Monday, June 3, 2013

The Belize Zoo - Photo Dump !

I'm in Belize City.  You'll see a pic of the tiny airstrip at Placencia Village, from which I flew a tiny Maya Air plane, stopping over at Dangriga, and onward to Belize City Municipal Airport.

The flight was just beautiful, over the Caribbean, with the reef to my East, and the mainland to the West.  We were low -- I mean ... a few hundred feet off the deck low.

I've walked a LOT in Belize City, a town of maybe 70,000 people.  It's got a LOT of pretty low-rent areas that -- while a bit depressing -- are inhabited by some pretty friendly people, many of whom have been thoughtful enough to offer me beers, fire water (aguardiente), marijuana, and pretty much any other convenience a traveler could want :-)

Lots of garbage, and open sewers in this town, but there are at least two really pretty neighborhoods, where Belizean elites live.

My hotel is beautiful, and located right on the "Haulover Canal," very near the old swing bridge.  It's a lively area, near downtown (shopping, banks, restaurants), and a ten minute walk to my water taxi to Caye Caulker, on Wednesday morning.

Most of the locals speak Creole.  While I know it's English based ... wow ... I can't understand a word of it.  Some speak English, too.  Some speak Spanish.  A fair number of Taiwanese immigrants, mostly in the restaurant and grocery-store business.

This morning, I took a bus that dropped me at the Belize Zoo.  All I can say is ... it's an extremely cool little spit of a place.  I got there early, and spent about 3hrs -- plenty of time to see it all.

What I think is worth mentioning about the Zoo:

 - this IS a piece of property basically IN the tropical jungle.  They didn't have to create habitats suitable for these animals.  These animals live here, with or without the zoo :-)

 - There really isn't an animal in the pictures that -- were I foolhardy enough -- I couldn't have touched.  The fences are THAT close.  They are NOT double-walled.  They are NOT high -- probably not even high enough.  There are NOT effective barriers that would keep you from poking fingers into the enclosures.

So anything that looks like I was right there ... I was right there.  That ... was just amazing.  I've never been so close to just about any of these species, before.

 - I had heard that Harrison Ford was a benefactor.  Took a pic of his name on the donor wall.

 - The first snake is a Fer-de-Lance (Armstrong) -- exceptionally lethal.  I kept my distance.  You could NOT poke at that one.  Somebody made a good call, there :-)

It was a good day.  I'm going to have to rest for a bit, and then venture out for grub a bit later.

Without further ado (or editing, because my eyes are simply not cooperating with me), my pics of Belize City and the Zoo.  Again, I haven't dragged the camera out much, on my walks.  Just doesn't feel right.  Maybe not unsafe, but ... maybe not respectful, either.


  1. Great shots, Neil! Wish I were there with you.

  2. That "No Parking" sign arrow -- does it go on infinitely?
    Dios mio, I hope you didn't park in that direction. Anywhere, in that direction.

    So many pun possibilities, toucan play at that game. You already made an Armstrong joke: maybe it's not fer de lance, but he was a cheetah. (Fine, that was probably a leopard picture, but a leopard can't change it's spots).

    The donor pic is nice, and it was surprisingly great of Hudspeth Motors to make a major donation.
    You've got me wondering about "Sandercock," as there's a Geppetto joke somewhere...

    I miss you. I miss *us* . Actually the girls miss us, as I have to be twice-as-lame in their company, and often lob easy softballs only to hang out there in silence.

    Glad you're having fun!

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  4. And now I'm done checking out Keith's blog.
    (Hi, Keith!)

  5. There are some really amazing pictures. I've decided to use the one of the white and grey owl as my background at work. He looks so wise. many animals I've never seen before. Love the leopard pic; even the whiskers are clear. Glad you kept your hands out of the cages.