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Xuantunich, Macal River and figs – a very full day indeed

July 27, 2017

Our adventures today early with a bird walk around the Belize Botanic Gardens. Today’s walk brought us a glimpse multiple orchids including the Black Orchid and a bonus sighting hummingbirds in the butterfly garden. The walk was a perfect prelude to an amazing Belizean breakfast prior to the official start of our day.
After a short drive, we rode a hand cranked ferry to Xunantunich, the ride was a first for many as we saw an example of simple machines at work. An added bonus was sharing the return ferry with horses!
Once we arrived at Xunantunich, the serenity, sheer architecture, rich cultural history, and continued conservation of archeological study left us in awe. Looking at the temple after our hike to the Mayan Ruins was nothing short of magnificent. Our guides Nathan and Bruce, as well as archeological interns were amazing through their teaching of the culture of the Mayans. Many from the group made the trek to the top of the temple presenting them with a panoramic view of the surrounding area as well as Guatemala. Our budding ecologists were thrilled to see a King Vulture while taking a group photo.
After an inspiring morning, the group was able support the local economy by taking advantage of shopping with local artisans. This gave us a chance to ensure that the memories of our experiences will remain, even after our journey ends.
We returned to another wonderfully prepared lunch to fuel up for our canoe trip down the Macal River. With the humidity at 100%, the three hour journey seemed daunting. Well all put forth the effort and were thrilled with our journey and observations. The local ecosystem of the Macal included: iguanas, bats, kingfishers, spider lilies, toucans, snakes, social flycatchers, ant nests, cactus, mangrove swallows, among many others. We were taught the scientific names of all but are still determined to learn and commit those to memory. Memories were made as a beautiful rainstorm fell on us during our canoe journey at at the culmination we agreed that tropical flavored ice cream from a local Belizean shop was well deserved.
Memories continued as we were tasked with a team building exercise and lesson study with figs collected from our trip down the Macal River. Whether it was our exhaustion of our willingness to take part as a team, the pollination activity of the Fig wasp and the fig fruit, it became a humorous yet thrilling time to find our way towards our final dinner at the lodge. Duplooy’s has been an amazing host for the first leg of our journey and though we leave with wonderful experiences it will remain a special place of the first third of our ecological study. Our journey continues tomorrow with our anticipation of our trek to the jungle.

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Hummingbird at a Heliconia 

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Black Orchid

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Yet another caterpillar!

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Hand crank Ferry

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Group at Xunantunich

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At the top

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Canoeing on the Macal – the river we read about in “Last flight of the Scarlet Macaw”

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Rain on the canoe trip

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Michelle, Melanie and Drew learning about figs

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. ryan elijio permalink
    July 27, 2017 10:52 pm

    hey guys bugs are good. and dudes ding try to save the ladies and throw the ones with bugs away. MIGHT ONLY BE THE ONLY ONE YOU GOT. TAKE IT FROM EXPERIENCE lol. do enjoy it will only get better.

  2. adrienne palma permalink
    July 28, 2017 12:33 pm

    I know everyone is having an amazing adventure! Enjoy every moment!!!

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