RIO DULCE, GUATEMALA
31 May 2013
I am bad. I just realized as I was writing the 1st blog post of the 2013-2014 Cruising season on Boxing Day, that I have been very remiss with the end of last year's crusing season. I have lots of good excuses too.
Our time in Belize was very nice but we did not get all the scuba diving in that we wanted. Part of the reason was all the nasty weather that just kept on coming. The best dives are on the outside of the barrier reef of Belize. We has assumed from looking at our charts that there would be some great diving the further south we went but that was not the case.
When anchored on the outer islets, we experienced a lot of rolling and the holding was poor because of all the coral rubble. Definitely a learning experience but one that will give us more confidence next season. I will ask more questions of cruisers about their favourite anchoring spots in the outer islets.
As weather continued to be a problem we made the decision to head to the Rio Dulce. The trip from Belize was very easy and the sailing was excellent. Unfortunately, I had the beginnings of a serious kidney infection and was not feeling my usual happy go lucky self.
We made the trip over the bar at Livingstone with the help of Tom and Andrea of Manana. They guided us over the bar and showed us around Livingstone. Check in was straightforward with the help of Raul. The town was interesting and we were especially impressed by all the fish drying in the abandoned parking lot. Stinky and lots of flies. Don't buy dried fish!
We travelled up the Rio Dulce, stopping for one night at Texan Bay. The Rio is beautiful- Mayans fishing from their kayuga, thatch huts along the banks of the river and the jungle on all sides. The early Tarzan movies were filmed here.
Fronteras, our destination, is a busy town. Lots of vegetables and food stands along the busy street which is teeming with people, cattle trucks, buses and three wheeled taxis. Lots of colour and the Guatemalan men dress like cowboys.
Anyhow. I kept getting sicker and sicker, attributing symptoms to dehydration, too much sun etc. etc. Eventually I was so sick that I was having bone racking chills and fever. Now Jim was really worried. We thought that I might have Dengue fever or even malaria. We visited a doctor in town and he gave a very thorough examination and discovered that I had a kidney infection. A round of antibiotics and I started to feel better after about three days. I was very week for over a week. Not fun. Jim and I have realized how easy it is to ignore our bodies and how serious the consequences can be.
While awaiting our time to fly home to Canada, we had Hugo's Boat Works come and do all our brightwork. They did a fabulous job, while Jim and I hunkered below in air conditioned comfort.The heat and humidity are extreme in June. In the afternoon we had thunderstorms with lots of lightening to look forward to. Our friends on Amaryllis were struck by lightening and their boat was written off by the insurance company because of all the damage. They say that catamarans are more likely to be hit than mono hulls. Lets hope so. Our insurance has a high deductible for anything related to lightening which means that our electronics are not covered.
Season is over and we are headed back to Canada. The Rio Dulce is like a ghost town as everyone has already left. Next season we will probably come home in late May, before it gets too hot. We are looking forward to the coming season and plan on spending much of the time in Roatan where the scuba diving is reported to be EXCELLENT!