On our first trip to the park, which we got to via taxi from Hopkins, we'd discovered an eco-resort right within the confines of the park, Mama Noot's. We hadn't read about it in any of our resources prior to visiting the park, but once we found it, we knew it would be a much more convenient place to stay to hike the falls as well as indulge in our passion for birding. So, we booked three nights to allow plenty of time for hiking, birding, exploring, and relaxing. There is also a new zip-line onsite, but we didn't take advantage of it. It looked like fun, but would have been an additional expense, and we really preferred the hiking and birdwatching.
We took off from Ambergris Caye on Tuesday, July 24. We caught an early-morning water taxi into San Pedro, dropped Paisley off at Pampered Paws to board for the week, and enjoyed a leisurely breakfast at Lily's Treasure Chest, since we had some time before the ferry to Belize City departed.
We've learned while traveling this summer that while the summer months are slow season in Belize for tourists from the US, Canada, and Europe; this is the time when Belizeans as well as other Central Americans travel, since the children are out of school and bargains are plentiful. As a result, the transportation options most-used by locals, ferries and buses, are packed. Today was no exception. Both the ferry and buses were very crowded, and our final leg, a bus from the town of Dangriga to the park turnoff was standing room only. We were not able to sit together, and Barry was forced to stand way in the back. Practically the entire aisle was filled with standing passengers.
The park is not a usual bus stop, though local buses will stop pretty much anywhere a passenger requests, so I had to let the conductor know that we needed to get off there. The Belizean man I was seated next to was chatting me up the entire time (only about half of which I could understand) as I tried to watch for the stop. Since the park is only six miles south on the Southern Highway outside of Dangriga, we would be the first stop, so the conductor had to make his way down the crowded aisle to let Barry know to start working his way to the front of the bus to be ready for the stop. Fortunately, the driver did stop, and we got off at the appropriate place. It was really nice to be out of that crowded bus and enjoy the fresh air again.