Our cabana from the Mayan mound next to it. Chan Chich Lodge is surrounded by these Mayan mounds and there are plenty of other Mayan ruins all around, but nearly all are well buried by time and the jungle. A stiff climb up the mound, but worth it for the view.
Here’s Ellen on another of the mounds.
There was a lot of rain this morning, so instead of a morning nature walk we went on a tour of nearby Gallon Jug (here’s the post office). The town and farm of Gallon Jug is largely owned and run by the same family that owns and runs Chan Chich, the Bowens. Six miles east of our lodge, Gallon Jug is an area of about 3000 acres clear cut for farming cattle and other things.
Our driver was also a knowledgible nature guide who pointed out many more birds to us like this Social Flycatcher…
…and this Vermilion Flycatcher which, even on an overcast and rainy day is fiery red.
Overlooking part of the farm, African Tulip trees in bloom.
Gallon Jug also produces organic, shade-grown coffee, a grove is shown here with pruned coffee bushes under the tall forest shade trees.
They process the beans, roast them, and package them in town. Here’s Raul, the coffee roaster, with some of his machinery. I doubt he does all the roasting, but he does a lot of it, and mixed up a special bag for us to bring home. Gallon Jug produces between 150,000 and 180,000 pounds of coffee each year, supplying the entire country, though they don’t export it yet.
Back at Chan Chich after lunch, the rain finally let up, and we went for a two mile walk on the River Trail, very jungly.
We didn’t see many birds but did enjoy watching lines of leaf-cutter ants carrying their leaves, and strange fungi like this one.
It was a long walk, and we were glad to get back to the beautiful grounds of Chan Chich.
While we rested before dinner we enjoyed a flock of Ocellated Turkeys preening just outside our cabana. Such show-offs.
Tomorrow we’re doing a day trip that includes a boat ride to a much larger and better preserved Mayan ruins. More soon.