What’s happening in December


Another beautiful painting by Walter.

One of our favorite local artists (Walter Castillo) posted another painting that he had just completed. We saw it and fell in love with it! The painting is of a festival in Placencia, which we have been to a few times, so we really related to the subject matter. Plus it was the perfect size we had been looking for to fill an empty space over the front door. This was an early Christmas gift to us and it was perfect!

6 pounds of summer sausage.

Being the Christmas season we thought we would try our hand at making some summer sausage. We looked at a bunch of recipes and spice options and put together one we thought would suit us. After grinding and seasoning the beef, it got stuffed into the casings and then into the smoker. It turned out very tasty, with great color, texture, and the flavor was better than anything we could buy here. Now we just need to test it out on some friends during the holidays and see what they think.

The summer sausage turned out great and I think we can serve it to guests.

Our cacao is doing great and they are starting to ripen. Soon we should have enough to start processing and turning it into some delicious chocolate.

Cacao starting to ripen.

Of course, we still have a steady supply of pineapples and bananas. This bunch is the small apple bananas that are sweet, delicious, and our favorites. There are 120 on this stalk, now we are just waiting for them to finish ripening. Maybe there will be some chocolate-covered frozen bananas in our future.

At this point, we should have another bunch of bananas every month for the next few months.

We have lots of parrots that fly over all the time and some groups are quiet and some are very noisy. Now that we actually got some pictures of the noisy ones we discovered that they are Olive Throated Parakeets. We didn’t even know there were parakeets here. I think the locals call them all parrots because they all look sorta the same. Remember when you went to a pet store and all the parakeets would start squawking, that’s what it sounds like when they fly over.

Olive throated parakeet. It’s amazing to spot them in the trees with their awesome camouflage.

We finally found Rio Frio Cave! Last year when Darren was here we searched for it, but Google maps lied and we never got to it. This time we had better information and found it without any problem. It is the largest cave opening in Belize with an entrance of 65 feet tall. I know… how could we not find it last year.

The entrance to Rio Frio Cave

There is a rough set of stairs leading up to the entrance and a small trail that will take you into and through the cave. Once inside the dark cave, there were waterfalls, stalactites, stalagmites, and even a sandy beach.

This could be a nice shady beach to hang at in the hot summer.

A little farther in, the cave turned a little and you could see the opening at the other end. There is a trail that takes you through the cave and hikes you up around in the jungle and back around towards the entrance. Overall the cave is only about a 1/4 mile long but very impressive.

The other side of Rio Frio Cave.

As we were heading into the cave Kelley spotted some Howler monkeys up in the trees above us. There were at least four of them and one of them was even holding a baby. Once we got into the cave they all started howling, like they didn’t want us in there, which made for a very eerie sound inside the cave. Overall, it took us about an hour each way on a dirt road from our place to get to the cave. Definitely worth checking out when you visit.

A Howler Monkey holding a baby monkey.

For the last few days of Darren’s trip, we decided to head over to the beach in Placencia. There were no real plans on doing anything, just hanging out at the beach. We did try to get a day charter out to this two-acre island for some relaxing and a beach BBQ, but the weather did not cooperate with us.

If you look at the painting we just bought you will see this big chair.

Since the weather was not being too cooperative, we ended up doing a lot of walking around. The good thing is that there are some good bars scattered up and down the beach. And with names like Tipsy Tuna, Barefoot, Pickled Parrot, and Toucan Jacks, how could you not stop.

One of a few beach bars in Placencia.

So we spent a couple of days on the beach staring out into the Caribbean, listening to reggae music and day drinking. I guess someone had to do it, and it was our turn.

Darren enjoying a mango margarita at the beach.

We did all get our lobster grilled cheese sandwich fix at Barefoot bar, and that made us very happy.  Plus Darren managed to get some Big Titty Rum. We called the guy who makes the rum and he was in the process of bottling, so once he was done he delivered it right to us.

Darren’s Big Titty Rum Score.

Well, that’s about it for now, Darren is back home and I’m sure thinking about his next trip. Kelley is in the kitchen making Christmas cookies and I’m thinking about all my projects for this week. More friends will be here over the holidays, so I’m sure there will be a lot more fun to be had.

Take care and Merry Christmas!

9 thoughts on “What’s happening in December”

  1. Great update guys… love the Placencia painting! It really does show the fun in that sweet little beach town! I love sausage too! Save me some!! Merry Christmas guys, sure do miss you! 2021 or bust! ⭕️❌.

  2. Soooo amazing!!! I can’t wait to come and visit you guys!!! I’ll have to bug my dad and get his butt in gear to make a trip next year to see you!! Love you both and miss you!!

  3. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you both! Enjoy the holidays with Ron and Ronda!
    All well here in La Choya
    💕 Jef

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