Day 8: The Cave of the Stone Sepulcher

We got up early this morning to leave Las Cuevas. It was really cool to hear the earlier birds since we were up earlier than we had been for birding. We drove out of Las Cuevas around 6:30 to head to ATM cave. Along the drive, we saw some cormorants on a river we crossed, last birds for my taxon on the trip! ATM is the shortened Mayan name for the cave, Actun Tunichil Muchnal It’s this super amazing cave that has a lot of Mayan artifacts and preserved skeletons.Image result for crystal maiden atm

You can’t bring cameras in, so I have an excuse for not having pictures. It was really cool to do ATM because I did it last year with my family. I was going through the cave with everyone else and I was definitely less surprised as we went along, but I still really enjoyed the adventure. It’s lots of fun to climb across rocks in the dark in cold mountain water and see dead people apparently.

After ATM, we drove to the tropical education center where we stayed the night and also took warm showers which were amazing. I definitely missed having hot water to wash with. Also, we have internet here. It was simultaneously nice and annoying to be able to access the internet again, it’s definitely been nice to be completely unplugged, especially because we’ve been busy enough not to feel bored without it.

The last thing we did today was a night tour of the Belize Zoo. This zoo is unlike any American zoo. You can touch and feed a lot of the animals and generally get way closer to them. I got to feed a tapir which was awesome. I love their big awkward trunk noses. We also saw a spectacled owl and a ferruginous owl. The ferruginous owl was so tiny, maybe only a hand length long, which I didn’t realize despite their being on my taxon sheet.

Tomorrow we’re heading to Glover’s Reef early again. Time for team surf and the infinite struggle to avoid sunburn.

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