RETURN TO GUATEMALA
26 December 2013
Merry Christmas from the Rio Dulce! Jim and I are happy to be back aboard Emerald Seas. We arrived Guatemala City on December 14th and spent a couple of days enjoying the luxurious Clarion Hotel and some wonderful Mexican restaurants located nearby. We went grocery shopping at Walmart for cheese and other luxury items- the place was packed with shoppers. The Walmart experience in Guatemala is something to behold. As you push your cart down the isles, sales people are encouraging you to buy this product or that product - at times there would be 4 or 5 salesgirls in each isle. Our Canadian Walmart is an oasis of tranquillity by comparison.
The journey via the Letigua bus to Fronteras on the Rio Dulce started with the usual body and bag search as passengers boarded the bus. Security is tight here in Guatemala because of the occurrence of armed robberies on buses by armed bandits. We stopped halfway to the Rio for a quick bathroom break and snack. While off the bus, three policemen stayed inside the bus. When we boarded the bus again, the searches were repeated. We saw one fatal accident this time, looked like a head-on collision with a large truck and a small truck. They drive like madmen here- passing each other on narrow, winding roads and blind corners. Maybe next time we will pick seats closer to the back of the bus so that if we are involved in a crash we might have a better chance of surviving. (Jim and Jeannie better not read this¬...¬...)
Emerald Seas was in great shape. Very dry and mould free inside and very clean on the outside. Tortugal Marina and their staff have kept good care of her. Our sails are up, our dinghy appears to be holding most of the air and my fridge seems to be operating well. At first we had some issues with it, but Chris, from SeaKist, came over and fixed it. I was a touch disappointed because I had secret hopes for a new system but Jim was overjoyed at all the money he saved.
On Christmas Eve we enjoyed a potluck dinner at Daphne¬'s house with fellow cruisers from Tortugal Marina. The food was very good, lots of variety and later we did a fun gift exchange. The short walk back to our boats was exciting. Pitch blackness, fire ants and no flashlights to help us find the steps.
Jim and I exchanged no Christmas gifts and Santa Clause did not make the effort to find us. Emerald Seas got spoiled as usual.
We will be spending the next couple of weeks, stocking the boat with supplies, fuel and other necessities before we bus back to Guatemala City on January 6th, to meet our friends, Jim and Jeannie Cosgrove, who will be spending three weeks with us. Two of the weeks will be spent travelling in Guatemala- we will visit Antigua, Lake Atitlan, Flores and Tikal before returning to the Rio Dulce and Emerald Seas. Here we will take the Cosgroves down the beautiful Rio Dulce and spend a night or so at Texan Bay.