DZILAM DE BRAVO
Originating from Hotel Reef Yucatan
Information Compiled by Naturalist Jim Conrad
- Laughing Gull -- whitish seabird with rounded, fanlike tail
- Common Tern *w -- whitish seabird with forked tail
- Neotropic Cormorant -- dark waterbirds with snaky necks
- Magnificent Frigatebird -- large, floating on breezes, narrow and bent wings
- American Flamingo -- lots of pink, long-legged waders
- Great Egret -- white body, yellow bill, dark legs
- White Ibis -- white body with black wingtips when flying, long down-curved bill,
- White Pelican *w -- white body showing black wingtips when flying , heavy bill
- Turkey Vulture -- black body, wingtips "fingered"
- Mangrove Swallow -- greenish swallow over water, white rump & underparts
- Great-tailed Grackle -- black songbird, long tail, makes incredible sounds
From the hotel we head east, soon crossing a bridge over the canal through which seawater will be rushing either into or from the lagoons and mangrove swamps, depending on the tide. Just beyond Telchac Pueblo we pass through extensive groves of Coconut Palm. After San Crisanto we see many shallow, quadrangular ponds where salt is produced by traditional techniques. If you want to buy good-tasting, gourmet-style local rock salt that you can pulverize in a blender back home, we may be able to stop and buy some as we come back. After Chabihau, alongside mangrove swamps we travel the new road built after Hurricane Isidora moved the coastline about half a kilometer inland. The next town is Santa Clara, and then finally we pull into Dzilam de Bravo.
As the boats are readied you can sit in the shade of the thatch-roofed structure next to the parked van, watch for crocodiles in the canal across the street, or maybe buy a cold drink from the roving bicycle-mounted soda-stand. While waiting, the tour leaders may ask you to write onto a form your name, age, and country of origin. Once on the boats, put on a life vest so that the belt wraps around behind you and clicks in front. Once all that is done, just let the adventure begin!
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