Visit Anchorage Resort in Caye Caulker, Belize for the Ultimate Reset Button.

Visions and a clear knowing. I will go home soon and I will go to Caye Caulker. It was time. 

By JEANNIE SHAW

That Familiar Nudge

I hadn’t been home in 3 years. Whether I missed Belize or not was irrelevant. Things just weren’t lining up for me to make a trip and I’ve been learning to observe the flow of life and choreograph my steps to fall in line with her melodious rhythm. As many times as my sister/gurl/cousin/friend tempted me with great ticket deals she’d found over the last few years, I just knew – it wasn’t time.

Then last year September, I felt that familiar nudge that I know can only come from the higher realms. I’d be going home soon. 

Before long, I started having clear visions of being on Caye Caulker, a small limestone coral island off the coast of Belize. North to South, she is about 5 miles long and East to West, not even a mile long.

My intention was to spend much needed time with those nearest and dearest to me and they mostly live in Belize City. But this tiny island, north of Belize, kept sliding into my daily thoughts. 

As children, my brother and I spent a lot of time in San Pedro Ambergris Caye, Belize. Summers and other long holidays were well spent with a family my mom had grown close to over the years. But my visions were of Caye Caulker – not San Pedro. I’d probably been to Caye Caulker no more than 6 times in my entire life. One of those times included my last visit home in 2017 which was rather lovely. 

Besides that, there was no memory bank for me to pull files from. Yet, they just kept forming in my mind’s eye. Visions and a clear knowing. I will go home soon and I will go to Caye Caulker. It was time.

“I’ve been learning to observe the flow of life and choreograph my steps to fall in line with her melodious rhythm.”

BELIZE Sign... Local Landmark. Photo by Kaitlin Shaw

Anchorage Resort, Caye Caulker

I arrived in Belize on November 19th, 2019… a much needed break from life as I knew it in California. It would give me a chance to step away from everything, recalibrate myself and come back renewed. Once I got a few important tasks off my “to-do list”, I was ready to make my way back to this tiny island that was tugging at me for several weeks prior to my arrival. 

I decided to book a room at a hotel my friend Florence suggested. “It’s lovely here. Close enough to my house and you will love the pier.”, she said. Then she video chat me on WhatsApp to show me the courtyard, the three story building and what the beach looked like from where she stood. 

I was sold. “Book us a room Flo.”, I said. “I’d like the second floor, please.”, I continued. “Done.”, she texted back. “You’ll love it here.”, she assured me. “What’s the name of the place?”, I’d forgotten what she said. “Anchorage Resort… owned by the Heredia’s. I’m sure you know them.”, she responded.  “Ok, yes I do know The Heredia’s.” I messaged back – not that it made a difference. Belize is just a small country and it often feels like we all know each other.

“It’s lovely here. Close enough to my house and you will love the pier.”, she said. “

Anchorage Resort, Caye Caulker Belize. Photo by Keith Nunez.

Check In was Easy & Painless

When I got to Anchorage Resort, it reminded me of my mom’s hotel, Hotel Mopan. Nothing fancy – strong, nice looking, comfortable and just a stone’s throw of the town’s center, or in this case, village. My first impression of the team of people who work there was that they seemed easy going and friendly. The check in process was simple and painless with Ms Lucky, one of the managers. My room was on the 2nd floor as promised. It had basic cable, air-conditioning, free WiFi, toiletries, a refrigerator, a microwave, private bathroom, basic furniture and a fairly spacious patio with two chairs and a table. It was evening by the time we checked in. My son and I had other commitments to attend the Christmas Show for Ocean Academy where my friend Flo teaches. I’d just seen enough of Anchorage to know we’d be ok there.

“My first impression of the team of people who work there was that they seemed easy going and friendly. The check in process was simple and painless with Ms Lucky, one of the managers.”

Anchorage Resort, Caye Caulker Belize
The Split, A Famous Landmark on Caye Caulker Belize. Photo by Florence Goldson

The Split

The following day we visited The Split (most popular landmark on the island), rode around a bit, fed some tarpons and headed back to Anchorage. My son and I got a quick dip in the Caribbean Sea’s sweet embrace, enjoyed the sunset and later devoured an amazing dinner at the local Italian restaurant, Il Pellicano. It was nice.

The next day he decided he’d had enough of my company and he headed back to Belize City. I’d have two nights and a whole day all to myself.

After some amazing quality time with Flo, I retreated back to my room for a night of rest and down time. I woke up that Monday morning and made my way to get some breakfast. As soon as I could make it back to Anchorage Resort, I gathered my “day at the beach” accoutrements and walked down the steps, pass the courtyard, under the flirtatious coconut trees and just beyond the set of beach chairs to make my grand entrance on the wooden pier. This was my day, my time…  

Beach Chairs at Anchorage Resort - Caye Caulker, Belize

The wind was fondling the leaves of the coconut trees and sweeping through my curls. My shirt waved about in the blissful Caribbean breeze and the golden sun gently warmed my skin as I walked along, watching my feet step meticulously on each piece of timber below them. 

My plan was to get a little sun on my skin – just enough to prove I’d been on the island. Oh, it was about to be a beautiful day. I needed a break, surely; but I had no idea what I was in for.

I became fully immersed into where I was… the sand, the sea, each plank of the pier… the waves below, the boats nearby, the other piers across the way, the sky… it was endless. Pure awareness.

My breaths were more conscious and I could feel my energy getting lighter. I got to the end of the pier and just sat. There was nothing to figure out, nothing to worry about – even if just for a moment. No one needed anything from me, I wasn’t pissing any one off and no one was pissing me off haha. 

The Pier at Anchorage Resort, Caye Caulker - Belize.

The Sun, The Sea & Me. 

There was just the sun, the sea and me – a peaceful triad. The water was caressing the pilings of the pier and I was in harmony with all that is. 

After a while of just taking it all in, I made my way down the steps at the end of the pier and into the Caribbean Sea. She was a bit cold at first but we quickly gained familiarity and my body adjusted to her temperature. The depth was just right for my height (5′ 4″ – that’s my story and I’m sticking to it). The cleared area just out in front of the pier was about the size of a small bedroom… enough to get a short lap in, a bird’s dive and plenty of natural healing. My plan was to take an hour to swim and get back to my room to work a bit. 

So I timed myself and headed back to my room. I got myself situated, pulled out my laptop and within seconds I closed it back down. Who wants to figure out writing when all this exquisite perfection was just outside my door? Before I knew it, I was back on the pier. It was like I couldn’t leave. I didn’t want to leave. I was back in the water, up on the pier, asleep, awake, swimming, tanning, taking selfies, breathing… and back in the water again.

The water felt like it was washing every worry away – every concern, every conflict – everything. I was mesmerized.

 

Anchorage Resort Caye Caulker Belize - Shoreline

My Safe Place

I’d gone to Belize to reconnect with my family and some friends but as I sat on the pier at Anchorage Resort, I quickly realized that Caye Caulker – she was for me. She was about my healing, my peace of mind and some real down time from everything that had taken its toll on me the three years before. Florence couldn’t have picked a better spot and they couldn’t have picked a better name. 

Anchorages are places where anchors can be lowered. The locations usually have conditions for safe anchorage. 

YES… my safe place… where I could stop for a while and replenish. This is what Anchorage Resort created for me.

She sits on a large parcel of land toward the southern end of Caye Caulker, Belize. She is brightly painted blue and confidently stands three floors tall. A family owned hotel, Anchorage is home to 18 rooms, a small office, lots of yard space and welcoming beach chairs. But her greatest asset is a well-positioned pier that leads to the most healing body of water in all the world – til I can get to the Maldives haha. The resort is within 10-15 minute walking distance of the heart of Caye Caulker. It is close enough to get a taste of the village life and far enough for me to feel like I could escape everything. 

 

Soaking up the warm rays and salty air at Anchorage Resort - Caye Caulker, Belize

I Mostly Had the Pier to Myself

I  ended up spending the entire day on the pier, in and out of the sun. My thoughts were rampant in some moments but mostly they were just present, in the moment. Naps took me a few times and other guests joined then left over the few hours I spent there. I mostly had the pier to myself. 

When it was time to go back to Belize City, I knew I had to go back before leaving Belize again and I did. And it was even better. I could not imagine.

One Monday afternoon in January, 2020, I made my way back on the boat to be with my love again. As soon as the boat made the turn toward the island, goosebumps decorated my skin with pure delight. I was already joyfully anticipating the bliss I’d feel on my pier and in my water.

Soon after arriving on the island, I slowly walked to Anchorage to get checked in. It was almost 3p and the sun was not too hot. I probably took 50 pix between the water taxi’s dock and the hotel. I was so happy to see the familiar faces as I walked toward Anchorage. This time my room was on the 3rd floor. There was one king bed, a couch, cable TV, a refrigerator, a microwave and a view that made me melt into the scene. A quick stop at Magic Grill for some food and I was back on my pier. My safe place.

This time, three other guests were with there. 

Did I want them to leave? Yes!
Did they? NO. 

But it was ok. I didn’t mind sharing after all. I wondered if this meant as much to them as it did to me. If they’d basked in the sun the way I did – with all I felt. Did they immerse themselves in the sea and truly appreciate how she enveloped their bodies? And why is this girl’s body the exact tone and shape I want? [*insert side eye*]

Yemaya

Eventually my focus shifted back to me – to my relationship with her, Ms Caribbean… or was it Yemaya – the Ocean Mother Goddess in Santeria. She was brought over to the New World by enslaved Africans as early as the 16th century. Hailing from the Yoruba religion, she was often portrayed as a queenly mermaid. 

I found myself wanting to hug the water. And, I tried it too, literally. No judgments please. But she was too much for me.

She could not be contained – just loved, appreciated, honoured but not contained. 

So, instead I let her hug me. I let her wrap her very essence around every fibre of my being and every follicle of my hair. I let the sun shower me with vitamin D and the sea infuse me with her salts. I climbed back up to the wooden pier and went back in the sea again – like multiple rapturous love making sessions. Complete and utter ecstasy – just the sun, the sea and me.

It was the best thing I did for myself in all of 2019 when I first arrived at Anchorage Resort and it was the best thing I’ve done for myself in 2020 so far.

My friend joined me again that evening and we went for panades, garnaches made by a young woman named Nourisha! I automatically loved her. Nourisha was Nourishing Me Sweetly. Her food shop is located on Front Street, opposite the basketball court/community area.

We got our Belizean goodies and head to The Split to chat a bit and dive into our usual deep conversations. By the end of the night, I was good for a solid night’s rest. We met again the next day to watch the sunrise, get journey cakes from the local vendor on the front street and some coffee from Ice and Beans. 

Swimming a Bowl of Bliss at Anchorage Resort Caye Caulker Belize. Photo by Florence Goldson

Be Present and Love Everything

Besides Yemaya, my friend Florence was a highlight of my visits to Caye Caulker. We are open and honest about our lives even if it makes us “look bad” – our thoughts and wishes and even the “bad mind” that presents itself sometimes. We said our farewells and parted ways. I was using her extra beach cruiser to skirt around the village and before long, I was back on my pier… basking again… making music with nature. 

 

A Beautiful Human, Florence.

I had a few more hours and I just repeated what I did the day before – in and out of the water, back on the pier, napping, tanning, breathing… There were moments I said out loud “I could just hug you!” to the sea, literally. No judgements.

I enjoyed every splash, ever glitter the sun created on the soft and subtle waves, every bird that flew by, every school of fish that skipped across the water’s surface… every boat, every person… everything.  

Have you ever allowed yourself to truly BE PRESENT and LOVE EVERYTHING?  

I said out loud, “There’s no place on earth I’d rather be than with you.” Maybe I was talking to myself. 

Thank goodness there are no cameras on the pier or I would look certifiably  “off the deep end”. 

Enjoying a Quiet Evening Reading Sharon Marin-Lewis' Book, Superstition A Belizean Snapshot (Available on Amazon)

Be Fully Where You Are

Even as I write, my eyes are filled with tears because of what those moments did for me. In the streams of Yemaya’s flow, I gained clarity on a few things and a sweet new way to the great I AM!

I hope that when you go on trips like these, that you are you really there. That you allow yourself to be fully where you are.

If you ever go to Anchorage Resort, Caye Caulker, please go completely. If you are able to be fully present, you could likely initiate a healing process that is priceless. It was one of the most exhilarating feeling for all of 2019 and a sweet start to 2020.

As a note, I was not asked to write about their place. I paid to stay at Anchorage Resort. This is my true experience of being there. The staff were friendly, kind and helpful. The rooms are clean and comfortable. The location is a bit out of the central area but that was what I wanted. Besides, Caye Caulker is a tiny island so everything is 5 – 15 mins away on foot.

If you are looking for the Ritz experience, this isn’t it. If you are searching for yourself, you might want to give Anchorage Resort, their pier and the blessed body of water that surrounds their pier a try. 

If I can make a trip to Anchorage Resort at least two times a year, it would be one of the greatest gifts I could give myself. 

Below is a quick video recap of my two trips to Caye Caulker between December 2019 and January 2020. Give it a whirl… It does not include upcoming posts/videos about favorite places to visit and eat… 

Subscribe to my YouTube channel for more of all things that Nourish Me Sweetly. If you know anyone who loves to travel or who really should take some time off, share my post. Hopefully, they will be inspired to recalibrate themselves with a trip to Belize.

Have you ever been to a place that touched your soul and made your spirit soar? If yes, tell me about it in the comments. Maybe I can try it one day.

Til then, try Anchorage Resort – Caye Caulker, Belize – the ultimate reset button.

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