Party, Party, Party…and Travel

Hacienda Tijax
Fronteras, Guatemala

With Ole’s 10 on/10 off schedule, we really have to cram life into a compressed schedule, and July was no exception.

For the Fourth of July we were invited to “Calamity Jane’s” birthday at the Crow Bar. Jane and her husband, Roy, have a Beebee trawler called Steel Magnolia, who came down here from Houston about a year ago. His boat is written up in the December 2006 issue of Passagemaker Magazine. A former newspaper owner, Roy has retired to manage the Crow Bar with Jane and run the Rio Dulce’s online newsmagazine Rio Dulce Chisme Vindicator. Crow Bar Marina has its own cast of characters, who were all on hand for barbecue and rum.

The next celebration was the birthday of 7-year-old Gaia, who has been cruising with her family for 3 years. Originally from France, they have cruised South Africa and South America, and are now embarking on the Caribbean. We commandeered the palapa by the swimming pool, and had a no-kidding French potluck, with crepes, quiche, and tartes.

Eugenio’s Birthday Pinata

The third celebration was Eugene’s 50th birthday. Eugene is the owner of Hacienda Tijax, and was kind enough to invite us up to his house for a barbecue. Friends of his, as well as specialty foods, arrived from all over Guatemala.

Then, on July 9, we left the Rio for our biennial trip to Norway a year late. Not easy – 6 hours on a bus to Guatemala City, an overnight, then Houston/Newark/Oslo/Bodo and an overnight, then a 4 hour ferry ride.

When we arrived, we found that three years of vacancy on the property had taken its toll – all of the sheep fencing was down and the sheep were partying all over the place. We had always had a “live and let live” policy with the weeds – but after three years, found they were actually birch trees. So we spent three and a half weeks in hard labor, cutting and burning brush, re-fencing the property (by hand – no power tools here), interrupted only occasionally by a visit to the relatives or a trip out to fish for fresh cod and sei. The best part, though, was cool days and gorgeous midnight sun.


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