We went to the supermarket, which was weird. The ability to buy things I needed was a foreign concept after five days in the jungle. The promise of a dry towel, the consumption of packaged snacks—all forgotten from a life past.
Leaving Las Cuevas was a bittersweet experience: on one hand jungles are the best places on earth, on the other I would like to be dry and not surrounded by insects for at least some time. I think I will definitely miss Las Cuevas in the future, but for now the change of scenery is welcome.
After the supermarket stop, we headed to ATM cave and did some more spelunking. I am learning quickly that I absolutely love caves. There were human remains and stalactites and calcified rock, and we spent three hours entirely entertained by the formations of the earth and the artifacts of a fallen civilization. There was also one singular cave cricket, Raphidophoroidea, which was a good find for the Orthoptera crowd. I couldn’t take a picture of it because we weren’t allowed cameras inside the cave.
Afterward, we arrived again in Belize City at around 6, where we are staying at the Tropical Education Center, near the Belize Zoo. After some time to get settled, we headed out to the zoo. It was amazing, and very distinctively un-American. The first thing we did was put a boa constrictor around our necks.
We were allowed to feed exotic animals and touch them. It was a great experience, especially since I kept imagining how absolutely horrifying it would’ve been to have encountered them alone in the jungle, when no set of electric wires could’ve kept them from us. Civilization is a very different world, indeed.