La Bacadilla

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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 35–37

      Rio Dulce and Livingstone

      February 2 in Guatemala ⋅ ☀️ 29 °C

      The bus journey wasn’t too bad, it was full of younger backpackers and there was the potential for the children to get fed up on the journey. However we have entertainment and snacks well-planned now and the children took the journey in their stride. We were heading back into the jungle, the last part of our journey to our hotel involved a 20 minute boat trip, our hotel (Boatique Hotel and Marina) is set on the fringes of the Dulce River/Lake surrounded by the jungle with the only access and egress by boat. It is a really tranquil location (at least until we turned up) and we spent our first afternoon lounging in hammocks, spotting wildlife and cooling off in the pool. Our accommodation was a lovely jungle lodge, with bedframes made from bamboo which fascinated Elana, and lovely views into the jungle beyond.

      The following morning we were rudely awoken not by the dustman, but by the local howler monkey family! We spotted them in trees not far from our lodge, whilst it’s nice to be surrounded by nature take it from us howler monkeys are loud – almost like constipated cows (living in the countryside of Devon we know what we mean). Sleep is overrated in any case so we started our day bright and early. We spent the day with a boat trip down the River Dulce to Livingstone which is a town on the Caribbean coast of Guatemala. On route we passed through a local community that purely relies on the river to sustain itself, predominantly through fishing activities. Witnessing the villagers young and old out catching fish (one canoe we passed had two children who must have been between 5 and 8)! We also spent time spotting wildlife, as always Elana is the champion spotter, she has the ability to spot the best camouflaged creatures amongst dense vegetation. There were lots of egrets, herons, pelicans, bats and iguanas to spot along the way! On the way to Livingstone we passed through the Rio Dulce gorge, with limestone cliffs that raise around 90m either side of the river – very dramatic. After emerging from the gorge we arrived in Livingstone. Livingstone is known for its vibrant atmosphere and diverse population. It certainly had a feeling of the Caribbean about it with bbq and jerk chicken dishes a-plenty (as well as some rather pongy salted fish drying in the sun). After a light-lunch we hopped back on our boat to meander back up the river. On the way back to the hotel we stopped off at some hot-springs that emerge from the river bank, Elana couldn’t get over just how hot they were (scalding in places) and Bert was just bewildered! We spent a relaxing half hour in the springs and having thoroughly enjoyed our day on the river we journeyed back to our hotel for a relaxing evening meal and an early night.
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    • Day 15

      Flores to Rio Dulce

      February 14, 2023 in Guatemala

      ... first thing in the morning - pharmacy and antibiotics ... the stomach problems I had for now around one week got worse and I felt miserabel ... Dilay had a meeting and at 11am we catched the bus to Rio Dulce ...

      ... I kept on sleeping what was a pity since the place in the mangroves seemed very lovely ...

      ... and I missed a splendid zucchini soup accompanied with a blackout and candle light 🤪 ...
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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 70

      rio dulce

      November 13, 2016 in Guatemala ⋅ 🌙 25 °C

      Ik zoek mijn toevlucht naar de jungle en ik hoop daar tot rust te komen. Je moet de boot nemen naar de resorts dat aan het water liggen want je kan er niet naartoe rijden. Als de boot stopt bij mijn bestemming kom ik toe in een aards paradijs. Het resort waar ik ging verblijven was tip top in orde en had een female touch die ik enorm apprecieer. Elke avond zaten alle gasten en de gastvrouw samen om te eten wat voor een leuke sfeer zorgde.
      De gastvrouw had enorm veel stress en dit kon je zien in alles dat ze deed. ze heeft enorm lelijk tegen me gedaan, maar gelukkig werd ik gesteund door andere gasten.
      De volgende dag ging ik vertrekken. Elke stap dichter bij Mexico is beter.
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    • Day 222

      Rio Dulce

      March 27, 2019 in Guatemala ⋅ ⛅ 30 °C

      Wieder mal ein verregneter Morgen – eine gute Entscheidung gestern die Bootsfahrt von Livingston nach Rio Dulce von 9:30 Uhr auf 14:30 Uhr zu verschieben. Wir bleiben also lange liegen, machen ein entspanntes langes Frühstück, schneiden unser Video von Tobacco Caye zusammen und chillen bei einem Kaffee und frisch gepresstem Fruchtsaft im Hostel. Mittags kommt dann endlich die Sonne raus! Gleich ist es wieder drückend heiß und wir schwitzen ohne Ende nur vom kurzen Weg in das kleine Städtchen, um nochmal Geld abzuheben. Die Fahrt mit dem Boot dauert in etwa eine Stunde und wir sind die einzigen Passagiere – eine gemütliche Privatfahrt also. Die Landschaft ist wunderschön, am Anfang schlängelt sich der Rio Dulce zwischen hohen Felswänden, die von urigen Bäumen und Palmen bewachsen sind. Später wird der Fluss ganz weit und die Landschaft eher flacher – überall an den Seiten kleine Hütten von den Einheimischen und im Gegensatz dazu die riesigen Yachten und Segelschiiffe auf dem Wasser. Dann sehen wir an der Flussenge vor uns schon Rio Dulce, doch der Bootsfahrer biegt in einen schmalen Flussarm in den Dschungel ein und bringt uns zu unserer Unterkunft für heute – die Casa Perico. Schnell klären wir die formellen Sachen, legen unser Gepäck ab und machen uns direkt mit dem Kanu durch den mystischen Wald zu einem Floß und genießen die letzten Sonnenstrahlen und gehen baden. Abends malen wir ein bisschen in mein Reisebuch, essen lecker Fisch (Mojarra und Robalo aus dem Gewässer hier) und lassen den Abend gemütlich ausklingen. Unsere Betten befinden sich unter dem Dach des offenen Floßhauses – trotz der über mein Bett huschenden Kakerlake und der vorher auf Toilette gesichteten Schlange schlafe ich irgendwann zum Glück ein.
      Am nächsten Tag klingelt der Wecker 5:30 Uhr, denn eigentlich wollten wir den Sonnenaufgang anschauen. Allerdings war es leider bewölkt und regnet, weshalb wir (zum Glück) im Bett liegen bleiben konnten. Nach einem Kaffee paddeln wir trotzdem mit dem Kanu zu dem Floß auf dem See. Wir schwimmen ein paar Runden und genießen das Morgenbad im Regen. Zurück im Hostel machen wir Frühstück und packen unsere Sachen, denn um 11:30 Uhr Uhr nehmen wir den Shuttle nach Rio Dulce. Ich kaufe mir noch ACC da ich einen ollen Reizhusten habe und erkunde die kleine Stadt – nicht wirklich schön, was ich gesehen habe. Für 200 Quetzales geht es von hier wieder zurück nach Antigua, mein erster und auch wieder letzter Stopp in Guatemala. Die auf 5 Stunden angesetzte Fahrt dauerte dann letztendlich 8 Stunden - Baustellen und das wahnsinnige Verkehrschaos in Guatemala Stadt haben uns aufgehalten. Hungrig, kaputt, aber glücklich und mit einem Gefühl zu Hause angekommen zu sein, checken wir schnell ein im Purpose Hostel (das hate ich vorher schon mit Tatjana ausgemacht) - wo wir mit einem Schildchen am Bett "Welcome back" nett begrüßt werden. In Jogginghose gehen wir um die Ecke zu einem unserer Lieblingslocale hier und essen Saji - ein Burrito mit Salat und in Knoblauch und Öl gebratener Aubergine. Sau lecker! Erschöpft und mit dicken Bäuchen fallen wir müde in unsere Betten.
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