New Year Celebrations Rio Style
01 January 2014 | Cayo Quemado, Rio Dulce, Guatemala
Beth / hot afternoons
We celebrated Christmas with the cruisers in Rio Dulce, and floated down the river to join our land based friends in the Cayo Quemado community for New Year’s festivities.
We have been embraced into this community of expats in Buenavista Bay, Texan Bay, and what we call Casey’s Bay and it was a joy to celebrate with them. Many folks gathered at Martine and Andree’s spacious home with its open air African/Guatemalan décor for dinner on New Year’s Eve. Candles glowed in bamboo holders, glittery golden balls dangled from locally woven lampshades, while African masks and carvings lined the walls. (They lived for many years in Africa). Just as at Australian owned Kangaroo for Christmas dinner, all the guests here arrived by boat (both in the more immediate sense – for dinner, and in this case, in the larger sense – to live! Most came by boat initially and then built full time or part time homes here and it is a real multicultural community of folks from Canada, USA, England, France, Germany as well as born and bred Guatemalans). We anchored Madcap right out in their front “yard” and our dinghy joined the line of lanchas tied at their dock. It was a wonderful evening of delicious food, good wine, dancing, and conversation. The only thing we missed out on was midnight – we just couldn’t stay up that long!
The next morning, we went back to Martine’s garden to explore by daylight. The gardens here are all different, and hers has the distinction of floating on a bed of mangrove roots. The planting is done in pots and raised beds, with trees rising from the swampy land and raised footpaths and little canals winding through them. We jumped on the path and the earth moved! Martine is an orchid connoisseur and has dozens of orchids growing everywhere – in pots, baskets, attached to trees, in coconut shells – and we will be back here in April to see them in bloom. Most folks here have dogs – either their own or ones belonging to the local guardians – and Maxine and Andree are no exception. While Zorro stayed on the footpaths, little 4-month-old Pepita (aka Mudpuddle) tore around through the mud until her whole little body was covered. She was cute but she sure was muddy and of course she loved to snuggle against our legs. We all laughed as Lorena, Martine’s helper, tossed her into the bay. By the time she swam back, she was clean again – briefly!
Afternoon saw us anchored over in Buenavista Bay and after a visit with Jennifer on her deck filled with treasures of the bilge (bins and bins of donated items that will be sold off at the Mar Marine flea market on Sunday) we went back to the boat for swims, naps and dinner prep. Martin drifted past in his new sailing dinghy, frigate birds flew overhead and yet again we marveled at the beauty of this little bay. As the sun dropped behind the mountains, Casey and Jennifer arrived, tied off their lanchas and climbed aboard for drinks and dinner – maple marinated pork tenderloin, mashed potatoes, carrot salad, green salad and a bit of chocolate for dessert. (This pic shows our Nova Scotian Crystal wine glasses with Spanish bubbly. You CAN enjoy crystal on a sailboat!)
Our very best wishes to all our readers for a 2014 filled to the brim with experience, growth, peace and joy – wherever you find it or create it.