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#436341 - 04/23/12 08:06 AM Biking, birding, fire, and a fall  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 55,706
Marty Online happy
Marty  Online Happy

Blue sky as far as the eye could see

If you've been reading our blog for awhile, you know that we usually do some bird-watching on Sunday morning. Sometimes we walk, sometimes we ride our bikes. We'd been mostly walking lately, so this morning we decided to ride, since we can get farther north past more of the golf-cart traffic that way. Although we didn't see many new birds, we ended up riding farther north than we ever have before and had a great time doing it.

We started off riding north on the beach from our condo. It was a gorgeous day after a cold front came through last night, whisking the humidity away (so rare for here) and bringing a great breeze and cooler temperatures along with it.

Near Matachica resort, we ran into a huge puddle in the road. This area has had more rain than farther south lately, and there had been a very high tide not long ago as well, so high water from the lagoon just to the left certainly didn't help matters. We wouldn't be able to travel this way any further as I wasn't willing to ride through this puddle. We did watch a local man do it, but it didn't look easy or pleasant and was quite deep.

So we back-tracked to Rojo Lounge, which is closed in the morning, and cut through to the beach.

The shift of the wind to northwest off the lagoon brought with it a ton of mosquitoes. Here I am dancing and dodging them, despite wearing insect repellent:

The road got a bit sketchier, and we finally came upon a muddy area I didn't really want to cross after watching Barry fishtail across it. So he continued up just a bit farther to take a photo of this resort (can anyone identify it?) while I waited, then he turned around and met back up with me.

Sketchy road to mystery resort -- suspect most people get here by boat!

As we got closer to the big cell tower, we saw lots of smoke. We had seen small fires along here on the way north, but they had really whipped up with the windy, dry conditions by the time we headed back. We still don't know whether these were intentionally set to burn brush or whether an errant cigarette or even a lightning strike in the wee hours sparked the flames. Unfortunately, we knew that the small and ill-equipped fire department would not be able to do anything about them in this remote area. They reminded me of wildfires we'd seen along the highway in Florida and North Carolina during hot, dry summers. We just hope they burned themselves out and were glad that they would be unable to cross the sandy road. Quite a wide area was covered, making for a hot, smoky, and unpleasant ride along this section.

Lots of smoke and charred ground

I hightailed it outta here as fast as possible, while Barry sacrificed to take the photos!

Finally we left the fire behind and were able to breathe clean air again. In order to avoid the nasty puddle near Matachica, we cut over to the beach on a small trail we found alongside the wall at Canary Cove. I heard a dog that sounded like Kujo snarling and growling behind the wall, but he didn't come running out onto the beach to bite our ankles, thankfully

This stretch of beach was covered with palm fronds and not very cyclist-friendly

After all that riding, we actually had the best bird sighting of the day right next to our condo, of all things. This cute Dickcissel hung around for quite some time eating something in the grass. He was incredibly tame, and I got within two feet of him even with Paisley on the leash. Our Belize bird book says they are transients and appear here during migration season, so what a treat to happen upon this little fellow -- a new bird for our life lists!

Click here to read the rest of the article and see more photos on the BeBelize Blog

#436343 - 04/23/12 08:44 AM Re: Biking, birding, fire, and a fall [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 88
awhatukeeguy Offline
awhatukeeguy  Offline
The mystery resort would be Sapphire Beach.

#436350 - 04/23/12 09:38 AM Re: Biking, birding, fire, and a fall [Re: awhatukeeguy]  
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 208
Sally1 Offline
Sally1  Offline
Our landscaping company(Ladybug) has been using that road to bring plants up for Sapphire this last week. 150 plants at a time in a good size trailer. Nice to know the road is that good up north. So much better for the reef to have fewer barges, etc.

#436352 - 04/23/12 09:50 AM Re: Biking, birding, fire, and a fall [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 12,009
elbert Offline
elbert  Offline
[Linked Image]
"Nice to know the road is good up North" ??? was that a joke?

The Dive Shops Daily Blog
#436355 - 04/23/12 10:21 AM Re: Biking, birding, fire, and a fall [Re: elbert]  
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 834
BeBelize Offline
BeBelize  Offline
Thanks -- had done some research this morning and figured out the "mystery resort" was Sapphire Beach, which was also confirmed by a Facebook friend who is building there.

But as Elbert says, ya' gotta get through the one big, bad puddle at Matachica to get up there. Once past that, the road is decent but gets quite narrow in places, especially between Blue Reef and Sapphire Beach.

Former Belize expat traveling the USA & Mexico
#436367 - 04/23/12 11:32 AM Re: Biking, birding, fire, and a fall [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 5,441
ScubaLdy Offline
ScubaLdy  Offline
I showed a picture of the bird to my yard man and he says we have these here. I've yet to see one and need to get a photo to verify. I miss my 500 mm lens sooooooo bad! Costs almost as much to have repaired as I paid for it.

Take only pictures leave only bubbles
#436374 - 04/23/12 12:53 PM Re: Biking, birding, fire, and a fall [Re: elbert]  
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 208
Sally1 Offline
Sally1  Offline
Hey, our landscaper was using the road last week and I think this morning too. What's interesting is that the worst part imo is behind Mata Chica. I have taken that road many times myself but had to cut over to the beach at Blue Reef. I hate driving over the beach in front of people's homes so it will be nice to not have to do that. Our landscapers have a golf cart pulling a trailer so it's not like they're driving an atv or anything like that. If it's dry, it's doable.

#436393 - 04/23/12 04:28 PM Re: Biking, birding, fire, and a fall [Re: BeBelize]  
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 8,880
seashell Offline
seashell  Offline
Did you find out anything more about the fire?

A fish and a bird can fall in love, but where will they build their nest?

#436394 - 04/23/12 04:36 PM Re: Biking, birding, fire, and a fall [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 12,009
elbert Offline
elbert  Offline
Sally, the water isn't rain its just 'high tide'. its a stretch of road north of Mata Chica for about a half mile.
I hate driving on the beach also but sometimes its just the only way, but no golf cart is going to make it over the sea wall at Playa Blanca or the ramp jump at La Perla those are Evil Knievel tricks on a motorbike!

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