Road Trip to Tikal

Decided to go to Flores & Tikal with a friend Michelle from the Rio Dulce and her 2 kids.; Fern & Noah.

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Had an interesting bus ride there, we’ll say that. The bus company Fuente del Norte oversells tickets on the bus so yes you can end up sitting in the isles waiting till a seat comes up. On the positive we were able to practice our Spanish with the locals.

 

 

 

The town of Flores, where we were staying, is actually on a small island with cobblestone streets, colorful buildings and lots of small tiendas selling touristy things. There were some good restaurants on the lake front to enjoy a couple of cocktails after our busy days out and about.
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Even toured the island by Tuk Tuk which was a blast all squashed into the tiny car.
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We booked a guided 3hr tour starting at 4:30am(wowsa!) to see the ancient Mayan city of Tikal about an hour away from Flores. Tikal is set amongst the rainforests in an area of 120 sq kilometers and is an impressive site. The remains of temples that tower up to 230ft high, smaller pyramids, platforms and inscribed stone monuments are throughout the forest some with great views back to temples we had visited earlier in the day. Temple 11 below stands at 125ft.
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Temple 11 in the Main Plaza

Temple 11 in the Main Plaza

Temple 111 the last of the great pyramids to be built apparently

Temple 111 the last of the great pyramids to be built apparently

Looking back to the temples we saw in the morning

Looking back to the temples we saw in the morning

We all loved spotting animals as we walked through the forest. The howler and spider monkeys were great to watch playing in the trees. These turkeys are so colorful and were very friendly.
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Have returned to the Rio Dulce and guess what the World Cup rugby is on. We have transformed the Tiki Bar so we can watch in comfort. Wonder who we are supporting.
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The boys all went thru the Panama Canal and then Bill & Brett continued on to Australia and are currently passing the Galapogas Islands. All well on board.

Going thru the canal tied to a fishing boat.

Going thru the canal tied to a fishing boat.

Antigua for one of us….

On return to the Rio Dulce we got some bad news that a fellow cruiser from Australia, that we had met, had cancer and wanted his boat back In Australia. Bill from S/V Out Of the Bag; his good friend and Richard & Jen from S/V Our Rose all set about to get the boat ready to leave. Brett, Richard & Johno decided to help Bill get the boat thru to the Panama Canal and set off southward bound.
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I decided this was a great opportunity to visit Antigua, while Brett was away. Antigua is a colonial town founded in the 16th century, largely destroyed in an earthquake in the 17th century and restored. At that time it he been the capital of Guatemala but after the earthquake the Spanish crown ordered the capital be moved to a safer location, ie. where Guatemala City now is.
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Antigua in 1979 was designated a UNESCO world heritage site and is a colorful place surrounded by volcanoes with a lot of old churches, fountains and amazing cobblestone streets set in a grid pattern. As you can imagine very pretty.
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Santa Catalina Arch was built to allow the nuns to cross and not be seen by men.

 

Mermaid Fountain in Central Square built in the 17th Century is amazing

Mermaid Fountain in Central Square built in the 17th Century is amazing

Lots of tiendas & markets selling handcrafts. One of the local women was siting on the side of the road making something to sell.

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This little girl had such fun feeding the pigeons

This little girl had such fun feeding the pigeons

I booked into the San Jose Viejo Spanish School, in Antigua for a week of Spanish lessons and stayed right on the grounds in their accommodation, which were lovely. Excellent way of helping to improve my spanish (me hopes!).

My accommodation at San Viejo school, very spoilt

My accommodation at San Viejo school, very spoilt

Aura mi maestra( teacher) in our outdoor classroom

Aura mi maestra( teacher) in our outdoor classroom

Brian & Sue (also Canadian/Kiwi) from S/V Sea Rose came to the school so I had people to go out with at night and play. Yeah!

Out with Brian & Sue at one of the many vibrant restaurants in town

Out with Brian & Sue at one of the many vibrant restaurants in town

Even found some good music (what an interesting background)

Even found some good music (what an interesting background)

Jen from Our Rose had recommended a dentist Dr Lucia who was awesome and fit me in for a check up and clean while I was there. Antigua is definitely the place to see anyone medically related in Guatemala.
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I had a fab time in Antigua and have now returned to the Rio Dulce to get a few boat jobs worked on while Brett is gone. Brett will be continuing thru to Australia with Bill, so I’ll be here a tad longer than initially planned. What mischief can I get up to?

Fun Times on the Rio Dulce

For hurricane season hundreds of boats arrive for protection and spread themselves out at the many marinas scattered along the river. Some people stay and work on various boats projects but the majority put their boats on the hard and head home. We have had a couple of projects our biggest being replacing the coach window roof, that had a crack in it in Trinidad and had run, with fibreglass.

Before - Whilst the window looks great once removed, it was always covered as it was too hot

Before – Whilst the window looks great once removed, it was always covered as it was too hot

After - Looks good so we are happy and has anti skid on the roof side

After – Looks good so we are happy and has anti skid on the outside roof side

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Brett repainting woodwork in the shower.

 

 

 

 

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Arney & his team have done a great job with all the fiberglass work we wanted inside

 

 

 

It’s not all work of course. Nana Juana this year has a good mix of people with lots of social activities and trips being organized. Friday night drinks, Sunday BBQs, exercise, games etc etc etc.

Ashtanga yoga at 7am is hot and very difficult

Ashtanga yoga at 7am is hot and very difficult

water aerobics at the pool early before it gets hot (yes we have men come too)

water aerobics at the pool early before it gets hot (yes we have men come too)

circuit training in the air conditioned gym (bliss!) for a change of pace

circuit training in the air conditioned gym (bliss!) for a change of pace

 Mexican train dominoes or is it catching up on the goss while the men work

Mexican train dominoes or is it catching up on the goss while the men work

Fronteras a 5 minute dinghy ride for groceries etc. The road being empty is NOT normal!

Fronteras a 5 minute dinghy ride for groceries etc. The road being empty is NOT normal!

Still NOT normal but getting close. The tuktuks are awesome, the huge trucks with cattle are not given the road size.

Still NOT normal but getting close. The tuktuks are awesome, the huge trucks with cattle are not given the road size.

Jennifer from Our Rose arrived in time to celebrate her BIG birthday with us all. We had lots of surprises organized for her. As you can see a good time was had by all. Happy Birthday Jen….

A river boat ride to our restaurant of choice "the Kangaroo" for Mexican 1099 /448 Swinging out over the river at the restaurant

A river boat ride for the birthday dinner to our restaurant of choice “the Kangaroo” for Mexican

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Swinging out over the river at the restaurant

 

 

 

a ballet performance from Fern and Molly back at the Marina

a ballet performance from Fern and Molly back at the Marina

The kiwi Haka; intro to the piñata event

The kiwi Haka; intro to the piñata event

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The kids helped Jen blow the candles out

The kids helped Jen blow the candles out

Belinda singing the Belinda revised edition of "The Lady is a Tramp"

Belinda singing the Belinda revised edition of “The Lady is a Tramp”. Awesome!

Phil & Stuart here entertaining us with great tunes & Jen with her air guitar soon to move to a real one?

Phil & Stuart here entertaining us with great tunes & Jen with her air guitar soon to move to a real one?

Brett & Shannon                                                      Bill, Richard and Dean

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I think the Birthday girl had a great night. Bill grew hair care of Jen.

And then suddenly Bill from Out of The Bag has hair! Nice look Bill

And then suddenly Bill from Out of The Bag has hair! Nice look Bill

Good times and more to come.

Arriving in the Rio Dulce, Guatemala

After clearing in at the town of Livingston, at the mouth of the Rio Dulce , we made our way up the River. It was a misty rainy day, which made the canyon look impressive with clouds hanging above the limestone cliffs and lush green trees that fall to the river. Fresh water; the boat already feels clean.

The town of Livingston over the murky waters at the mouth of the Rio.

The town of Livingston over the murky waters at the mouth of the Rio.

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As you move up the river you pass by native huts made of thatch with the odd store along the rivers edge.
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P1090355There are men out on the river casting their nets for fish. It’s so tranquil. We feel like we have gone back in time.
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We stopped to anchor in Texan bay the first bay after entering Lake Golfete, which has a small Marina with a nice restaurant and ended up staying for a week as the people here were so friendly and it was a perfect place to hang out and work on our project list, including getting some work done.

The Marina at Texan Bay

The Marina at Texan Bay

A great area to just hang out and meet the locals and cruisers

A great area to just hang out and meet the locals and cruisers

Brett preparing his new system for work to be done, interesting!

Brett preparing his new system for work to be done, interesting!

Every day in Texan Bay, we had local Quq’chi Indian women and children come by the boat in their canoes selling hand made woven baskets, fruit and vege. They live in the mountains close by.

After making our way further up the Rio thru Lake Golfete we arrived at Nana Juana the Marina we had chosen near the town of Fronteras for hurricane season. There are a great group of people here and our berth is good so we are pretty happy.

Lake Golfete every morning is very calm

Lake Golfete every morning is very calm to cross and then the winds get up in the afternoon

The Rio gets busier with big homes and marinas

The Rio gets busier with big homes and marinas

Our berth at Nana Juana

Our berth at Nana Juana

The day we arrived we were swept off to celebrate Canada Day at The Kangaroo

The day we arrived we were swept off to celebrate Canada Day at The Kangaroo

The palapa where everyone gathers to relax after a big day working on jobs

Looks like it will be a great place to hang for the season.