, snorkeling, kayaking, visiting a bird sanctuary and just about anything else and included all meals, I was sold.  The water looked like the waters of the lake I had grown up around in Northern Michigan and everything seemed perfect.

When we arrived in Belize, we had chosen to take the "rustic" method of travel, the Belizan bus lines from the largest city, Belize City to the costal town of Dangriga.  If you have ever attempted this method of travel, it is not recommended for the typical American traveler.  However; if you open your mind and your heart, you will experience the kind and gentle spirit of the citizens of Belize.  The Bus ride was spectacular in scenery if not in comfort.  Just imagine going back to riding a very old school bus about one-half the normal size for an adult person that gets jammed full of people on their way to some area of the country with their market purchases.  The people are very welcoming to strangers who visit and even watched over our luggage that rode in the back of the bus.  If you have ever seen the movie "Romancing the Stone" it is a little bit like that but without any threat of violence.

 

Arriving at the bus terminal in Dangriga, we had arranged to call Michelle and meet her at the bus station.  The only problem when we got there was the phone was out of order, and required a Belize Telephone Company calling card.  No cash was accepted.  Not only that, the phone was out of order!  Just when it seemed we had gone to the end of the earth and had no way to get to our destination and no way to get back by bus, the next step paid off.  I went across the street to the gas station and asked if I could possibly borrow the phone.  When I identified who I wished to call, the station manager replied that Michelle was his sister in-law and suggested that he could give us a ride to the house.  He promptly set about driving down a road that looked as though he were taking us into the jungle to kill us and steal our luggage and identity.  Not to worry, a couple of moments later we turned and arrived at a beautiful costal location and there Michelle greeted us warmly.

About this time we began to ask how many other guests there would be at the resort.  "None", replied Michelle in a matter of fact manner, "You will have the Island to yourselves with our staff to provide your services."

For the next seven days, we experienced heaven on earth.  No phones, no newspapers, no driving, no television, no radio.  Simply the experience of each other and our beautiful staff, making our every experience a once in a lifetime adventure.  Swimming, snorkeling, fishing, boating, relaxing and eating were the order of the day, the entire time soaking up the beautiful scenery and capturing it with my camera.  In the end, we left with new life-long friends and an appreciation for the spirit of an Island treasure.  I also left copies of all the pictures I had taken and sure enough, they used one of me for the next two years in their advertisement in the Belizan Tourism Guide.  I have returned twice and still connect with Bascilio and Michelle.  The Island is not so secret anymore and there are now ten cabanas for guests.  It will, however, always be our little piece of paradise.

 

 
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Last modified: 06/02/08