Sunday, October 12, 2014

Trip to Livingston

In July we had to make a trip to Livingston to renew our visa's for another 3 months.  We took a Launcha and made the 20 mile trip in 2 hours.  We left at 9:00 AM and at this time the waters are usually calm, but of course the winds had picked up and the water was very choppy.  This made for a very uncomfortable ride through the El Golfete.  When the Launcha came to pick us up it was pretty full except the front seat.  Mike and I said 'Are these people crazy they left the best seats', so we grabbed them.  MISTAKE..LOL.  It was pretty bumpy and we were bouncing up and down all the way. When we got to Livingston we bought some beach towels to pad our behinds for the ride home!  Below is a picture of the beautiful lily pads on the river.

Children in Cayucos (wooden canoes) came out to the boat to sell trinkets.   

We also stopped at the hot sulfar springs.  
 Our Launcha.
In Livingston we spotted this dog taking a nap in a hotel lobby.

A street in Livingston.

A street in Livingston.

Livingston.

This is Livingston, they were drying fish out.  The fish were everywhere, on the tables on the ground, wouldn't even think about eating these.  Dogs, rain and whatever else you can imagine on that ground.

Livingston, a man enjoying his newspaper.

Raul's Office (our Agent)

A hotel in Livingston with a view of the Caribbean Sea.  

We are still at Tortugal, Mom Pitteroff is visiting and we are having a fabulous time!  

Cheers Kim and Mike

Monday, August 04, 2014

Exploring and Stuff on the River

There are so many things to do and see on the Rio Dulce.  Usually when we are at dock we have projects to do on the boat and this is the time to do it, however, we are having such a good time that we are slacking terribly on our duties.  Oh well, it will get done eventually.  One of our favorite restaurants is Hotel Kangaroo.  It is a place off the river run by an Australian ex-pat and his German wife.  It is a hostel and restaurant and the food is excellant.  There are 3 dogs to greet you, a huge black one, an old female who is a sweetheart and a tiny little thing that is scared of his shadow. 


There is always a great breeze through here, in fact twice we have had to catch the table umbrella as it flew away Mary Poppins style, fold it up and put it on the deck.


When we saw the sign below we asked the staff if it were true and they said yes!  She said there was a grande and pequeno crocodile, huge and small.  She said that they had fed a live chicken to them at the end of the dock.  So we are believing.  The next time we came we met a young backpacker who was about to go swimming and we said, did you see the sign?  We said it might not be true, check with the staff and the owner said is was safe for her to go out....  Okay! we said we would watch her back, holy cow.   She went out with a weary eye and was perfectly safe.....LOL



Some beautiful Guatemala foilage, that you can buy at Home Depot and plant in your own yard!  Ha ha ha 







This is the end of a small inlet that takes you to Hotel Kangaroo.




We took a little tour of the marinas located here on the Rio and we are so glad we are at El Tortugal Marina we think it is the best. Below is Tijax, it was nice but not as much breeze as we get here at Tortugal.  They have a rubber tree plantation and a nature reserve with trails for hiking, learning about trees, medicinal plants and bird watching that we want to go on.




This is the suspended bridge at Tijax that takes you to the road and the nature reserve.




This is Mario's Marina, we were going to stay here until a spot became available at El Tortugal.  We understand that Mario's will be closing by Janurary 1, 2015.  The owner of the land is taking it back to build a private residence.




Mango Marina is in the next bay over from Mario's.  The owner of this property is also reclaiming the land, not sure what is going to happen here. There is one boat here our friends on s/v Sea Sister


Below is Vista Rio a restaurant, Marina, apartments and rooms.  Lunches are good and the beer is cheap and cold what more can you ask for.  It is for sale, by the way, you can have all of it for US $150,000.   They say you can get it cheaper though...hmmm.  I think any place on the Rio is for sale for the right price.



We took the dinghy down a inlet we saw, after we left Mario's.


It was very still and quiet, there were a few homes back in the jungle and over the water.





We found this hotel and restaurant at the end of the inlet.  It is Hotel Casa Perico.  It was a very quiet place with just a few people, we had a couple of beers then went back to exploring.





The owner of Tortugal, Daphne told us that the biggest fruit in the world is grown in Guatemala.  It is called a Jack fruit. She took us to a roadside nursery/fruit stand so we could sample one.  We ended up buying one.  Below are pictures of the countryside on the ride to the fruit stand.







Getting the fruit out of the shell was a trick.  Once Mike cut open the fruit you could see the little fruit pods, however when you tried to extract them a very sticky substance was under the skin.  It was so sticky that we had to use acetone to get it off our skin and knives.  The fruit was very delicious, we also sampled it frozen at the fruit stand and that was very refreshing.






This is Thelma, one of the dock cats who seems to have adopted us. We do not feed her, but she comes to our boat everyday to get loving.  Sometimes we have to walk her back to her food bowl at dinner time (actually carry her) so we know she is eating.




Here are Thelma and Louis another dock cat.




Bat girl is below, she is very beautiful. There is another one Gandalf that we don't have a picture of.  They are very happy and have the run of the place.




That's all for now.  Below is a video of our walk on the suspended bridge at Tijax.

Cheers Kim and Mike



video

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.


video


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




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