Blue Hole Nat Park plus a living souvenier!

Hopkins Travel Blog

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Leaving San Ignacio, we hopped on a bus to Belmopan, then changed busses and headed toward Dangriga along the very beautiful hummingbird highway, getting off at Blue Hole National Park. We got off at the first entrance you come to as you're coming from the west, which is the entrance to St. Herman's Cave. The park seems to be run by the Audubon Society - the guys working at the visitor center there and down the road are great, they can tell you about all the birds in the area and where to look for them.  It was only a short way to the cave, so we headed off. The cave in unlit, so you need to bring your own flashlights.  It was nice and dry inside, not slippery at all, and very beautiful. Outside of the cave I kept hearing explosive little noises, like caps going off, then I saw the little birds making the noise - collared manakins! 

it was here, outside the cave, that the mosquitoes were voracious. I decided that the manakins were so beautiful that the bites were worth it.  However, after I got home I noticed that one mosquito bite on my scalp wasn't healing. It had turned in a hard and oozing bump. Two or three weeks passed, and the bump started feeling twitchy, and periodically, like a cigarette burning me. It finally realized that I had a botfly. After a week and several failed attempts using vaseline and superglue to draw out the little bastard, we stuffed a piece of tobacco in the whole, and that killed him overnight - my husband was then able to squeeze the body out. Yecch! A most unpleasant experience.  When I return to Belize from now on, I will use tiger balm or alcohol on my bites as soon as I get them to kill the little maggots before they can dig in. No more souveniers for me!

Anyway, next we walked about a mile (very hot!) to the blue hole for a much needed swim. The only other people there was a bird-watching couple and their guide, which we rather, I'm sorry to say, glombed onto - they had an excellent spotting scope they let us look through, I hope we weren't being pests! :-)  The water was lovely, but the birds were incredible! 

18 Birds seen at Blue Hole National Park:
Olive throated parakeet
Rufus-tailed jackamar
Blue-crowned motmot
Black-cheeked woodpecker
Lineated woodpecker
Social Flycatcher
Royal Flycatcher
White collared manakin
Ridgeway's Rough-winged swallow
Brown jay
Yellow green vireo
Clay colored thrush
Magnolia warbler
Yellow-rumped warbler
Black and white warbler
American Redstart
Blue Gray Tanager
Long-tailed grackle

After the blue hole, we caught a ride with a very nice gringo named Scott, and we spent the night at his homestay on the Sittee River.  The flies were biting but we treated to the sight of collared aracaris nesting in the tree outside his house!
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photo by: siri