Friday, August 7, 2009

The New River and the Maya ruins at Lamanai

Our 1st full day in Belize we arose to the sounds of black howler monkeys (the locals call them baboons) ROARING in the trees. We had cereal and fresh tropical fruit that we’d purchased the afternoon before and headed north to Orange Walk and our 1st adventure: a boat trip up the New River to visit the Maya ruins at Lamanai. Lamanai means “sunken crocodile” and the river trip lived up to the name with lots of crocs in various sizes (PHOTO 1) as well as lots of beautiful birds, lizards and monkeys (PHOTO 2: Tyler with a new spider monkey friend who came aboard to scrounge bananas).

The ruins were beautiful and shrouded by jungle. This site was inhabited for more than 3000 years, from about 1500 BC until after the Spanish arrived in the 1500’s. We enjoyed a delicious Belizean lunch (Belize Special with a twist) and climbed lots of pyramids (PHOTOS 3 and 4: Mike and Stacey). There were black howlers there, too, and Eli nearly coaxed one down from a tree to try a bite of cookie (PHOTO 5). Before we hopped back in the boat we took the chance to swim in the refreshing, crocodile infested river; the boys and Mike launched themselves off the top deck at the dock (PHOTO 6: Adam). As we headed back down the river our captain and guide, Carlos, passed around Rum punch and pop (PHOTO 7). It was an interesting, eventful day. HAPPY TRAILS!

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