Day 3 - Sunday, May 20
Again, I was awake before dawn. Sounds of birds replaced the almost deafening cicadas, as my hunny lay peacefully asleep beside me.
I had one thought: the coffee won't be ready for an hour.
I washed up, grabbed my camera, sunglasses, and smokes (my vaca 'basic essentials') and took a slow stroll up the long canopy-level catwalk to the bird deck, listening and looking. The sun was up, hummingbirds flitted from flower to flower, various calls echoing in all directions. To me, this is close to heaven, and I soaked it all in.
I had a few personal moments communing with nature, and strolled back down the catwalk toward our casita. BF met me halfway, and we turned back for coffee.
By then, they were putting fruit out and the aracari (small toucan things) were starting to come. First one, then five. Other birds, some small, some quite large, gathered in the trees above, waiting for their turns. the sun was over the mountains, the mist dispersing.
There was a grizzled man by the coffee, so (of course) we started chatting with him. It turned out he was the horticulture guy at duPlooy's, a brit who had been in bz for 30+ years. Coffees in hand, we talked of belize past and present, politics, education, parenting. he answered many of our questions, and we his. People are so interesting.
Leo came walking up, and we realized the time had slipped, and we went back to wake Steve, lotion up, and get moving. We piled all our stuff in the Beast, and jostled our way back down the dirt road to the highway. We were running late, our phones had guatamala service - we couldn't call SIN. As we got to our rendezvous place, late, he was just pulling up. Horray for "belize time"! We followed him to his kids' house, said our good mornings, and they proceeded to fill the Beast with coolers and people. The nine of us happily headed to Pop's for breakfast. Yum.
Soon, we were off to Mountain Pine Ridge. The unpaved road was, um, kinda bumpy. SIN said they called it 'the washboard'; bruce called it a gut-buster. No one complained. Two hours later, we made it the rio frio cave. It is enormous. Walking up, I overheard Leo say to Steve "OMG, this is soooo cool!".
We climbed around in the cave for a long while, checking out all the amazing structures and erosion holes. Leo was right, it really was very cool.
on the way out, we stopped to have a quick chat with some army guys, giving them each a cold soda and a cigarette, told them to keep up the good work, and then back on 'the washboard'.