Departamento de Izabal

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    • Day 2

      Rio Dulce

      March 10, 2022 in Guatemala ⋅ ⛅ 32 °C

      Today was mostly a travel day to get ourselves to the eastern side of the country. But what a beautiful drive it was. The center portion of Guatemala city has wonderful colonial architecture everywhere and once outside the city, there are endless huge mountains and valleys on both sides.

      But we weren't alone. We had to contend with a littany of truckers coming and going from the eastern port as well. And oh boy, there were a lot. Managed to find a really cool restaurant alongside the highway for a late lunch and then back to battling truckers for the road.

      Along the way, we stopped at the remains of a mayan city called Quirigua dating back to 476AD, which apparently was the commerce center of their world. Not much remains here but lots of massive stone carvings, and stonework from some smaller temples and their grand plaza. A very lush area with banana, mango, and almond trees, and lots of really tall palms, making it very scenic among the ruins. Also found a 200 foot long vine from a crazy tall palm that most of us did a small tarzan swing from.

      Our hotel is situated on the river near the town of Rio Dulce and requires a very wet boat ride to reach it. I think I easily got the most wet out of all of us.

      All the buildings are thatch huts on stilts in the river connected by elevated decking paths. Arrived late, so finished our evening with pizza, beers and a game of Catan.
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    • Day 3


      March 11, 2022 in Guatemala ⋅ ☀️ 31 °C

      Woke up to howler monkeys in the treetops making a lot of noise around 6am. Its possibly the best way i can think of to lose sleep :)

      Zero driving today yay. The only way to reach the altantic coast town of livingston is by boat down a river. Abdel managed to hire our own personal boat and driver who also agreed to take us to a waterfall and a nice beach in the Livingston area. Livingston is a garifuna population which is comparable to jamaicans and is the only place in Guatemala with garifunas.

      The boat ride to livingston was beautiful. Jungle lining both sides of the river, and mountains as a backdrop. And there were also lots of hidden canals of tiny islands in the river hidden by dense vegetation with homes and cafés popping up behind huge leafy plants everywhere. Also came across a floating store, meaning a couple in a dug out canoe selling jewellery and hand crafted items. Large cranes and pelicans were everywhere too.

      We bypassed Livingston and went to the Seven Alters, which is a series of cascading pools of water feeding into each other in a jungly setting. Climbed a million rocks and jumped in and out of different pools of water, and for quite a while we had it all to ourselves.

      From there we boated to a gorgeous white sand beach with really warm waters. Spent two hours here relaxing by the ocean before backtracking to livingston and finally checking into our hotel. Spent a few more hours lounging by the pool and then took tuk tuks into town for dinner by the ocean. There's no cars in this city, just tuk tuks. I had an insane local soup where i almost expected half of its ingredients to crawl out of the bowl. Then back to the hotel for another hotly contested Catan game.
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    • Day 67

      Rio Dulce

      March 30, 2022 in Guatemala ⋅ ☀️ 32 °C

      Onze volgende bestemming was Rio Dulce, vlak aan de rivier. Hier zaten we in een AirBnB omgeven door allerlei groen en voornamelijk een miljard muggen waarvoor we weinig bescherming hadden. Het was die dagen ook 3 keer ongeveer 40 graden dus moesten we heel vaak verfrissing gaan zoeken in allerlei mogelijke waterbronnen.
      We deden een paar korte uitstapjes:
      Een wandeling in de jungle, waar we ook een rubberplantage tegenkwamen
      Een boottochtje in Canyon De Boqueron
      Een uitje naar de watervallen/hotsprings (net iets minder verfrissend 😅) van El Paraiso

      Allemaal prachtige plekken waar we ook veel wild konden spotten zoals aapjes en veel tropische vogels. Uiteraard de enigste moment dat we toucans zagen hadden we het fototoestel niet bij en moesten we ons behelpen met de GSM, waardoor de fotokwaliteit niet optimaal is. Maar ze zijn heel kleurrijk en mooi, geloof ons maar!
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    • Day 35

      Casa de la iguana

      February 8, 2022 in Guatemala ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

      Aparté sur ce logement dont nous avons apprécié l'atmosphère.
      2 nuits à la Casa Iguana, sdb commune avec seulement eau froide bien sûr. D'ordinaire nous petit-déjeunons de notre côté mais ici le cadre invite à se poser et David se laisse tenter par les "panequeques" qui au goût semblent au lait de coco. Le soir, suite au copieux déjeuner, dîner uniquement de tartines avec avocat mais apéro avec citron vert du jour et rhum acheté au Belize.
      Seul regret, nos voisins belges francophones nous laisseront peu dormir la 2eme nuit.
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    • Day 39

      Santo Tomás, Guatemala

      February 21, 2022 in Guatemala ⋅ ⛅ 27 °C

      I went on a great tour to visit an eco school for local children. The school was so remote, it took 1.5 hours by motor boat to reach.
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    • Day 138

      Rio Dulce Pro's & Con's

      August 2, 2022 in Guatemala ⋅ 🌧 73 °F

      Been a little MIA on here as we settled into Rio Dulce after sailing our butts off for a couple months.

      The ride through the Rio Dulce gorge was something neither of us have ever seen before. Absolutely break taking. Huge mountainous cliffs and walls surrounds us on either side. It reminded me of when I went rafting in the Grand Canyons but instead of Canyons is what all jungle. You could hear exotic birds whistling from the tree tops, monkeys hollering and the vegetation looked like live wall art. The Guatemalans past us on their pangas with the most welcoming waves and smiles. The fisherman were throwing huge cast nets into the gorge and hand lining for fish. The houses on the river were all tiki hut cabana's with not much to them but they were so unique and beautiful. It was humbling seeing how these people lived but that didn't stop them from giving us the warmest welcome smiles as we cruised by. The people here are the happiest and most hard-working people we have seen yet.

      As we approached the Rio Dulce town you could see the hundreds of sailboats surrounding the shorelines. Most are tied up at these bungalow looking marinas since its so affordable. We have been anchored up the entire time since we constructed our boat to be self-sufficient.

      This town was created for sailors. Locals come to our boat every week trying to sell us local produce, cheese, jumbo shrimp, snook, lobster and more. The town is hectic and takes some getting used to. There is a 1 lane road that runs through the main town with huge truckers that plow through with no sidewalks so you have to be extremely careful to not get ran over. There are vendors everywhere alongside. Little dollar store looking shops, hardware stores, agricultural stores, plenty of produce shacks and local street food everywhere. Everywhere you look there are women making fresh tortillas on the side of the road & everything is SO cheap compared to the states! You can go out to eat for drinks and food for $15-20 US for two people and labor is $4/hour US!!

      So now getting to the not-so-great part. After being here for a week, we learned quickly we were in a third world country. We both caught the case of what the sailors call the Rio runs... basically what felt like a week long stomach flu. We didn't know that you are supposed to soak your produce in a vinegar solution prior to eating it since they don't spray their produce with pesticides here so that is what got us sick. In the magoes and cauliflower we could see little worksm crawling around! We were afraid we had parasites but fortunately testing came back negative for that. It must have been a bacterial thing. We both had to get on antibiotics to fight it off. Within the same time frame, Kendra bit into a frozen banana breaking one of her front teeth off so that has been a fun process trying to get that fixed in a country that doesn't have the best dental practices but thankfully there is nice place in town that could help put together a temporary fix until we go back home.

      All of that craziness set aside, we have been enjoying our time here. We have been able to settle down and focus on our work. One of our Gautemalan friends let us borrow his motorcyle one Sunday to go see the hot spring waterfall about 15 minutes outside of Rio Dulce. The waterfall poured scolding hot water down into a pool of cool water. The cruise on the motorcycle was beautiful. We got to see all the little towns in surrounding valleys and mountains. We have done a couple amazing hikes during our stay as well.

      As much as we are happy we have been able to experience Rio Dulce, we are anxious to set sail in October for the Bay Islands of Honduras to see crystal clear waters and reef life again. Thats where our love and passion lys and why we set sail in the first place. From there we will travel to Belize, Mexico and then do the big crossing over to the Florida Keys, up the east coast for Florida and cross over to the Abacos, Bahamas for another long season in the Bahamas and make our way down to the BVI's. Going to be a fun year ahead!
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    • Day 196

      Recap on our time in Rio Dulce

      September 29, 2022 in Guatemala ⋅ 🌙 55 °F

      Today we get to part ways with a place that taught us more than we could have ever imagined.

      Rio Dulce became our home for the past three months as we moved through this years Hurricane season. We made some of the best friends in our little sailing community. Some that we hope to meet up with again in the Bahamas this next sailing season and some that we hope to cross sailing paths again. I will always love the part about meeting other sailors doing what we do and how quickly we become family friends. Our favorite part is hearing everyones stories about where they come from. We now have friends from Russia, New Zealand, Australia, Chile, Argentina, Canada and list goes on and on...

      The locals of Guatemala and culture was unbelievable. These people have very little yet they are always happy and helpful. Our favorite weekend in Guatemala was when we traveled out to Antigua to hike and camp on Volcano Acatenango with views of the active Volcano Fuego. Hands down, hardest hike we have ever done. We hiked over 10,500 feet up a straight vertical volcano. Once we got to the top, it was absolutely breathtaking. Fuego was erupting every 20 minutes. We could barely sleep through the night it was so loud and not to mention how chilly it was too! Fortunately, we had a campfire with hot chocolate and roasted marshmallows. The next day we hiked down the volcano and got to spend time exploring Antigua which Carson and I both decided is our favorite town we have visited so far. The town is completely surrounded by volcanoes, cobblestone roads, historic sites on every corner and the people and food are incredible. We fell in love with this town.

      The past month our boat was pulled out on the hard. The laborers were incredible and the work was affordable and they did a fantastic job. We discovered several nice cracks on the sides of the boat that they have to cut out and re-fiberglass. During that time we stayed in a little jungle cabana that literally was floating over the river water. It was nice to live in a house for a little bit but after a couple weeks we really missed out boat. Not to mention we really missed exploring in the open ocean. We have been itching to get out!

      During our time here, we learned something new about ourselves. We have realized how much traveling completes who we are. There's nothing we enjoy more than completely immersing ourselves into culture. Before we would talk about how we needed to make money to buy the next best performance catamaran but now all we talk about is where we can travel to see more culture. We now know thats just how the American culture is. We always want the next best thing in life and Americans will work their entire lives to get there. You meet other sailors out here and they don't have the nicest sailboats or nicest clothes. They have what they have and that allows them to see the world and meet new people. That resonated deep with us. We feel we have everything we need in life right now. We feel so fortunate.

      We have set sail to Belize in the midst of Hurricane season. WIth only being 30 miles away from Rio Dulce still we felt comfortable leaving knowing we can always go back to our safe little hurricane hole. We are so excited to be in the islands again and get back in the water to do some spearfishing!

      Honestly, it has been hard not feeling a sense of guilt living our lives out here while we watch family and friends suffer through what hurricane Ian did to our hometown. We will be back in a couple months and its going to be even more heartbreaking to see how things have changed.
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    • Day 35

      Zurück in den Urwald, zurück nach 👉🇬🇹

      November 11, 2022 in Guatemala ⋅ ☀️ 29 °C

      Für ein paar wenige Tage habe ich mich wieder in Guatemala aufgehalten. Doch alles schön der Reihe nach…😊

      Per Bus fuhr ich zuerst ganz in den Süden von Belize, nach Punta Gorda. In diesem Nest gibt es eigentlich nicht viel Schlaues zu entdecken, ausser vielleicht ein paar Hafenkneipen und eine Fährstation. Letztere hatte ich als Zwischenziel angepeilt, weil ich hier die Fähre erwischen wollte, die mich durch den Golf von Honduras zurück nach Guatemala bringt. Hat auch alles wunderbar geklappt - bis auf die Tatsache, dass es sich eigentlich vielmehr um einen Kutter als um ein richtiges Schiff gehandelt hat.

      Ausser mir wollten noch drei Texaner mit auf die „Fähre“. Wir vier hätten auf dem Boot mehr als genug Platz gehabt. Leider waren die Texaner aber mit ihren Motorrädern unterwegs - und die drei heissen Öfen mussten auch noch irgendwo auf der schwimmenden Nussschale untergebracht werden.

      Wie ihr auf dem Bild sehen könnt, hat es mit der Unterbringung schliesslich geklappt. Zu meinem Erstaunen.

      Die ca. 1-stündige Überfahrt nach Livingston verlief sodann problemlos. Livingston gehört zu Guatemala, also musste ich nach der Ankunft zuerst in einem Büro in der Nähe des Hafens vorsprechen, um den Einreisekram zu erledigen. Mit einem anderen kleinen Wassertaxi gings dann ca. 20 km den Rio Dulce hoch, und weiter in einen Nebenfluss, an dem das Hotelito Perdido gelegen ist, ein kleines Urwaldhostel mit offenen Schlafzimmern und einer wirklich seeeehr entspannten Atmosphäre.

      Hier traf ich auf einige Holländer, mit denen ich am nächsten Tag eine Kajaktour zu einem Wasserfall unternommen habe. Ausserdem konnte ich in dem Hostel super Yoga machen, ein bisschen ausspannen, gesund essen, im Fluss schwimmen gehen und in gemütlicher Umgebung meine Weiterreise planen. Meine Rückkehr nach Guatemala ist nämlich nur von kurzer Dauer. Kurzfristig plane ich, nach Honduras weiterzuziehen. Das ist hier sozusagen gleich um die Ecke.😉 Honduras ist voraussichtlich das dritte Land, das ich auf meiner aktuellen Mittelamerika-Route durchqueren werde.
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    • Day 48

      Rio Dulce & Livingston, Caraïbes 🏖🦐

      November 12, 2022 in Guatemala ⋅ ⛅ 28 °C

      Nous voilà de retour aux Caraïbes. Après un trajet semé d’embûches, 14 heures de bus/ taxi/ bateau, un café renversé sur un t-shirt blanc, une lettre de la CAF m’indiquant que je vais certainement finir en prison….

      Nous nous stoppons au Rio Dulce, dans un hôtel sur pilotis au milieu de la jungle. Le lendemain nous en profitons pour faire un tour en kayak et découvrir les splendides environ. 🛶

      L’après midi nous embarquons pour redescendre le Rio (fleuve), jusqu’à la ville de Livingston. Petite merveille des Caraïbes, peuplée d’une population descendante d’esclaves des îles réfugiés sur le continent, bercée par la culture garífuna et sa musique aux sonorités “punta rock” (jouée avec des carapaces de tortues et des coquillages) 🪘

      La musique :…

      Nous visitons avec émerveillement les alentours mais sommes très attristés par la pollution environnante. En effet, les plages sont malheureusement couvertes de déchets 😢

      Côté foodies nous nous nourrissons de cury coco et tacos de camarones (crevettes) ! Miam 😋
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    • Day 55

      Guatemala: Rio Dulce

      November 21, 2022 in Guatemala ⋅ 🌧 24 °C

      Guatemala hat zwar auch ein paar Strände, aber die Seen im Land stechen hier mehr durch ihre Schönheit hervor.

      Nach 12 Tagen Reisen, Aufregung, Abenteuer und tausenden unvergesslichen Eindrücken aus dem Land, das ich bereits 2018 sehen wollte, gönne ich mir noch zwei Nächte Ruhe am Rio Dulce und ausnahmsweise sogar ein Einzelzimmer 🤣 also ein Privatzimmer mit Bernd...

      Eine riesengroße Brücke verbindet die beiden Seiten den Rio Dulce miteinander, über die ich Bernd bei 30°C und einer unglaublichen Luftfeuchtigkeit natürlich gerne getragen habe.

      Hier nimmt man ein Boot entweder um die verschiedenen Orte am See oder die karibische Seite des Landes zu besuchen. Am zweiten Tag hat mir der Regen einen Strich durch meine Pläne gemacht, aber so konnte ich den ganzen Tag die Gastronomie, die ich viel zu selten Teile, genießen. Am zweiten Tag musste ich bereits um 5.00 Richtung Bus, der mich nach Guatemala City fährt, aufbrechen um nach Mexiko zurück zu fliegen, wo mich Pepino glücklicherweise mit einer Jacke in Empfang genommen hat.
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    Departamento de Izabal

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