San Pedro is a relatively small island, however it is so busy, with people trying to get from one place to another. Golf carts are by far the most popular way of getting around. The few cars on the island are usually taxis, and often have trouble navigating the tight city streets. They represent a very small percentage of the total vehicle population. Bicycles are also very popular, because they are cheap, allowed on the beach, and have no fuel costs. This is very important, because although the cost of living is generally lower than it is in the U.S., gas prices sit at around $14 Belize per gallon. I talked to shorty about it on our way to a dive, and he said that although Belize has oil, it doesn’t have any refineries. It has to send its oil to Venezuela to be refined and then buy it back as gasoline and diesel. The high gas prices make golf carts very practical, as they get 45 to 50 miles per gallon. Boats however, consume a lot of fuel and are a staple of island life. Obviously getting to or from the island requires use of either a boat or a plane, but there are even parts of the island that are unacessable by roads and require Marine transportation. These are mostly very expensive resorts in the northern region of the island. Outside of the city, the roads are unpaved and unmaintained, full of ruts and potholes. For this reason it is popular to run atv tires on the golf carts. The northern side of san pedro is quickly being developed, and if the population of the island grows at the same rate that the resorts are, the city will need to work on its infrastructure in order to accommodate the increase in traffic. It will be interesting to see how the small community changes in the coming years.
We met a local at the burrito bar across the street. He was wearing a Slipknot t-shirt and we couldnt help but comment on it. He was enjoying lunch while playing heavy metal music on his phone. We struck up a conversation about our favorite bands, and found that we had a lot in common. He showed us some of his favorite songs on his phone ams we gave him sugestions of other american bands that we thought he would enjoy.
We talked about shows that we had been to and concerts that we had seen. Apparently heavy metal music is not very popular on the island of San Pedro, and he can only recall going to one concert. He said that after the show the venue was so trashed that they were no longer allowing metal concert at the venue. He seemed happy to have found people of common interest who he could talk to and share these experiences with.
It is nice to know that even though we are thousands of miles away from home, we can still connect with people over the common interest of music.