Thursday, March 19, 2009

BELIZE: Bat Attack!

The Belize flag has some strange homoerotic imagery on it. What the hell is that, a spanking paddle? Regardless, we decided that the models were our friends Jason and Dave.

Our trip to Belize consisted of two parts: first we stayed in the jungle in the south on a river in Punta Gorda, then we stayed on the beach a little further north in Placencia. But before any of that, we had to spend a night in Belize City.

When not being attacked by bats, the canal behind D'Nest was very nice.

Technically, we were between the city and the airport at a B&B called “D’Nest.” It was a nice place on a canal, but there was nothing around except a grocery store. So we resigned ourselves to getting some beers, smoking cigarettes and just hanging out and playing Pentago [to read my first story about Pentago, go here].

No sooner had Tania kicked my ass in the first game, then we were under attack. “What the fuck is that?” I said. We were getting dive bombed by a big ass, black butterfly. “Jesus Christ,” I said ducking. “Maybe it’s a moth and it’s trying to get to the light?” But it wasn’t going for the light. It was just doing this figure-eight pattern in the air just over our heads.

“Oh shit,” I said finally, “I think it’s a bat?” Tania and I shrieked and hid under the awning. It seemed too small for a bat. We decided to get our cameras out and capture it “on film” with the flash. The thing moved so fast and was all over the place, we could barely follow it. We’d just stick our cameras out into the night and press the shutter button and hope it flew into the flash.

Tania was the first to score a hit. “Yep,” she said, looking at her camera, “that’s a bat.”

Tania's first photo of Dracubat. He's by the BBQ. Close up below.


I got the next one. “Yep,” I said, “that’s a bat.”

I'm more accustomed to shooting captive wildlife. Like in zoos and aquariums. Tania calls me "The Greatest Captive Wildlife Photographer in the World." Not used to shooting real animals in the wild, but I got one here.

Tania named him “Dracubat.” I didn’t like Dracubat. I wanted Dracubat gone. For some reason I decided bats were allergic to smoke. So I wanted to smoke a cigarette and blow the smoke into the bat’s holding pattern. Maybe it would mess up his sonar? The first problem, though, was getting a cigarette. Every time I stepped out from the protective awning, I’d get dive bombed by the li’l fucker. “Goddamn you Dracubat!”

Scary hands! Whoa! Whoa! Dracubat is actually in this picture back by the wagon wheel.

I eventually got a cigarette out and quickly learned that cigarette smoke has little to no effect on bats. Especially a bat that was feeding. We soon realized that Dracubat was eating mosquitoes out of the air. (This is a food blog, right? Well there’s the food: bats eating mosquitoes. Delicious.) So Dracubat was actually a good thing. He was eating the mosquitoes that were dining on us. Still, he was annoying, so we retired to our balcony above the futbol pitch to watch the neighborhood match.

Night soccer.

It was pretty funny, it was just a bunch of dudes from around the neighborhood. Shirts vs. Skins under three lights. Some dudes didn’t even wear shoes. They had a ref, though. He wore jeans and a whistle. I started rooting for the shirts for some reason. Not sure why. But they ended up winning 2-1 thanks to the stupid Skins goalie. He taunted a Shirts player with the ball, and while bouncing it on the ground, the shirt just kicked it out of his hands and into the goal. Idiot.

The next morning we ate breakfast at D’Nest, and then flew to Punta Gorda, where our jungle adventure began.

The "bed" part of our B&B. You can't really tell in the picture, but that bed is like chest high. I had to use a foot stool to get into it.

Tania enjoying the "breakfast" part of the B&B.

1 comment:

gbrl said...

you guys should have nabbed the bat and brought him home. a cat, a dog and a bat!