Sunday, July 20, 2014

The Town of Fronteras, Rio Dulce

Fronteras and El Relleno are the two towns at opposite sides of a concrete bridge that make up the Rio Dulce area.   Fronteras is the town that we most frequent and where the pictures below were taken.  The town is noisy, smelly and chaotic. Cars, buses, motorbikes, tuk-tuks, pedestrians and trucks of all sizes (cattle trucks, fuel trucks, etc.) compete for space along the main road that runs through the town. There are no sidewalks or parking spaces, so wherever you fit whether driving or walking is where you go.  They have armed guards at the banks, supermarkets, docks and on the delivery trucks.  It makes for some adventurous treks.  

The picture below is typical of the Tienda's that line the street. These Tienda's sell mostly the same products and there are a lot of them.

It took us a little while to scope out the best places to get what we needed.  We now have our favorites for getting fresh corn and flour tortillas,  fresh shrimp and dried spices.

Here is an example of the amount of space available to walk. Depending on who is where you either go to the left or right of this van.  It is not wise to stop and dally too long as you will get lost in the shuffle of people...LOL.  

Below is a tuk-tuk, they are little taxis that can take you to the end of the town and back, good on really hot days!  They cost 3 Quetzal per person each way.  That is US $.39 so it is well worth it.

Finally, here is Carlos the Welder's shop.  We brought our fuel injection lines to him to see if he could find a place to buy new ones, old ones or have them fabricated.  Yesterday he told us that he hasn't had any luck so now we must find a different source, this is not going to an easy one.  Notice the sign in back says Welding Lab, love it.

They also have fruit and vegetable vendors along the road, which I do not have pictures of yet.  We rarely take our camera into town and the above pictures were taken with our movie camera and then I got stills from that.  We have found our favorite fruit and vegetable vendor and venture there on Saturday's or Tuesday's when the fresh stuff comes in.  There are also a many restaurants along the street.

Here is one of our trips in a tuk-tuk through the town.


So far we are having a great time here on the Rio Dulce.  We have been exploring and I will post pictures of that on my next update.

Cheers Kim and Mike

Thursday, July 03, 2014


Hola! We have added a new section to the blog for Videos.  It is located in the right hand column, right below our Site Visitor map. We have added one video so far.

Cheers Kim and Mike 

Sunday, June 08, 2014

Backyard Photos, Tortugal Marina, Rio Dulce, Guatemala

Here are pictures Mike took of flora and insects in our new backyard!

Cheers Mike and Kim

Friday, June 06, 2014

The Castillo De San Felipe De Lara, Guatemala

On the Rio Dulce looking at the entrance to Lago Izabel and the Fort
At the entrance to Lago (Lake) Izabel, on the western shore of the Rio Dulce, is an old Spanish fort, Castilla San Felipe. In the early 1500's Spain and Guatemala began trading. Warehouses were built along the shores of Lago Izabel to store the treasures.  The fort was created to protect the warehouses and ships, that were harbored there, from the English Pirates.  A heavy chain was strung across the river to deter the pirates from entering Lago Izabel.  The fort fell under attack many times, once even captured by the pirates. Each time the fort was rebuilt.  It served as a defense base until piracy subsided, eventually becoming a prison used during the colonial period. 
View from the Rio Dulce
View from Lago Izabel

View from the park that is adjacent to the fort.

Panoramic view from atop the fort.

Maybe the dining hall?

The Kitchen

The Courtyard

These doors where very old, but seem to be well built and solid.

One of many stairs.

Another stairwell and no rails!  I would hate to be running down these.

One of the canons, looking out at the Rio Dulce.

Some of the stairwells went into dark tunnels, we used the flash on our camera to see.

Some old wheels, a door and an anchor.
Mike and I are still having a great time exploring the river.  I know I have said it before but it is absolutely beautiful here and the people are exceptionally nice.  
Kayaks at Tortugal
They have kayaks that we have been using to explore the river. Someone told us about this great restaurant up the river close to the fort that was located up another little river inlet so we took the kayak to find it.  It was called Hotel Kangaroo and had really great food. The had vegetarian choices which has always been rare for me to find. Here in Guatemala it seems there are all kinds of options.  

We have heard that there is a great beach in Lago Izabel Denny's Beach, and some hot waterfalls at Finca El Paraiso we are looking forward to exploring those.

Cheers for now...Kim and Mike

Ka'imi docked at El Tortugal, Guatemala

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

El Tortugal Marina, Guatemala

Sign on the road to Tortugal Marina
 El Tortugal Marina on the Rio Dulce in Guatemala is very cool! We have been here for two weeks now and have enjoyed every minute.  There is so much to do here and on the Rio Dulce that we haven't even scratched the surface.  We have been busy setting up an air conditioner and building a cowling to cover it. When that is finished we need to get busy trying to fix our engine.  But in between we are planning to do a little exploring. There is a fort on the river, a beach up in Lake Izabel, hot water falls and a lot more! This last week we have had a manana attitude, resting and working very slowly on the air conditioner - we don't want to overdue it!  
Ka'imi at dock
The marina has 20 slips and is basically full.  The majority of the people go home for the summer and leave there boats here so there are only a handful of people here right now. They have a restaurant and a bar that serves food all day, a lounge area upstairs with a pool table, TV and lots of books.  There is a resident pero (dog)  named Hefe that is large and a love bug but he hates gatos (cats).  There are two gatos on the premises we have named them Tiki and Sandy so we will be able to get our animal fix on a daily basis.  We also see them run really fast when they see Hefe coming!

Restaurant at Tortugal Marina
The outdoor lounge next to the restaurant is a great place to relax, drink some coffee or booze, read a book or catch up with friends.
Lounge area at Tortugal Marina
The kayaks are for the guests to use, this is right behind our boat. We haven't had a chance to take one out yet but plan to, there is lots of exploring to do on the river.
Kayaks at Tortugal Marina
They have rooms and bungalows for rent.  The one we can see from our boat has 4 beds and is open air. They are $14 dollars a night, not bad.  Underneath is a common area that is very cool and breezy.  We hang out here a lot.
Bungalow at Tortugal Marina
Another view of the common area with a hammock and a few picnic tables.  You can see Ka'imi in the background.
Common Area at Tortugal Marina
This path leads from the common area to the showers and restrooms.
Walkway at Bungalow
This is a view going back to the common area from the showers and bathrooms.

Path coming from showers and bathrooms
A private outdoor shower.  The showers here have only cold water so we use them when it is really hot. There are other showers behind the restaurant that have hot water that we use in the evening.
Shower at Tortugal Marina
Here are the private outdoor bathrooms.
Bathrooms at Tortugal Marina
The path below goes to the dirt road that leads to town and beyond.  It is a beautiful walk just going down this path.  Lots of birds, lizards and other wildlife.
Path leading to the dirt road
It takes about 20 minutes to walk to the town of Fronteras from here.
Road to town
We met Deborah and Kris on s/v Sea Sister and had drinks at Sundog Cafe.  They are refitting their boat getting ready to cruise!  We had a great time.  Sundogs is a great place for food also, they have a lot of vegetarian choices and enough meat to make Mike happy.
Deborah and Kris s/v Sea Sister
Cheers for now Mike and Kim

Monday, May 19, 2014

Livingston, Guatemala and up the Rio Dulce to Burnt Cay (Texan Bay)

Livingston, Guatemala
We are in Guatemala having completed all the formalities for a 3 month stay.  We will apply for a 9 month extension before the 3 months are up, but the procedure to do that keeps changing.  The system is going through procedural changes so we are not sure what's up but as it stands we just have to go back to Livingston and apply.  When we checked in it is was simple we called Raul, the agent, and his nephew and all the officials came out to the boat.  They were there maybe 15 minutes then said our papers would be ready in 40 minutes and we could come into town, pay the fee and get our papers and passports.  We walked up the street to the bank to get our Quetzals, the Guatemalan money and then to Raul's for our papers.  We didn't stay in Livingston long, we checked in and headed back to the boat to head up the river to spend the evening in a safe anchorage.  Livingston is known for petty thefts and wakes from all the boats.  We anchored that night in Burnt Cay, formerly Texan Bay.

Main Street Livingston, Guatemala

Main Street Livingston, Guatemala
Right outside Raul's office is the area where the locals do laundry.  We wish they had a place like that here at our Marina.
Laundromat, Livingston, Guatemala
The pictures of the River can not do it justice it is so beautiful!  It was also a very cloudy day when we traveled through here.
Rio Dulce

Captain Mike at the Helm

Rio Dulce

Rio Dulce
Rio Dulce
The local people travel the river in cayucos, a canoe that is dug out of a tree.  We saw children going to school, fisherman and mothers taking their children into town.

Mother and child in a Cayuco

Fisherman in a Cayuco

A little girl taking her mom and brothers somewhere

A little girl going to school in here uniform

Burnt Cay Marina (formerly Texan Bay)

Our anchorage at Burnt Cay

Cheers for now, more about our Marina and the town later Kim and Mike

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