Day 1: Arrival

I knew for sure that I had arrived in Belize before I even exited the plane or looked out the windows. As soon as the airplane doors opened, the warm air seeped in, smelling like forest, as much as forest can be said to have a smell.

My first impression upon stepping out of the plane was that Belize is hot and humid enough to make Houston seem positively air-conditioned. After the group passed through security and customs, we met our driver, Edward. He drove us about three hours across the country to an eco-lodge called Crystal Paradise Resort, where we would be staying the night. Along the way, we passed through fascinating savannah landscapes that were dotted with trees. Apparently, we’re arriving at the very end of the dry season, so wild fires are still a common sight. We even passed a section that had been recently burned – the blackened skeletons for the trees were still smoking.

We reached the beginning of the mountainous, hilly region of Belize just as the sun began to sink in the sky. Tall, dark swathes of trees stood against a salmon sky hazy with smoke. As the pavement transitioned to a dirt road, the 12 of us rattled around in the van with every bump. By the time we reached the resort, it was clearly nightfall, with lighting occasionally spreading across the sky.

Our rooms are super cute, and there was even a folded towel-swan decorated with hibiscus flowers waiting for us! There is, of course, no air conditioning, which we’ll all have to get used to. Dinner was fantastic as well, with some truly delicious veggie curry and chocolate cake! Like the sea urchins I will study on this trip, I’m an opportunistic feeder (HAHAHAHA sorry I had to) and stuffed myself while I still had access to this delicious food.

Lepidoptera count for today:

-1 unidentified, erratically flying large white moth

-2 unidentifiable micro-moths

-1 orange, fuzzy moth that got eaten by a gecko a few minutes after I found it :'(

-1 large green sphinx moth

I’ve inserted photos of these two specimens here!

It’s an early morning tomorrow (breakfast at 6am!!) so I’m calling it for today. Good night!


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