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Chris Smith is a professional photographer in Charleston, SC. A photographer for almost 30 years, Chris offers a superior knowledge of creating perfect images. For many years, Chris has been the official photographer of the Family Circle Cup, a professional tennis tournament held annually in Daniel Island's tennis stadium

Adventures in Belize – Tropical Wings

“You made it, Mr. Chris!” he exclaimed as a trudged up the slippery, sloppy hill to the entrance of Tropical Wings. It had been raining. Anhil, the youngster I had befriended on my way past this way the week before, apparently didn’t think I’d make it out of Guatemala alive! I was tired and hungry from my day’s travels.

Truth is, Guatemala was an excellent adventure all its own. But I was glad to be back in Belize where the language barrier wasn’t quite so severe. I had scoped out Tropical Wings, a butterfly and bird haven, near the boarder town of Benque on my way into Guatemala. They had really neat, rustic cabanas for rent. So I had told Anhil I’d stop here for a day or two on my way back.

Not long after I’d unpacked and settled into the large meeting area to check email, a group with GAP Tours (now known as G-Adventure Tours), pulled in for the next stop on their tour. It was fun to meet the young and energetic adventurers, who had also come from Guatemala that day.

Taira, one of the ladies in the group, was kind and sweet…befriending me right away. Pretty soon I was sort of adopted into the group. I even joined up with them to canoe into the Barton Creek Cave, which was something I’d really wanted to do before, but hadn’t found the time for on my way to Tikal. It was an AMAZING excursion!

A highlight of my stay in the area included watching a lively game of “petit poto” soccer, a favorite of mine from my days as a kid growing up in Africa. It was just a pick-up game along the side of the road, but you’d have thought it was the World Cup finals by the vigor with which these young men played!

And of course, with butterfly centers at Tropical Wings, as well as just down the road at Chaa Creek, I enjoyed capturing a few images of these flying flowers as well.

Anhil scooped a large helping of ice-cream onto the home-made chocolate brownie. “There you go, Mr. Chris. Welcome back to Belize!”