We are in Belize! We met at Rice and headed to Hobby airport. While we were in security, a waterline broke, and they had to shut off water to the entire airport. The airport was filled with swarms of people waiting for the few places that were still serving food. We had a fairly uneventful flight, and were picked up by a driver who took us to the Crystal Palace Resort. When we arrived, we were greeted by these adorable towel swans!
We are staying at a lovely little place nestled within the forest. It was dark when we arrived, but it looks beautiful and I can’t wait to see the grounds in the morning! They served us an amazing dinner of chips and salsa, fried rice, salad, plantains, and cake (Happy birthday Claire!). We were all pretty amazed by the salsa-it had carrots and cucumbers in it and was delicious!
Belize was impressively green from the sky, but the habitat destruction is clear from the ground. Much of the area we drove through had been cleared for agriculture, and we passed a hillside covered in massive trees being burned to the ground. The soil in many fields was black, and many trees had scorch marks from previous fires.
Although we spent the day in the car, we still saw a fair bit of wildlife. We saw a few arboreal termite nests in the trees off the highway, but they were too far away to identify the species. We also saw a house gecko and a snowy egret at a convenience store we stopped at on the way to the resort. However, my favorite sightings were after the sun had set. As I was walking back to my cabin, I stumbled across a leafcutter ant trail. We followed them back to their nest, and then tracked down the tree from which they were harvesting. There must have been thousands of ants, and they had worn a smooth path through the tire tracks on the road. As I’m writing this blog post, a boa constrictor is sitting in a tree only a few feet away!