Monday, September 2, 2013

Sweetness and mountains...

Guatemala; The Rio Dulce...

So here we are at our destination.  When we chose it we had no idea how amazing it would be!

As we neared our clearing out of the Belize town, Punta Gorda, the scenery took a dramatic turn for the beautiful.  As we said before; desert isles are of course lovely but for both Duncan and I, this is the landscape for us.


This was one of the 'offices' we had to visit to get yet another bit of paper to be allowed to leave Belize... a time consuming process and a little costly...

Our short sail across from Punta Gorda turned into a full pelt motor, hoping to get to Livingston before the customs people finished for the day.  Although we got there before 4pm, no welcoming committee was there to greet us as the pilot assured there would be, nor did anyone answer our attempted VHF calls (in rather dodgy spanish).  So we waited a night at the anchorage off Livingston which people say is a terrible place to stay.  We were lucky that the wind was not too strong and that our big keel chose the current to lie to, fairly consistently.   Our night was relatively peaceful; we were lulled to sleep by the local drummers and dreams of cool fresh mountains.  Another country, another homemade flag goes up...

All the way from north of Punta Gorda, the sea had gradually turned a murky green to deep impenetrable jade.  Therefore, once in the gravy coloured river estuary, our mourning for turquoise was already over.  What we found when we pulled up a bucket of this water was that it was remarkably clean and sweet, so I did a whole load of clothes and bedding washing whilst Duncan sang along to the Beatles and beamed at the mountains.


In the morning our welcoming committee arrived and we got the formalities done pretty swiftly and so could set off up the Rio...










The gorge gradually narrowed in, so we felt lucky when we managed to find just enough gusts as we twisted and turned to get almost the whole way up by sail.  As the river current is pretty swift, there were just a couple of times that the wind was sheltered by the hills; we resorted to the engine, but only when we started to go backwards...


Each twist and turn gave us something new to look at, we found the fishermen and women especially interesting in their tiny hollowed out canoes.



We saw only more modern looking graffiti inscriptions but we're told that these walls and caves were used from the 18 Century by pirates and Spanish galleons who would inscribe their names for luck on their way out to sea...





We were able to sympathise when many of the Mayans had to grab on to trees or quickly get to the edges when big powerboats roared by...


Since we arrived we've been working pretty hard at finding out about all the marinas, not only in the Rio Dulce (Fronterras) area but also on the lakes either side; El Golfette and Lago Izabal


 This was a great excuse to take an afternoon off and walk up to a hot spring waterfall on Lago Izabal.





So after a lot of looking around we have found our spot and have chosen Burnt Cay marina which is in El Golfette.  We love this place as it's a bit out of the way and run by a lovely couple who know all the people around them.  It feels like a real community and we can't wait to get back to Impetuous and spend some time there next year.




1 comment:

Mike Wagoner said...

Many of us have dreams (big and small) - you guys have fulfilled yours. This is good.