I recently had a fantastic adventure in Belize while doing research for my upcoming novel, Catherine’s Cross, which will be released in May, 2013. My daughter, Whitney, and I flew from Belize City in a Cessna 172 piloted by Alisa, with Javier Flying Service. We landed at Gallon Jug, named by British mahogany loggers in the nineteenth century after they found gallon jugs left by Spanish explorers centuries before.
We spent the next several days exploring the wonder that is Chan Chich. Built on the plaza of a Maya ruin, Chan Chich is a jungle resort with cabanas, a lodge, fabulous cuisine, nine miles of walking trails, and bird and animal watching. There are several species of large cats on this estate, including the puma and the jaguar. .
My daughter and I spent many hours with guides, Gilberto and Marvin as we explored the ancient settlement. We saw some Maya sites excavated by archaeologists, but others that had been looted several decades ago by thieves. We also learned about the medicinal qualities of native plants, and watched many species of birds. I was amazed by the call of the howler monkey whose growls and howls can be heard for miles. One of the visitors to the lodge spotted a jaguar on a trail, and a motion sensitive camera caught the image of the elusive creature for all of us to see!
In my upcoming novel, Catherine’s Cross, part of the action takes place in the jungles near Chan Chich which is in the Orange Walk District of Belize. I feel excited about my presentation of the area in my novel, and I hope you will want to read about this historically rich and natural area of Belize. Many thanks to Elder, Irma and his staff for helping with my research. We had an amazingly wonderful time!