Part 2...continuation of our day trip to the Monkey River and the rain forest...My 65th birthday...

Jason driving the boat with his feet in order to get an "eagle's eye" view of the manatees. His ability to spot wildlife is astounding!
Today is my 65th birthday.  Unable to "lunch with the ladies," to receive the usual much appreciated cards and gifts from family and friends with no mail delivery available to us here, Tom gave me this gift of a day on the Monkey River and journey into the rain forest. 

Nothing could have meant more to me, to experience this memorable day and also to share it with all of our family, friends and readers.  Today, we'll grocery shop, walk on the beach, spend time at the pool and tonight, dine in one of our favorite romantic restaurants, the Singing Sands.  What a day!  I qualify for Medicare (can't use it outside the US) and am having the time of my life in this amazing country. 

Back to our story:

The rain forest is filled with a wealth of nature's miracles.  Seeing first hand the vegetation that may be the answer to many of the world's illness added to our commitment that the rain forests must be preserved.  This massive untouched area gives one hope.  The country of Belize is dedicated to the preservation of these areas, constantly striving for ecological purity. 

The jungle.
Termite nest.  They were busy at work.

Termite nest.

Unusual trees hold secrets to health.
The varied rain forest floor.  This was a nature of the path we walked.
Largest bamboo growth area in Belize.
Four turtles sunning on a log.

Iguanas, as do other wildlife, blend into their environment, making them difficult to spot.

 Croc climbing out of the river to the shore.
Leaving the rain forest, we jumped back into the boat, swatted more horse flies and headed to Alice's Restaurant for our awaiting lunch.  The food was hot, delicious and much welcomed along with ice cold bottled water.  We engaged in lively conversation with our Ruth and Howie. 
Alice's Restaurant was hosted by a small group of friendly, kind and attentive staff.
We weren't sure who, or if there was an Alice.
Shortly after we ate lunch, Jason appeared coaxing us back to the boat for more adventure, the long fast bouncy boat road back to Placencia with multiple stops along to way to look for manatees.  Excited at the prospect of seeing these massive creatures, we couldn't get back into the boat quickly enough.

Much to our delight we saw several in the open water area between the mainland and the Placencia Peninsula.  Elusive mammals, they place their blubbery snoots above water for only seconds to gather a gasp of air, quickly dashing back under the sea.  They were nearly impossible to photograph.  Please bear with the photos that we managed to take and see the link for more about the manatee of Belize with better photos.

Look carefully to see the outline of the possibly 1000 pound manatee in the water.  We'd hoped for better photos but, they're shy and don't do the "show" familiar to whales and dolphins.

At the exact moment we shot the photo, a mother and baby surfaced for air. 

More feet driving.

Returning at the lagoon at 2:00 pm as planned, covered in bug spray, bearing a wide array of bites, we felt dirty, wind blown and ready for a spray from the outdoor shower followed by a dunk in the pool. 

It was a perfect day.  We loved every moment.  For now, this is our home and our "backyard" is a treasure of gifts bestowed upon us by Mother Nature and the sea.  Thank you, Mother Nature.  Thank you, sea.  Thank you, Jason.  Thank you, Tom Lyman.  And thanks to all of our readers for adding to our adventure by "sharing" it with us.


Anonymous said...

It's a big wide world out there! Very exciting that you get to experience things like wildlife and the open sea. I bet this is the first of many memorable birthdays! I still look forward to reading your posts and seeing the pictures. Keep em' coming :) Thanks! ~Ashley D

Jessica said...

Thanks, Ashley! It means so much that you take the time to read the post, let alone comment.

It is a big wide world out there with so much to discover. If only we get to see the equivalent of a "grain of sand on the beach' we will be grateful, soaking up every experience to the fullest.

You take care and be well.
Warmest regards,
Jess & Tom

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