After arriving at the Lodge at Chaa Creek, set along the banks of the Macal River in the Maya Mountains, I skipped cleaning up and went straight for dinner. Survival deserved the fitting reward of food--a hot shower could wait--and with an ice-cold Belikin in hand, I thought about the day's adventure and how it could've gone much worse if we weren't driving Land Rovers.
Travel advisory: The Dreaded BOTFLY
By Thomas Voehringer
Often mistaken for a mosquito bite, the entry wounds of the Botfly larvae don't heal as long as the larvae feed. Once deposited on warm flesh the eggs hatch. It takes only 15 minutes for the larvae to burrow under the host's skin. While protected from the elements, they consume living flesh causing the host chronic pain and bleeding in the area of the infestation. If left unattended they'll remain in the host for about three months. The engorged mature larvae wriggle out of the wound to complete the pupal stages on the ground. The adult fly has nonworking mouthparts relying entirely on nutrition ingested during its time below the skin. The complete life cycle takes 100-120 days.
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As if the 2006 Range Rover wasn't already capable and sumptuous enough, 2007 models get Terrain Response, Land Rover's patented off-road technology, as well as an upgraded interior with more luxury cues and safety equipment. First introduced on the LR3, Terrain Response, replete with a center-console-mounted rotary knob that controls five settings--general driving, grass/gravel/snow, sand, mud and ruts, and rock crawl--becomes standard fare on the Range, automatically varying the settings of the transmission, ride height, engine torque, Hill Descent Control, and traction control depending on surface conditions. Moreover, a new rear "e" (electronic) differential is standard on the Range Rover Supercharged, optional on the normally aspirated version. Inside, new enhancements include twin gloveboxes, an electronic parking brake, acoustic laminated windshield glass, driver-side knee airbag, and restyled front seats with integrated side airbags and an optional cooling function. While the 2006 Range Rover we drove in Belize performed flawlessly, the 2007's Terrain Response would've been a welcome off-road helper. And who wouldn't want air-conditioned seats in the jungle?