|Cliffs on Rio Dulce|
The impression that we receive from a new place depends on
how we got there! After sailing solo overnight through squalls from Roatan,
Honduras to Rio Dulce, Guatemala, it felt like I entered a different planet. Earthling
has not seen fresh water for a long time and being in fresh water is just like
being clean at all the time.
Rio Dulce is a river that runs into the Caribbean Sea from
Guatemala. It’s connected to two large lakes and there are tons of rivers and
creeks running into the lakes. The main River is around seven miles long from
the ocean to the first lake and that distance is absolutely spectacular. Entering
the river can be tricky, since it’s less than 6ft deep! Most sailboats with a
draft of 4-5ft or more must wait for the high tide to pass through the channel.
The natives around this area are Mayans and some still
indigenous. There is abundant of life here
from birds (lots of them, different colors, types, and sizes), to fish, fruit
trees, flowers, etc. The first Tarzan movie was filmed in the jungles around Rio
Dulce. You certainly can enjoy the sound of nature in most of the anchorages,
since roads and cars are absent in a large part of Rio Dulce.
After a day here, I noticed tree branches on deck, I look up
and there were two birds building a nest by the radar dome on the mast! The
following day, I moved and the birds flew with till they realized that
the wind is slowly taking their nest down, after a few miles into the lake they
gave up living on Earthling and flew back into the forest. Now there is another
little bird that has been building a nest on the mast! But Earthling is going a
sea tomorrow and the bird is welcome to stay but she is better off
staying in her beautiful neighborhood of Rio Dulce.
|Birds on the boat everyday|
Guatemala has lots to offer. There are many sites of Mayan
Ruins and the nature is absolutely exquisite. A visitor cannot see and do it
all in only two weeks time. The area around Rio Dulce and Lake Izabal has so
much to offer that one could wander around and get lost! Earthling got the
chance to sail around and explore Lake Izabal.
One of my childhood dreams is to have a horse, an animal
that I love. Around Lake Izabal, there are numerous small villages and many
people ride horses. At Denny’s Beach, I got the chance to ride a horse through
the fields, rivers, villages, and jungle and live my dream partially. I have to
admit that living expenses in this part of the world is very low. Not in so
many places in the world, four hours of horse back riding would cost only $13!
|Horseback riding through fields|
Another village that is rarely visited is Mariscos, not much
is happening here besides a few small stores and restaurants, but there are buses that go over the mountain to the “Quirigua” ruins. I had to visit at
least one Mayan ruin and this one was the closest and conveniently located.
When you observe old structures, it makes you go back in time and try to
picture yourself in that era. The Mayan ruins are over 2600 years old and it
makes me wonder how those people lived then in this area!
On the north side of Lake
Izabal, there is the village of Finca Praiso. A 30min walk from the waterfront
takes you to one of the most amazing waterfalls ever. This is not a regular one;
it’s a hot waterfall into a cold river, absolutely spectacular. Note that you
can take a bus to all these sites and not necessarily your boat, unless you
like the thrill of exploring and being the only boat in the anchorage. Sightseeing
by boat and taking a dinghy ashore sometimes puts you in through the back door!
I walked on the little trail by the river to the Finca Praiso Waterfall and as
I was entering the waterfall area, a gentleman asked for my ticket, what ticket
I replied? He said where did you come from, didn’t you come through the gate?
No, I walked by the river! Then I realized I had to pay to get in here!
|Finca Praiso Hot Waterfall|
Earthling anchored off the Castle of San Felipe also, I
rowed ashore to the fort! When I got in to the fort structure, I was asked for
my ticket, I don’t have a ticket! Once again the security was wondering how I
got in there, and I explained. So I had to walk to the entrance and purchase a ticket!
|Castillo de San Felipe|
At the end of Lake Izabal, there are the major rivers that
feed the lake, like the Polochic River. Every night, out of the four on Lake
Izabal, there were lighting strikes and they all seemed to be right at the end
of the lake. As much as I wanted to go to the end and explore the rivers, I had
to hold myself back and save that for the next time I visit Lake Izabal and Rio
|The main river|
|Women and Kids in Livingston|
|San Felipe Castle|
|Horse Back Riding through Fields|
|Sunset at Denny's Beach|
|Cows Following the Horse|
|A cave in the mountains|
|A view of Pueblo Nuevo|
|Main Strip in Mariscos|
|A view of a house by the river|
|Tuk Tuks, cheap way of getting around in towns|
|Dinghy Sightseeing in the river |
|A True Artist that Touched my Heart|
Con Mucho Amor de Rio Dulce
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