Into the Jungle!
Location:Caves Branch - Belize
by Wayne & Karen Brown
We have driven our little 4-wheel away from the coast of Belize, deep into the jungle. For our rainforest explorations our expedition base will be at Ian Anderson's Jungle Lodge.
Ian Anderson is from Vancouver, Canada. Seven years ago he built this lodge in the middle of the rainforest so people can explore and stay in the rainforest. Ian knows all about the rainforests and caves in Belize.
After driving for a couple hours into the rainforest we turn off the main road and go down a bumpy dirt and gravel road. The rainforest surrounds this narrow road on both sides and the top! We drive through a tunnel of trees, and hanging vines. Finally at the end of the road we come to a small building in the jungle near the edge of Caves Branch River. We are here! This is an outdoor patio that is the dining room, living room, and meeting place for the Jungle Lodge.
We meet Ian and his staff and we are shown to our room. We are in a thatched hut, much like the ancient Maya lived in thousands of years ago. Unlike the Maya we have screens that cover the openings in our hut to keep out the bugs and mosquitos. Like the Maya we have no TV, radio or even electricity. At light our only light is from an oil lamp. The Maya slept on the ground on woven mats of corn husks. We will be sleeping on beds with soft mattresses.
The bathroom is in two different places. The showers are down a jungle path in four small thatched huts. There are no hot and cold faucets for the showers. The water is either off or on and it is warm. The toilets and sinks are along another path in the jungle. The only lights are torches that are lit at night along the edge of the path.
We are told to always use our flashlights at night as we walk along the jungle paths. We are in the middle of the rainforest and many creatures use the rainforest as their home. Many of these creatures come out at night to feed. Some of these creatures are ones we may want to avoid, like snakes, spiders and jaguars.
It is starting to get dark and we leave our hut to go to dinner at the main building. We see something moving outside our hut...It is a huge hairy tarantula! We decide to get inside our hut and get our flashlights so we will be able to see what creatures will be moving around in the dark around us!
After dinner we walk back to our hut and fall asleep listening to the noises of the jungle animals and insects all around our hut!
Join us tomorrow as we explore the rainforest!
Wayne & Karen Brown
Caves Branch, Belize
Position: 17º 10' N / 88º 41' W
Air Temp: 88ºF
Weather: light breeze, sunny with scattered clouds.
We are getting gas on our way into the jungle. (Gas is BZE $5.88/gallon. 2 Belizean Dollars = $1US Dollar. Our tank holds 10 gallons. How many US Dollars does it cost us to fill our tank?)
In the center of the picture is the main building at Ian Anderson's Jungle Lodge, next to Caves Branch River.
This is our expedition jungle base camp. It is a small room with a thatched roof made of palm leaves. (This is the same way the Mayans made the roofs on their homes.)
These four thatched huts in a circle are our outdoor jungle showers.
This huge, hairy tarantula was slowly crawling along outside our room. It is about as big as your hand.