Thursday, July 5, 2012

#714 humidity: Utah vs Belize

It rained here in SLC today. It was the first time it had rained in over 30 days. It's really dry here and it gets really hot in the summer - it had been 100 degrees for about five days in a row. But it's a dry heat. So today when it was a little rainy, we experienced something we don't get much of here: humidity. It wasn't terribly humid, but when you're not used to it, you can definitely feel it. The air in my office was heavy. I wasn't sure whether I should turn on my heater and dry the place out a little or turn the air on a little more to cool it off.  I wasn't sweaty or clammy, but my arm felt sticky on my desk. It was just strange.

There was a lot of moisture in the air while we were in Belize. The country is pretty flat and sort of swampy near Belize City. Once we got into the hills of the Cayo district to the west, we were in the jungle/rain forest and it wasn't swampy but it was humid. It rained at least a little bit, and sometimes a lot, every day we were there. (I think I mentioned that before.)

The first day we got there, it began to rain when we reached the town of San Ignacio, right before we headed up the hill to duPlooy's Jungle Lodge. There are four main highways in Belize that are paved and nice. Belize City to San Ignacio is linked by a nice highway; I want to say it's called the Western Highway. Just outside of San Ignacio, you turn up a dirt/gravel road and travel about four miles up the mountain to duPlooy's.

The dirt/gravel road is extremely rough, especially the last couple miles of it. It also gets a little steep, and when it rains, as it was that day, the road tends to wash out a little bit, making for interesting passage. Our driver said, "I hope we make it! Sometimes we have to push." MT laughed, T looked horrified, and I was worried. I had read on Trip Advisor that that exact thing had happened to some people who had been there in March. They actually had to push the taxi up the hill a little way until it could get traction to carry them to the resort.

Fortunately, that didn't happen to us and we made it just fine.

It was pouring rain, and we put on our rain jackets (SO glad we brought those jackets!). The air and the rain was so warm. It was like being in the shower, but with all your clothes on. It wasn't a rain that cooled anything, it just made you wet and sticky.

Eventually it stopped raining and the sun came out.When the sun came out, the many birds in the jungle started making sounds. There was a nice little path right in front of our room and MT and I walked out on it to look and listen. It was incredible. I wish I had thought to pull out my beloved iPhone and take a video just so I could record all the different sounds. But...I didn't do that. I did take a picture of MT on the trail though.

The duPlooy family planted an enormous botanical garden on the property and labeled all the trees in the garden. There are several paths in the garden that go to different areas. MT and I decided to take a little walk through the garden. Since it had rained so much, some of the trails were washed out, but there was a promising trail that led down to the river, so we decided to walk along that trail.

Within minutes of just being outside, I started to sweat. It wasn't that I was strenuously exerting myself. The path was easy to follow and very nice. It was just so intensely humid that I was just wet. I was dripping! It was pretty nasty. To make matters worse, MT didn't look like he was sweating at all. Of course, I have more hair than he does, but still. Look:

Really? Damn!

Anyway, we walk down, down, down, down a trail, catching glimpses of the river as we walk.

I stop to take pictures and look at little lizards and birds and I keep thinking, "This is going to be a hell of a walk back up." Here's a pic of the trail we were on.

See? It's a nice, big, wide trail in the jungle.

Finally, we get to the "beach". It's a little anti-climatic. Since it had been raining so much, the river was just brown because of all the dirt that had washed into it. And the sand was all wet from the rain. All in all, not very inviting.

Oh yeah. And there were lots of mosquitos, too.

We looked around for a few minutes, then decided to head back up to our room. We saw a sign that said "Restaurant/Bar" and pointed up some stairs. We climbed about two hundred stairs and found ourselves just down the path from our room and just a few steps from the bar. MT decided we should go get a drink there. I complained because I was sweaty, but I went anyway. Man, that beer tasted great! (More on that later.) We talked to the bartender who looked at me with a hint of disgust (I was dripping sweat on his bar, after all). He was nice, but I was embarrassed about my condition.  When I got back to our room and looked in the mirror, I absolutely wanted to kill my husband for encouraging me to be seen like that in public. I was just soaked. Fortunately, by that time, so was he and he really didn't look very good either, except that he has less hair so it wasn't dripping on his face and neck.

I'd have to say that afternoon was probably the worst. After that, I learned to carry a washcloth with me to wipe my face. I saw the Belizeans do it, so I figured it was the appropriate thing. It made life much better for me.

Even though I sort of wrote this story in a negative light, I actually really enjoyed the walk to the river. I loved walking through the jungle, taking pictures and just being in such an awesome place. Here's my favorite pic from that walk:

Kinda cool, right?

I know that you are wondering where T was while MT and I were taking the walk. He was in our room, either here:

or here:

On the bed under the ceiling fan was absolutely the only place to escape from the heat and humidity. You left that bed, and you were sweating.  I enjoyed sitting on the chair on the porch. The porch was screened it and had a nice view of the trees and vines. I often sat there to write in my journal.

There was no escaping the humidity; it was just on you all the time. I found that when we went out to the island (Ambergris Caye), it was still humid, but there was usually a beautiful breeze blowing off the sea that kept it bearable. Please don't get me wrong - I really loved being at duPlooy's, even without AC and even with the humidity. It was a wonderful experience for exactly three days. I don't know if I could have stayed there and kept my sanity longer than that :)

I guess the lesson I learned was that I'll take the dry heat of home or a beautiful breeze off the Caribbean Sea if I'm going to have any humidity!

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