Saturday, February 11, 2012

Liz: At Home In The Jungle

From Liz: Their journey here to Moonracer Farm

(At the Tropical Education Center - Prior to their arrival at Moonracer Farm):
I am happy to report that although the screens had holes, the bed was missing a slat and the mattress was a 2" foam pad, and although there were crocodiles in the pond 50 feet away (about the same distance as the bathrooms) and we found a black scorpion crawling across the floor of our room after dark, we survived our night "roughing" it summer camp style without any major problems. The kids had a great time, the dad rose to the occasion and the mom experienced a case of grumpiness the next morning, which passed after a good meal and some meditative time next to a beautiful river.

We took a night tour of the Belize Zoo and saw some animals up close that are hard to see in the day, like a big jaguar and a harpy eagle. The tour started with the opportunity to hold a boa constrictor which Patrick and Otis were brave enough to do. Our guide, one of the zookeepers, howled up to the howler monkeys, starting an outburst that lasted until we were well away. I have to confess here that I am not a jungle type of a gal. Deadly poisonous snakes, fire ants and mosquitos that could be carrying a nasty disease like Malaria or Dengue Fever don't excite me. So, about halfway through the tour I wanted to be home with the kids tucked safely into bed. While Otis shared the sentiment, Patrick and Sofia had a great time on the tour and we recommend it.

You might be wondering at this point why I wanted to go to the Belize jungle. That's what I was wondering the next day as we bumped our way over miles of rocky dirt roads that felt about 10 times worse than any dirt roads I've been on before. If you wonder why it is so expensive to get around Belize, it's not just the high cost of gas but the cost of spare tires and parts for the cars. We passed a village on the way to Moonracer Farm that is without power. Our guide told us it was scheduled to get power but then the entire village voted for the political party that lost the election and now they don't get power. There are poles along the road up to a point but no power lines. Perhaps that's also why the road is so bad. Our guide said it was because they would just get the road fixed and graded and then the heavy rains would come and wash the dirt away, leaving rocks and holes. Big rigs coming through to pick up oranges and deliver things make the problem worse.

Finally we arrived at our destination, Moonracer Farms, a lovely place in the middle of the jungle where you can pick fresh oranges, grapefruit and bananas right off the tree to go with breakfast. The cabin was immaculate and cozy, the screens in perfect condition, the beds comfortable, and the hosts are friendly and understand (and welcome!) children. We had a wonderful homemade meal that reminded us of home, pasta with a garlic and cheese sauce along with vegetables and chicken. Today, sitting on the hammock on the porch listening to the birds and monkeys, watching hummingbirds fly around just outside the screen, and seeing the kids happily exploring a new place and learning about the jungle, I'm glad we came.

Patrick with boa at the zoo

TEC - docks near rooms

TEC - Crocks in ponds

Bumpy roads

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good to see more posts! Hope all is well.

-Ron and Shelly