On Saturday, we took a much needed break from the business of buying the resort and did some exploring with the kids. We had taken them in to town on our second day here, but they hadn’t seen much beyond the resort area and Hopkins Village. One place I really wanted to check out was Sittee River. Sittee River is a small town about 5-10 miles from our Resort. This is also the town where we might send the kids to school. We’ve been told that it has much smaller classroom sizes which lends to more teacher interaction with each kid. I wanted to see what the drive would be like, should we take them to school each day, and I wanted to see the actual school.
Many of the roads around us are unpaved. When arriving in Hopkins village from the airport, you take a paved highway called the Southern Highway. Once you reach the village, you are on a dirt road that has many many potholes. As you drive around town, you need to swerve from one side of the road to the other to save on damage to your car from the deep holes!
The ride to Sittee River was slow going because of the condition of the road. I thought it would take us 15 minutes to drive there, but it took us more like 30. Approaching the town we first encountered large, newer homes which I believe belong to foreigners and ex-pats. These homes are beautiful and sit in total remote serenity. Once we were close to the center of town we saw older homes, most of them on stilts. We are learning that it is very important to have your home up high so you can feel breeze. You need the breeze to help relieve you from the heat and also blow away some of the biting insects.
We arrived to the center of town and looked for the school. It is a VERY small town of about 300 people. We found the police station, a bar, but we couldn’t find the school! There is a Y in the road as you approach, and we took the left hand side. I think if we had taken the right side, we would’ve seen the school. When we finally realized this, we were too tired of driving to loop back in search of the school. We continued forward to the Southern Highway because we were exited to be on a paved road again.
A note about Sittee River. The river flows into the ocean so people who choose to live in the town of Sittee River or on the outskirts along the river can take a boat all the way to the ocean. Our drinking water at the resort comes from Sittee River and we can drink it right out of the tap. Here is what wikipedia has to say: “The mouth of the Sittee River represents the optimal conditions for mangrove development and the forest found there has a high level of structural development. Freshwater flows and sediments carried by the river itself, draining from the Maya Mountains, and tidal flushing from the Caribbean Sea all support this tree growth.”
I hear the bugs can be a problem in Sittee River. We have sand fleas/flies and mosquitoes in Hopkins primarily, but Sittee River has 3-4 more types. There is a bug called the Dr. fly that injects some kind of numbing agent into the bite which causes the area surrounding it to be numb. Rex got one of these bites on his hand and it swelled up quite a bit! But the swelling went down in 2 days time and itched the same as a mosquito bite.
After finishing our exploration of Sittee River we were all starving. The drive had taken a hour longer than we expected. We headed back to Hopkins to grab some lunch. We had heard about a great pizza place at the very northern tip of Hopkins’ beachfront called Driftwood. The pizza was delicious and the beach spot with hammocks and picnic tables was quaint and relaxing.