Part Seven // Finding Shelter
We’ve spoken with an airport porter who tells us the storm has quickly advanced and it will be hurricane status by the end of the day. The airport will be shutting down within the hour with doors locked and everyone gone. We were fortunate to get off the island as we were the one of two flights that were able to depart. His suggestion is to quickly find a taxi and seek shelter for the coming days to wait out the hurricane. We hail a taxi which just pulled in and explain our need to find a hotel, if possible. Everyone is scattering in other taxi’s and we know there will be competition for lodging. Our drivers lapel tag reads Collette and I’m not certain if it’s his first or last name. Being British settled, Belize has an oddity of first and last names and many hold the female suggestion. Like Pat or Pat. Who is what? Mix in some Garifuna, Mennonite and Mayan culture names, and we all get a surprise. He’s a cautious driver yet understands the urgency at hand. We try first the Biltmore Hotel, just a mile or two from the airport. Do not let the name fool you, it’s not the Biltmore in the US. The clerk at the desk tells us they are full and knows of no other nearby places. Really? We rush back out the door to shout for Collette to STOP! He hears as well as see’s our flagging arms and stops and gets out. “Yes, Mon?”, he asks. We quickly tell him our dilemma and ask if he can take us to another hotel. There are many hotels to try he says but he favors one especially, as he knows the proprietor.
It’s nearby the Caribbean waters edge right at Kings Park and it’s named The Great House .…. and indeed it’s a Great House.