Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Amphibians & Reptiles

Thank heavens for a day of rain, I can now get into the kitchen after clearing out 4 days washing up. There are far more important things in life than dhobying pots! On the subject of 'Life' did you see David Attenborough last evening featuring the worlds Amphibians & Reptiles, a group I feel are most under-rated and often overlooked. By no means an expert on the subject, and unlike Mr A don't have a cast of thousands to put me right on what is what, results in many of my findings remaining unidentified. Anyway, apart from being totally mesmerised by the footage, it stimulated me to looking back through a few photos and brought back a fantastic memory of Belize. In early 2004, Big Fat Billy and I embarked on a venture to 'backpack' from Mexico City to Panama City and on the way meet up with Jim the Medic at Chetumal on the Belize border. This done we headed for our pre-determined destination of Paradise Inn on the former Island of Crooked Tree. One small snag could have hampered our journey, the bus wasn't scheduled to stop at the recently constructed causeway, adjoining the island, but to the total amazement of both driver and fellow passengers we were dropped as requested. In temperatures well above the 100F mark, we now had to negotiate the final 5 miles to the camp. This is when the school bus happened along, and for $B2 each we were taken close to our destination. Our hosts here were 79 year old Rudi Crawford and his (cradle snatched) wife Grace who was only 77. These 2 were backed by a family of many dozens including 8 sons and 6 daughters, their spouses, children etc,etc.

The next day we enjoyed a wildlife boat trip where we recorded among many others Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture, Limpkin, Roseate Spoonbill, Clay-coloured Robin, Grey Saltator, Mangrove Warbler and the bizarre looking Boat-billed Heron, but the best was yet to come. On the Sunday we were the Crawford's guests at the annual Fish Festival, which started by us meeting John Briceo the countries Deputy Prime Minister. A couple of drinks later, we were whisked off to the feast, where we were invited to enjoy a delicacy reserved for honoured guests only, and have to admit to thoughts of 'sheep eyes' or perhaps something a little more exotic. It was exotic alright, we were about to savour the delights of 'Bamboo Chicken' as they eloquently described it. If the realisation this was in fact Green Iguana was not enough, it was then announced that as 'special guests' each of us had been reserved an egg-bound female, and we should eat the charcoal braised flesh with the eggs as we released them from reptiles body cavity. Needless to say, there was a little anticipation, but the fact of the matter was this was a delicious dish, complimented by the 'local brew' which was both sweet and potent. It was a great wrench to leave this beautiful and welcoming community and all the experiences we had enjoyed.

Green Iguana - they're tasty, tasty very very tasty

Jim the Medic - having just nicked an extra Iguana

Big Fat Billy - just in time for 'Up Spirits' and to clean the DP's car (background)

Me - looking a little 'egg-bound'

a few shots from the archive:-

Picasa Web Albums - captbagsy - Amphibians & Reptiles

No comments:

Post a Comment