Feb 18th

Our last day in Belize was a bit messed up. The original plan was to do an early morning birding/boat ride at Crooked Tree, and then drive over to Altun Ha and see those Mayan ruins. However, we didn't want to drive back over the notorious causeway to Crooked Tree, and we had already been to Altun Ha two days earlier.

Melanie had the idea that we could drive back to San Ignacio and see the Green Iguana Conservation Project. Belize is such a small country that we could have gone all the way to the western edge, and still been back at the airport in time for our afternoon flight. Unfortunately, we didn't have this idea until after the morning was half over, and by then it was too late. So I need some one else to go check out those iguanas for us.

We drove south slowly from Orange Walk, and stopped along the roadside at a marshy area where it looked like there were a lot of birds. We could spot some interesting birds, I was especially delighted to see a kingfisher, but it was already getting to be midmorning and the birds weren't out as much.

We drove over to the Community Baboon Project. This is a group of citizens who have set aside some of their land as a reserve for the Howler Monkeys. I don't know why they call them baboons. By visiting this project, you contribute money to their endeavor, which helps them keep going. A guide will walk you out among their jungle paths and show you some howler monkeys up in a tree. We had already seen howler monkeys else where, so this wasn't an amazing visit. The most interesting thing I learned on this stop was about the raising and harvesting of cashew nuts. It takes A LOT of manpower just to get one nut. Cashew oil from the shells can cause burns on the skin. Your mouth and throat can be harmed if they come into contact with shell oil or the irritating fumes emitted during roasting.

Melanie made a friend of a young kitten that wanted to be petted. It was a reminder that by evenign we would be seeing our own two gatos and telling them all about our trip.

We got to the airport rather early and turned in our rental car. This was another successful vacation for us. I wrote a few comments in the Notes page about planning your own trip to Belize, should you decide to go. Have fun!.

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