Thursday, February 24, 2011

Canoeing on the Belize River

Last night we were told to pack light and told what to bring and what not to
forget: Sunscreen etc.

My cabin

We drove about ½ hour from the hotel to where would be our starting point.  We
had 7 canoes and 3 guides and a cook with us.  After unloading everything we had
a quick sandwich.  Once again it is very hot.  I can't imagine canoeing in this
heat as I am already looking for shade at this point. The main guide tells us
to make sure we are well unscreened and to keep drinking water as not to get
dehydrated. He also says that it is much cooler on the river as we will be
facing the wind.

The current was a good pace. It was strong but so strong as to be dangerous.  This
is what we mostly saw on the river:  Howler monkeys in small groups of 4-5, probably 30 in total, Iguanas (12), and birds and trees.  We saw lots of Egrets,
kingfishers, vultures, cormorants, swallows, herons, parrots and a few other
small birds.  We stopped for a swim along the way.

We arrived at our first night camp site around 4PM.  We helped bring stuff up to
the site which is about 50 feet about the river.  The view is fantastic. We set
up our tents and then go down to the river for another swim. Swimming against the currents is like an infinity pool.  

The cook made us BBQ chicken with a few sides.  We eat with
headlamps and flashlight as it was dark now. 

We went for a night canoe ride to look for crocodiles.  You shine a spotlight and the eye glows like fireballs.  We got pretty close to one that I could see the lumps of the eyes. I was with the leader guide and we canoed back with no light on.  It was great. 

The stars are amazing as there is no light pollution here. Rum punch for drinks tonight. 
Off to bed I go. The foam mattress is about ½ inch thin.  Got a few hours of sleep
but kept waking up to move around as it was like you were sleeping directly on the ground. Probably I should had a few more rum punches to knock me out.

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