Wildlife encounters

When I was researching for this trip, I read about all the different kinds of wildlife we might encounter during our travels. Howler monkeys, manatees, toucans, iguanas etc etc. I was very much looking forward to witnessing such a variety of exotic animals. The most exotic creature I’d encountered in Baltimore was the rat I once saw eating a pigeon.

After almost a week here I’ve seen and heard lots of gorgeous exotic birds and got a quick glimpse of what I think was a coatimundi. But the wildlife that I’ve seen (and loved) the most has been the creatures that wander the beaches: beach dogs.

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They run up and down the beaches, tails wagging, sometimes politely asking for your leftover bones, sometimes happily splashing around in the water. Some have owners, some are strays. But these dogs, with their mangy, salt flecked fur and sweet, soulful eyes have a way of touching your weary traveling heart. Here are some of the ones I’ve met along the way.

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Oh wait, that last one is my half blind chihuahua. He would love it here.

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Eating like kings

Before this trip we were living in the US and subsisting on a diet of mostly pizza and…pizza. Suffice to say I wasn’t sure my bathing suit was even going to fit. We constantly justified this gluttony by saying “well we’re going to lose a ton of weight when we get to Central America”. We even had a “last meal” of Bojangles fried chicken because obviously it would be our “last unhealthy meal for a while”.

False.

The food in Tulum was delicious and appeared to be portioned for two. Our hostel in Belize has a PIZZERIA in it and the pizza is incredible. It is literally around the corner from our room. I mean what kind of sick joke is this? For some reason we also feel the need to eat every 2-3 hours.

Sample dialogue:
Zina: you hungry?
Jill: of course I am

2 hours later:
Zina: I am inexplicably hungry again
Jill: Yep, me too

The (multiple) pizzas, boneless chicken wings, French fries, fried jalapeños, fried eggs etc we have been consuming for the last 4 days aren’t exactly local delicacies. And aren’t exactly helping our whole travel weight loss theory. I had fruit for breakfast yesterday and my body was so confused. Nutrients? As we prepare to head to the next island, Caye Caulker, I am making a commitment to eat only local foods, and much, much less often. My waist line depends on it. But man has it been a delicious week.

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