slaDE and I joined our friends David and Kelly from KittyHawk North Carolina for breakfast, after we packed up our belongings. Today was our departure day from Pedro’s Inn after a lovely 2.5 week stay. We feel very blessed that we were gifted with such inexpensive accommodation (the equivalent of our months rent in Calgary) … Peter, the owner, gave us a really good rate for the duration of our stay and we had a blast! And now, we were looking forward to a couple days of solitude and Caribbean tranquility by the sea at the Ak’bol Yoga Retreat.
After saying goodbye to our friends (and dropping off our big bags at the Sunbreeze hotel, ready for our departure on Tuesday), we started the walk to the North side of San Pedro. After crossing the bridge, I was able to hitchhike us a ride to the retreat thankfully. It was another 2 miles in hot sticky weather with no ocean breeze to alleviate the mugginess.
We were staying in the Yoga Barracks over the next few days. The Barracks are an affordable option to experiencing the Retreat, if the Cabanas aren’t in one’s budget ($50US/night+tax). A clean simple attractive room with a queen size Captain’s podium bed, plenty of storage and a lockable area under the bed, ceiling fan and shuttered / screened windows. I was grateful that we were on the second level, allowing for a sea breeze to keep us cool in the evenings. We were well spoiled with air conditioning at Pedro’s Inn! It’s good to shift things around and shake oneself from the ‘comfort zone’. And really, we didn’t need anything fancy as we weren’t planning to spend a whole lot of time in the room. This was a time for us to explore the community areas and the sea, revel and unwind with Oceanside yoga, to bird watch and lounge on the beach and by the pool. Basically, a way to savour, unplug and get in tune with the peaceful rhythm of the island for our last few days. A way to relax, strengthen, centre and empower ourselves. You can also find them on Facebook here if interested.[nggallery id=19]
This is the owner’s (Kirsten) formal description of the Barracks:
Picture an earth toned, maya ruin-inspired three-story structure positioned on the lagoon looking out to the backside of the island … a serene setting … extraordinary sunsets … bird watching … mangroves … peaceful … quiet nights … Winding pathways through a natural garden of palm trees, seagrapes and colorful flowers lead to the central grand entrance of the Yoga Barracks … up the stairs leads you directly into our spacious locker rooms … well ventilated, naturally lit, shared bath & shower locker room areas for men and women or co-ed … you’ll stay on island time as you gaze into the wooden sinks carved by local Rastas, faucets made of conch shells from the sea and the rain-showers are covered with bamboo. … all private with plantain shuttered doors … plenty of toilets … changing areas … your own lockers for toiletries and drinking water available. To the right and left of the locker rooms, wing out a total of 14 single rooms … and on the second floor a total of 16 single rooms with great view of the sea and lagoon with awesome breezes.
At the waterfront is their casually hip, people-friendly, laid back bar called Shade (freshly squeezed organic juices, tropical smoothies, herbal spritzers, teas or extensive bar menu favourites like the ‘Mi Chelada’, ‘Dirty Banana’ or ‘Stingaritas’) and with an ‘island diner-esque’ restaurant named Bean. The food is really spectacular. Healthy and especially yummy with traditional local favourites offered from breakfast right through to dinner. I wish however that the hours from 7am to 5pm were extended. We were used to eating later in the evening. Because of this, we discovered that the local selection for food was almost non-existent, unless one takes a land or water taxi in to San Pedro. We went without dinner on our first night :(, it being Sunday and all the local restaurants closed. Going with the flow, Island-style.