by Cherri Megasko
February 27, 2001
The boat picked us up at the dock at 7:00 and we journeyed down and around the southern tip of Ambergris Caye, across a bay, and then up the Northern River to the village of Bomba. This is a very interesting village and several of the residents sold their wood carvings in the street or out of small huts. There are many small children here, so if you brought trinkets with you to Belize, this would be an excellent place to spread a little cheer.
Here we unloaded the boat and boarded a bus to Tower Hill, where we got in two smaller boats and began our journey down the New River to Lamanai. We saw numerous, interesting birds on this part of the trip, culminating in a sighting of a jabaru stork with a nestling. There are only a few nesting pairs of jabaru storks left in the world, and to see one in the wild -- with a nestling, no less -- was truly exciting. (Even for the non-birders in the group!)
Once at Lamanai, we stopped for a relaxed lunch of traditional Belizean fare -- stewed chicken, coconut beans and rice, and fried plantains. We got a brief orientation at the "museum" there (which was really a small hut with a few artifacts), and then we began our trek.
There are only three structures currently excavated at Lamanai, and the second one we encountered was climbable. It was moderately strenuous, however, and not for everyone. The view from the top was extraordinary! Quite an experience, indeed.