This country is unbelizeable.

The English Creole (spelled Kriol in Belize) is a wonderful English-proximate language, which we tried and failed to get the hang of. We do have bits though: “Dis da fi wi chickin.” This is the chicken for us! A very good, locally-phrased advertisement about chicken grown by the Belizean Menonite companies. They explain it here.

Some Guatemalan politicians are attempting to claim a large part of Belize. Belize is not having it. There will be a referendum before the International Court of Justice this spring. “We Belize” means “our Belize” in Kriol, of course.
Katie stands in line for a local bus while the rest of the family rests. The buses were filling up in Belize City with folks going home for Christmas. This meant that in Belmopan (the capital), they were not taking passengers. We waited about an hour and then got a taxi ride with a guy named Glen.
We arrived in San Ignacio and went looking for a restaurant. On the way we inspected a broken down neighborhood playcar. This thing probably saw more use from children in the last five years than from adults when it was functional.

Once in San Ignacio, our first trip was to Xunantunich. Xunantunich (Stone maiden) was a city of the Yucatec Maya. Ceramic pots at Xunantunich start at 1200 BCE. Xunantunich held about 10,000 people at its height. It is special because unlike other ancient Mayan cities in the region, it survived the decline of the Maya in the central lowlands, even including Tikal the largest Ancient Mayan city site in central America. The main temple is called El Castillo, and looms to 120 ft high.

The car ferry to Xunantunich is operated by a hand crank.
We got a ride with our guide, as it started to rain.
Hard to find better traveling partners that Bri and Anna!
Katie climbs El Castillo.
The fresco on the list of El Castillo. The character in the center is the rain god. The Mayan decline is known to have coincided with major drought. I believe Ixchel, the moon God is in there somewhere, too. I could be mistaken though.
Katie snipes from the top of El Castillo, Xunantnich.
The family standing on the ruins of an ancient Mayan temple still towering above the Belizean jungle. What lucky people we are to get to see this!
Nothing good to say here.
Centuries later, the rain at Xunantunich is going gangbusters.

After San Ignacio, we treated ourselves to two nights at a very fancy jungle resort, name Chaa Creek, during Christmas eve and Christmas day. It did not feel like Christmas, but it sure was a gift. The place was gorgeous, the staff were extremely courteous and hospitable, and the guests, aside from being too wealthy on average for my tastes, nice too. We stayed in the cheaper “camping” part of the resort, and Wow.

Where we were staying at Christmas. (Not this cabin precisely but the one next to it.)
We wend on bird walks both mornings. Because of out time in Costa Rica, our whole family loves central cool birds. We’ve become birders, I think. Alex as a great guide.
Reid spies a pair of Lessons mot mots, I think.
Goofing off in our cabin.
The regal Keel Billed Toucan. What a bird. Yes, that was yours truly.
Katie in her chosen habitat, a pool in a jungle.
I forget which heron this is.
Never can get enough.
Black-headed trogon
Eating palm berries.
You can never get good shots of Morphos, except in a butterfly house.
Liam inspects a morpho butterfly, reminded of Monteverde.

Birds
Heard mot mot in the morning
Brown Jay
Band backed wren
Golden fronted woodpecker
Great tailed grackle
Plain Chachalacka
Clay colored thrush
Keel billed toucan x5 – toucans are viscious predators. They eat the eggs of other birds, and they have a great, creaking, cracking squawk.
Great kiskadee
Melodious blackbird
American red start
Magnolia warbler
Summer tanager
Wedge-tailed sabrewing hummingbird
Red throated ant tanager
Hooded warbler
Wood thrush
Boat billed fly catcher
Rose-throated becard
Squirrel cuckoo – Cuckoos are brood parasites. They lay their eggs in the nests of other birds and when their eggs hatch first. Soon the cuckoo chick pushes the other eggs out of the nest. Finally, it stays and gets all the free food it can often growing larger than the host species. It’s revolting.
Lineated woodpecker
Slaty-tailed trogon (one of our favorite groups of birds, now, the trogons)
Yellow throated euphonia
Rufus-tailed hummingbird
Social flycatcher
Black-headed trogon
others I wasn’t fast enough to write down.

Canoe paddle
Collared aracari x3 (check these guys out online, they are rad)
Heron
Vulture
belted Kingfisher blue 
Russet-naped wood rail
Keel billed Toucan
Lessons Motmot
Gartered Trogon male and female
Melodious Blackbird
Rufus-tailed hummingbird
Montezuma oropendola – never thought we’d see one of THESE here. What a find!
Masked tityra – the masked tityra female takes over the nest of a woodpecker and modifies them to her liking

2 thoughts on “This country is unbelizeable.

  1. Marie Waring January 17, 2019 / 11:54 am

    Wow so beautiful. A great family adventure for sure. Thanks for the update. Love Dad and Mom

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  2. Marie Waring January 17, 2019 / 11:57 am

    You guys may get two plus feet of snow ! We will see if our flight goes or is cancelled, Ah, adventures ! Love Dad

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