Belize Zoo to Barrier Reef, Feb. 27-Mar. 2
Moving now to our secondary base in south-central
Belize, we paused en route at
the Belize Zoo. This little
gem of ecological pedagogy is quite a contrast to American urban zoos,
with its modest decor, wryly vernacular environmental teachings, and
beautiful natural habitats for jaguars, tapirs, anteaters, howler
monkeys, toucans, macaws, crocodiles, and other wonders of Belizean
(S) Brothers in ecology -- Charlie and
Our almost palatial base at the Pelican Beach Resort was a stark
contrast to the shabbiness of adjoining Dangriga.
air-conditioned suites (H)
boating, hammocking (Wr)
Disappointed by the resort dining room, we found a
satisfying alternative in central Dangriga. The Riverside Cafe
offered good, plain
food, superb beer, reasonable prices, and an infectious sociability.
Our last expedition
took us by boat some ten miles offshore to Belize's celebrated Barrier
Reef, second in length only to Australia's Great Barrier Reef.
After landing on a sandy little palm-shaded caye and changing in the
bushes, we splashed and snorkeled for several hours among the brightly
patterned reef fish.
from the bushes (H)
coming ashore (F
We returned to the mainland via the swarming rookery
of Magnificent Frigatebirds on Man o' War Caye. The grotesquely
inflated red throat sacs of the males in the breeding season must be a
come-on for the ladies.