I loved Belize! I awoke at 4 the first morning to a continuous loud growl/howl noise that sounded like it was right outside my cabana door. Either there was a jaguar on my veranda or Darth Vader was breathing in my ear (it happens). Behind the noise, a chorus of screams, yelps, whistles, groans, squeaks, moans made me feel like one of those 19th century visitors to the Amazon - something they might have described as hell broken loose and the demons escaped.
Gradually the ominous howl seemed to move further down the river. So what did I do? Get up to investigate of course! Braving the possible tarantulas and scorpions on the dimly lit floor, I threw on some flip flops and snuck out the door, careful not to awaken my cousin. Making my way cautiously along the raised boardwalk in the early morning light, I came across a short Mayan man. He was the only other person awake (security guard) and, when I asked him about the noise, he offered to take me to see them - Howler Monkeys! Of course, I accepted. So, in tank top and shorts I followed him further and further away from the compound, to the edge of the dense jungle. Still he pressed on. Not one to quit (those of you who know me are laughing about now), I rushed to keep up - not so easy (or smart) wearing flip flops and shorts in the jungle! I kept thinking about the 15 species of poisonous snakes in Belize and began to envision my own personal entry in the Darwin awards . . . .