January 12, 2019 Location: Lamanai, Belize
We start the morning with the ubiquitous bus ride, then hop on boats going up the New River. The river is a smooth path through the Belize hardwood forests. We pause at various locations to look at the birds. Seeing new species is always a treat for a birdwatcher.
The site of Lamanai is interesting in the fact that unlike any of the stone city states of the Yucatán it was still going strong at the time of the Spanish Conquest. But after over four hundred years of abandonment, the plaster and paint have washed away and the jungle has reclaimed the stones. But there were some wonderful plaster masks that had been preserved when the ancient built a new taller pyramid structure over an old one.
Back again to the boats. With many journeys where you re-trace your steps, the journey going is new and there is some anticipation for the new destinations, but journey back can seem much longer, as you have seen it before and you are just going back to your base. But here they did not stop to look at birds. Instead it was a speed boat race with different boats passing each other and calculating different paths along the islands of the river. A bit of exciting adventure travel. We loved it. Our boat won.
Then back to the hotel for a final gathering. Here we give our farewells, promise to keep in touch, and prepare to depart for home or the next stages of our journeys.