The"Hard" Life on the Rio
27 July 2013 | Mario's Marina, Rio Dulce, Guatemala
sunny, hot then rainy, repeat
Living this life on the Rio is hard, before you know it the day is over. Susi, has left for the states, but our dear friend Linda is here until her departure in 2 days.
Last Saturday, the marinas in the area hosted a "Poker Run". We register at Vista Rio with an entrance fee of 40Q (approximately $5.20 US). Each participating marina offered a beverage and/or appetizer and you got one playing card there. After visiting all seven marinas you had your poker hand. This was a great way for us to see the marinas in the area. We returned to Vista Rio for all hands to be tallied and Linda came in 8th with 3 Kings, but alas no $$ prize for 8th place. Such a "hard" day on the river.
Charlie has had a new "launcha" built and in only 5 days. It is 14' and fiberglass. The dinghy just didn't cut it on the river, too much chop and we always ended up wet. So, now we are riding into town in style in our little "Solita". Another "hard" day on the Rio.
We had to move our boat to a new slip, so we took the opportunity to go sailing on the lake - El Golfete. We motored, with the help of the out going current, across the lake and to the beginning of the gorge. We wanted Linda to see that, plus the locals living in their palapa huts on the water. The men fish out of cayucos, which are dug out canoes that sit very low in the water. There is a very close mountain and today the top was obscured by low hanging rain clouds, the air was thick with humidity. After turning back toward the lake, Charlie was just itching to put out the spinnaker. We sailed back with it until the wind picked up and we had to take it in, but it was nice to see it fly. Of course, with the wind picking up, it brought the rain and we had a good soaking sail back to the marina. We got back just in time before the bottom dropped out. I have never seen rain like this or it's duration, but then again we are in the rain forest and it is the rainy season. Yeap...another "hard" day.
Another excursion, was to visit the Castillo San Felipe. This fort sits at the entrance to Lake Izabal from the river. It was built in 1594 and is part of a beautiful park. It was built by the Spaniards to ward off pirates entering the lake. You are able to tour the castle at your leisure as there are no guides or anyone standing around making sure you don't touch anything, like it would be in the state. But, it also had open stairways where you could have fallen to your death because of no railing. Our two instructions were to 1: watch your head and 2: it is slippery. The castle was like a maze with low archways from one room to another. It contained a church, capitan's kitchen and several dormitories. There were also many lookout towers that contained several cannons. Thus, the end of another "hard" day.
This past Thursday, Linda and I signed up for a yoga hike. Charlie dropped us off at Tijax (/tee-ha-sh/) - Marina, restaurant and hotel. This marina is total enclosed by the jungle. We met our guide, Lucy, and around 10:00 off we trekked. Leaving the marina we traveled over a long length of foot bridges suspended over a swamp. At times we were 50' in the air. We soon got on the trail, which was very well maintained, and went up and then down, repeat. Lucy was very informative, telling us that we were in a secondary forest, where there is plenty of sunlight and new growth. But, this is thick, too. We passed down through a valley where the owner had pasture land for his Brahman cattle, then back up and into the jungle again. We finally arrived at the "shaman tower". This was a 4 story stone structure built by the land owner, it was approximately 14' X 14', with 4 large door openings, one on each wall, and we might add, no railings here either. We enjoyed a 360 degree view before we went to the 3rd floor for a wonderful yoga session. Lucy then provided us with tea and cake. It was a fabulous moment. Well, as usual the rain started and Lucy had her computer in her backpack and didn't want to get it wet, so she showed us the path to the final destination of our hike - a natural pool. Well, Linda and I paid for the whole Monty, so off we went back into the jungle, up and down (in the rain) until we reached the pool. It was a little gem in the jungle, filled by a small waterfall. How glad we were that we didn't miss this. Our arrival back at Tijax (2:30) was in a full deluge and everything was soaked, except my camera, because I finally remembered to bring a plastic bag. We had no way of getting in touch with Charlie to let him know we were back, so what are two wet girls to do but belly up to the bar. To our surprise after one beer, in comes Charlie totally drenched from his ride to the marina....our hero! And, this was truly a "hard" day on the Rio.