Saturday, February 2, 2008

Belize - February 2, 2008

The first night sleeping in the jungle is always an event. It takes a while to get used to the great sounds and relax. Although, since our Cabana had no over-the-bed protection, I knew that "critters" could drop down from the thatch. At least, I had heard stories. Well, sometime in the middle of the night, I heard and felt a "plop" and I bolted out of bed. Turns out it was a Belizean Cockroach. Only a few inches long and no big deal (we saw many on this trip). But, nothing like a little excitement in the middle of the night.

We awoke at dawn to the magical sounds of the jungle and distant howler monkeys. There is nothing quite like that in my opinion. Our first activity of the day was a morning walk with Ruben, one of the guides. We wanted to get an overview of the place so that we could venture out on our own later. The walk was great and included a taste of natural allspice, visits to the mayan tombs that dot the grounds, and some bird watching including these vultures:

After lunch we did more hiking and saw more Spider Monkeys, a Deppes Squirrel, and a plethora of birds including the rare Oscillated Turkey which is very common at Chan Chich.

Spider Monkeys:
Spider Monkey
Spider Monkey

Deppe's Squirrel:
Deppe's Squirrel

Montezuma Oropendulas:
Montezuma Oropendulas

Oscillated Turkey:
Oscillated Turkey

Crested Guan:
Crested Guan

The sounds of Oropendulas, Toucans, Parrots and more constantly echoed across the grounds. It's hard to describe it so go hear it for yourself. You won't regret it.

After dinner we set out on a guided night hike with Marvin. While the hike was relatively uneventful, we did manage to hear another Kinkajou in the canopy overhead and we saw tarantulas, wolf spiders, and Marine Toads:

Red Rumped Tarantula:

Marine Toad:
Marine Toad

So, ended our first full day. The sounds and the sight of the jungle exceeded our expections and the food and hospitality at Chan Chich is 5 stars!

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