Travel day begins with a two-hour boat ride down the New River, just after dawn. I’m tagging along with a family from Manhattan who isn’t into the birds as much as they are talking about the day’s schedule, which makes the trip quicker than it would be if we had to stop and admire every species spotted by our Captain.
From the toll bridge, I hitchhike into Orange Walk with some vulgar Spanish-speaking workers, then knock off the entire town in less then an hour-and-a-half. After that, I fall asleep on the bus ride to Belize City, where I jump on the first flight to Placencia. I’d heard about the massive developments going in on the north end of this up-and-coming peninsula, but seeing the cut mangroves and cleared land from the plane is a different storyl.
It is an incredibly diverse day of travel, from the mestizo/Maya country of the north to the Garifuna vlllage of Seine Bight, which I cover by walking it’s mile-long beach, then back on its road, and which reminds me an awful lot of West Africa. For a moment, I’m not sure where I am, the cultural swirl of Belize confusing me, especially when mingling with well-to-do tourists before Thanksgiving dinner with the Frackmans.
But for the most part, I am tunnel-visioned on my work, walking Placencia, Seine Bight, and Maya Beach, and trying desperately to keep up with all the changes.