Monday, December 9, 2019

12-9-2019 Scarlet Macaw Tour

We had heard from multiple people (including guides) that the Scarlet macaws arrived early this year, so a friend organized a
trip for several of us. (During most of the year the birds live in Chiquibul National Park, but January through March they can
be found eating specific fruits in the trees near Red Bank.)

Two carloads of us drove down to Red Bank and picked up our tour guide from Scarlet Macaw Bed & Breakfast.

We stopped at one spot along the road when the guide saw several Scarlet macaws in the trees in the distance. After they
flew off we walked further down the road and then hiked up a big hill to overlook the valley.

These little red berries are one of the fruits the birds come to eat.

Almost to the top... None of us was expecting a big hike.

We were rewarded with the sight of several Scarlet macaws.

Unfortunately, it was overcast, so the colors didn't turn out in our pictures. Only when the birds were flying against the
backdrop of the green trees could you see their full glory - like big flying rainbows.

Ah, the love of a mother and daughter.

When the birds left the area we hiked back down the hill to go to our next location.

Walking the road back to our vehicles.

Our next stop was the Mennonite community of Roseville. This meant a river crossing, which, again, nobody was expecting.

Thankfully both drivers had vehicles that could make the crossing. However, we missed taking a picture of the sign at the
entrance to Roseville which said "Come Well Dressed". We assume that's because it's a Mennonite community who wants
people dressed modestly - fair enough.

We didn't take pictures of any people, but this cow didn't seem to mind our photographs.

Walking toward the hillside where the Scarlet macaws hang out. That is our Maya guide, Rogelio, on the left.

More cattle to greet us at the end of the road.

We saw lots more Scarlet macaws (that didn't photograph well), plus this Toucan (in the center).

A dam on one of the Mennonite farms.

Homemade hydro power.

One last sighting of Scarlet macaws before we left. They squawk loudly, so you hear them coming from a long ways away,
and you have plenty of time to look around and find them.

Rogelio took us to their nearby family farm for a brief tour.

Unfortunately, nobody can remember what our guide called this fruit.

Rogelio compared this fruit to cacao, but the flavor is more like melon. It was good, but we
all agreed that the fruit of cacao is better.

Our very last stop was the "zip line" that people would use to get to and from Roseville as a shortcut, or when the water in
the river is too high to cross.

We were fortunate that someone was crossing back from Roseville (with his bicycle in tow), so we got to see how it worked.
The first half of the trip is quick thanks to gravity, but for the second half of the trip you have to pull yourself across.

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