Laguna Aquacate-- Day Three
After an all night rain-- we are in a rainforest afterall, we broke our fast and got ready for the day trip to Laguna Aquacate. As if the road wasn't already terrible with rocks and ruts and ravines, the rain also made it slippery too. But our guide Phillip drove the van as if
were his everyday drive to and from work. Of course, it is. We drove east of San Ignacio to another man powered ferry crossing. This time we crossed tha Belize River. As soon as we crossed the river we were in Mennonite country. This group of Menonites came to Belize in 1958. It was like going from a third world country with any poor people living in small houses and surviving by living off of small plots of land to driving through Burton or Middlefield, Ohio. The roads were paved, well maintained, and even had lines marked on them. The farms were big and they had huge farm equipment stores. Quite an amazing contrast. The destination for today was a lake maintained as a wildlife preserve by the Mennonite communities. The main attraction included birding spots, a sighting or two of crocs, the possibility of seeing howler monkeys in the wild. The birding was good, we saw the croc pool but no crocs and we heard lots of Howlers, but could not see them. The best part of the day was our hike through the rainforest to see unexcavated Mayan ruins. But it was even better than we had been told. We did see some buried sites. We saw where a stone was started for an altar, but left unfinished. Then as we continued down the trail. (of course hot--about 87 or 90 degrees with 90% humidity and lots and lots of mosquitos-- that L.L. Bean insect proof clothing worked like a champ.). We came to an active archeology site. A group from UCLA was just starting a dig thatight last many years into the future. It was great. They told us all about each dig site and even let us help sift and sort. This is not a tourist site-- they were ad surprised to see us as we were to see them. There were over 25 arheologists from all over the country. Most were graduate students getting some field experience. What a way to put the excavated ruins we saw yesterday into perspective.
We had lunch by the lake, stopped for Mennonite ice cream and headed home to shower, relax, and watch the green tree iguana from the deck of duPlooy's bar.
Tomorrow we visit a medicine trail and try some Mayan cooking.
The adventure continues.