A River Runs Through It
Our first full day began early at 5:45am. No one was late! Our walk, led by Nathan Forbes, our Belizean guide and naturalist, included many birds and plants. We discovered that the Duplooys started a botanical garden that we also toured. After an amazingly colorful breakfast, including pink kiwi, deep orange papaya, cantaloupe, eggs, bacon, Creole fryjack, and a tasty bread, everyone was ready for a day of adventure.
On our way to Domingo Ruiz, we encountered a bumpy road, typical of Belizean roads. After several twists, turns, and slides, the bus got stuck after making a hard right turn heading towards the cave. After disembarking, through the endeavors of everyone gathering rocks, sticks to dig, or pushing the bus, we succeeded in freeing it and were on our way!!!
Walking from the bus into the forest, Nathan, discovered several Baird’s tapir tracks that we cast in plaster. We also found a pair of walking sticks.
As we walked through the Belizean forest, going deeper into the dense bush, we came upon the cave entrance. Needless to say, it didn’t disappoint. The group walked deep into the cave. The takeaway we would like to share is when the group sat in complete silence and darkness. After a brief time, we sang “Row, Row, Row Your Boat,” and “This Little Light of Mine.”
Upon leaving the cave, we encountered a typical Belizean jungle downpour. We arrived back at the bus drenched but happy! We loaded back on the bus and headed for another adventure (lunch) at Rio Frio Cave. We had a slight delay as we had to push the bus again!!! The extreme driving skills of B. A. Bruce succeeded in getting us on our way.
At the cave, we were astounded by the sheer grandeur of the opening. It was a tremendous room with a river running through it!
The excitement continued as we headed to Rio On Falls and Pools.
After changing into our swimming gear, we enjoyed the cool refreshing water. Many of us enjoyed the waterfall shower and trek down the rock slide!!!
After an enjoyable time, we headed back to the lodge for a wrap-up discussion and enjoyable dinner. The day culminated with a night hike and discoveries that included 2 Blunt-Headed Vine Snakes, and a scorpion (that glowed green under a black light), a katydid, and another species of walking stick. Jason led us in a discovery activity including a bright light and a sheet that attracted dozens of insects, including the sphinx moth, scarab beetles, cicadas, and spittle bugs.
Our first full day in Belize was full of joy and surprises!!!
We can only imagine what the next seven days will bring!
On a side note, we wanted to report that Tuesday night we were visited by two curious kinkajous.