Monday, January 31, 2011

Belize, Part 5 {Mayflower Hike}

Ok, so this video is on our hike through the Mayflower Preserve, up to the waterfall. Obviously the video was taken near the beginning of the hike, because there are no sweat stains under my arms yet. That was a tough hike! Also, since we were hiking with two young people (such as ourselves) we were kind of competing with them :) So we went REALLY quickly up the mountain. And it was rough! But, at the top of the hike was the best reward: a waterfall and clear, cool water that we could swim in.

We also got to try out the underwater features of the little camera we brought with us... a preview for our snorkeling the next day. Boy! That water was cold! In Belize, they call it "refreshing." Matt said it was probably about 70 degrees, but it might as well have been ice water :) But, it sure did feel good after that hike, for a little while, at least. And it was so clear!

Anyways, after that hike we were pretty exhausted, as you can imagine. We went back and had dinner, and slept really well. We made pretty good friends with our tour-mates: Chase and Allie. They also ended up on the snorkeling trip with us the next day. Good times!

You can tell how tired I was, huh! :P


Belize, Mayan Ruins, Part 2

Ok, so I know I've been keeping ya'll in suspense and you all are dying to know about the second Mayan site we visited. So, I'm finally back to show you some pictures of the site. Also, I'm planning on going back into the bird watching blog and updating with some cool pictures Matt took of some of the birds :) So, make sure to go back and look at that!

Our second Mayan site we saw that day was Xunantunich. This is a much larger site, located next to the border of Belize and Honduras. It is not as old as Cahal Pech, but has been excavated more fully.

Here's me, with the large tomb behind me.

And, here it is, a little closer.

View from the top.
Me and Matt, with Honduras in the background.

Matt, at the top, taking pictures.
Some nice people at the top took pictures of us :)
And, another one.
Matt and I tried out some settings on the camera to take some pictures of ourselves. Turned out all right :) This is down at the bottom again, in one of the plazas.

Well, eventually Matt will process his pictures of the Mayan tour, and I'll post them. But, you at least get to see a bit of what we saw. :)


Friday, January 21, 2011

Belize, Part 4: Mayan Ruins

Ok, here's a short post on our Mayan Ruins trip. I didn't take a lot of pictures, but I'll show you what I have. We went to two Mayan sites: Cahal Pech and Xunantunich. They are pretty close to each other, near the Guatemala border. After a 3 or 3 1/2 hour van ride, we arrived at Cahal Pech.

Here's me, getting ready to go.
 Oh, did I mention there was a jacuzzi on our deck.
 Ahhh! Pictures of us together :)
 This is at the resort, looking at one of the buildings.
 Ok, ok, here it is. Cahal Pech. This is in the central plaza.
 Yep, we're going to climb those steps  :)
 ANOTHER picture of us together. Unheard of!
 Matt, standing in front of the temple.

 Here's one of the bedrooms.

 Stairs going down from the top of the temple.
 Hey! Stop so I can take your picture!
 Here's the timeline for Cahal Pech, found in the visitor's center.
 And the last two pictures are for my mother, who loves pictures of flowers :)
 Ok, so maybe this is just grass, but it is crazy grass! Look at how it twists!

Well, Matt is home from work, and I should let him take over the computer. Maybe he'll process some of his pictures so we can post them (hint, hint!)

I'll tell you more about the second site, Xunantunich later.


Belize, Part 3 {Updated wtih Pictures}

Ok, so Thursday was our birding day. As I said, Matt took all the good pictures. I didn't even pull out the camera to take a picture of a bird. I was just enjoying finding all the birds in my new binoculars that Matt got me before we left. They are AWESOME! I'm so excited to put them to use here in CA...Anyways, we went birding. THis is something I've never really done before. We basically drove around and looked for birds. Here's a list of the 38 birds or so that we saw that day:
Great-tailed Grackle

Pale-Vented Pigeon
Bat Falcon
Boat-billed Flycatcher
Fork-tailed Flycatcher

1. Great Kiskadee
2. Social Flycatcher
3. Tropical Kingbird
{I get those 3 confused, and can't really tell the difference, so these next pictures could be any of the 3...}

Vermilion Flycatcher
Roadside Hawk
Black Vulture
Turkey Vulture
Red-legged Honey Creeper
Summer Tanager
Masked Tityra
Brown Jay
Gray Catbird
Tropical Mockingbird
Golden-fronted Woodpecker
Altamira Oriole
Baltimore Oriole
Orchard Oriole
Olive-throated Parakeet
Red Lored Parrot
Cattle Egret
Great Egret
Little Blue Heron
Blue Grosbeak
Blue-black Grassquit
Blue Seedeater
Indigo Bunting
Variable Seedeater
White-collared Seedeater
Keel-billed Toucan
Black-headed Trogan

On other days, throughout the visit, we also saw:
Smooth Billed Ani
Plain Chachalaca
Ruddy Ground Dove
Green Kingfisher
Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture
Red-throated Ant Tanager
White-collared Manakin
Blue-crowned Mot Mot
Rufous-tailed Jacomar

Hooded Warbler
Wood Thrush

And, the mystery bird. Matt and I both don't remember what this was...but it's kind of pretty!


Look closely at this picture: you'll see the green iguana in the tree. He liked sitting up there; the next time we drove by a few days later, he was still there! He has a spiny back, but is not a spiny-tailed iguana. The young of this iguana are vibrantly green, which is where they get their name.
 Matt and I, on our birding trip. I told you I didn't take any pictures of birds...I was too busy looking for them!
 We stopped for breakfast at Maya Center. Our guide was kind enough to take a picture of us :)
 Here we are, posing with the plant called "Hot Lips." Can you tell why they call them that?

 Ok, after our birding trip, we decided to walk down the beach. It was stormy, hence the jackets. And the storm had washed up all sorts of junk onto the shore. Here's a coconut.
 And the inside of a coconut.

Here's a croc! Ahhh!
 A lot of garbage washes up....
 We headed back to relax in the hammock. Yes, we both fit.
:) That was  a fun, relaxing day. Not too strenuous. I've decided that I like looking at birds with someone who knows what kind they all are. But, I also just like looking at birds. Especially with a good pair of binoculars. I promise to light a fire under Matt and get him to post some pictures of those birds.

We went to bed that night, anticipating the next day. Mayan Ruins!!!