May 14th, 2019
After an hour on the runway (due to first class tray table problems) and as sometimes bumpy tow hour plane ride we’re finally in Belize!
Much of the day was spent driving with stops for lunch and to get last minute supplies, even the did we observe a lot. For example, there was a termite nest in a tree at lunch, and hummingbirds flying around us.
I even saw a couple mammals today one was an agouti, a rodent species, that was darting into the brush, another were some dogs that hang around the ecolodge
The day ended with a quick dip into a river and dinner. Tomorrow we head off to Las Cuevas and some Mayan ruins as we slowly move out of a civilization.
[6:00am] We were up before the sun, gathered at Rice University’s Valhalla eager to depart. In a series of unfortunate circumstances, we had tardy departures twice (from Rice University to IAH, then from IAH to Belize), but remained on schedule! Finally at around 12:30pm (Belize time—an hour behind Houston’s), we anchored down in Belize.
The remainder of the day was full of travels. We encountered several wildfires—a sure indicator of the dry season! At one particular point, the van was enveloped by a thick cloud of smoke from a roadside wildfire. For lunch, I had soursop juice, stewed pork with rice and beans (not beans and rice—they’re different!) At the next stop, grocery store, I stocked up on plantain chips. (Enjoying the local cuisine!)
After a long trip, we arrived at Crystal Paradise Ecolodge, where there is an abundance of friendly stray dogs and fun. A few classmates and I plus Scott and Amanda walked down to the river to swim and swing for about an hour before dinner until the light started to fade. We encountered no alligators, thankfully, but identified leaf-cutter ants, ants from the genus Ectatomma, and an agouti (no Lepidoptera today!)