Belize Zoo-Tapirs,Warthogs, Monos & a Talking Bird

Trip Start Sep 29, 2007
Trip End Dec 20, 2010

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Flag of Belize  ,
Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Today was a public holiday in Belize so the normal buses weren't running to schedule and the Baboon Sanctuary was closed so we went from Orange Walk on a chicken bus (an old American style schoolbus) to Belize City. We like to watch all the goings-on on the bus as people come and go about their daily lives. A small boy next to us was holding a new puppy in a shoebox on his lap and kept opening the lid to check on it.... very cute..... the children make us smile. The driver sang bad eighties tunes the whole way. We bought some Punta music (local to Belize) from some Rastafarian guys at the bus, i'm sue they are a hoot!

Belize City was a shithole. The place we stayed was called Seaside Guesthouse on the water and was owned by a permanently intoxicated Californian named Mitch and two women named Teresa and Alfa who he constantly ordered around. As soon as we arrived a guy from Belize named Ernesto who turned out to be my little soul brother started to draw our portraits with a stick of willow charcoal. The guy drew Nadine first then sat down and chatted to me for an hour whilst in an artist's trance drawing my picture. He told me of his time in a coma after a car accident (he still had one arm in a cast) and how he was given his gift to draw, of spirituality and ways to live. It was a very deep and moving conversation. Mitch read from an OSHO book as we watched children jump from a large platform into the sea with big smiles on their faces. Nadine traded Mitch a foot massage for him getting out his massage table and doing bodywork on her. Alfa cooked us a divine meal of Snapper, beans and cornjacks...... beautiful. Mitch took us to the hotel next door where they opened up the bar for us. We had one beer and left because Mitch was being a little too hospitable and got on our nerves.

We went to bed early and were woken up some time during the night with Mitch putting his arm through our bedroom window and trying to wake us up, we put a padlock on the door and went back to sleep. in the morning we were getting the hell out of dodgeville.

We tailed it out of the accommodation in Belize City and easily negotiated the bus terminal to catch a bus to the Belize Zoo..... well worth the effort. It was pouring rain then deliriously sunny all day so poncho on, poncho off again.

The bus dropped us on the highway and we paid BZ$16 about US$8 each to get into the zoo.... bargain. They have educational programs there and an animal care unit. The animals at Belize Zoo are special, none have been taken from the wild, they have been either orphaned, injured, donated by other zoos, born there or confiscated by the government. Most of the species were rare and so so special creatures.

We saw the most venomous snake in Central and South America called the ferde-lance, a rattlesnake, boa constrictor, spider monkeys, king vultures, tapirs (horse and rhino-like and the national animal of Belize), turtles, hawk eagles, tiger cats (ocelots), warthogs, a puma (cougar), black howler monkeys, anteater, jabiru stork, happy eagle, currasow (punk rock Kira chicken), scarlet macaws, a talking parrot which we recorded on the ipod and a sleek black Jaguar. A spotted Jaguar which was bred in captivity came out to play with a ball in some water.  This zoo is extraordinary with large enclosures and lots of foliage. The conditions were great and all the animals seemed very well cared for. The zoo was brilliant.

We waited on the road for a bus but ended up in a taxi all the way to San Ignacio for the same price. We checked into the Tropicool Hotel, did laundry, sent Dan, Jackson and Izabella a postcard and booked in for a cave tour tomorrow with the Mayawalk company. A very clear, full  rainbow dropped over the city and when we went cruising into town some local men gathered in the centre of town asked us if we had walked out of it. I tried a One Barrel Rum which has a vanilla taste..... primo.
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