Tourists Doing the Rio Dulce Thing…

Hacienda Tijax
Rio Dulce, Guatemala

Tijax filled up this month, with boats arriving from England, France, Holland, and the US. After casually meeting a few cruisers on the dock, Gerard (from France) took it upon himself to organize a cocktail party in the dining room at Tijax so we could all meet one another. The party was the same night Ole arrived home from Sovereign, so he missed the initial meeting, but came up to speed quickly as we organized a couple of private excursions.

The first was about an hour away from Fronteras – to a place called “Finca Paraiso.” It’s a private ranch that happens to include a river with volcanic hot springs. There were eight of us — two from England, two from Holland, two from France, Ole and I, who rented a mini-van and driver, carried picnic lunch in backpacks, and spent the better part of the morning in the river.

We were followed by some entrepreneurial types who had warm-off-the-griddle banana pancakes for sale, and at the falls, there were a few young men who volunteered to keep an eye on our stuff while we played in the water. And after lunch, we organized a spontaneous International Tin-Foil bocci ball tournament. Not surprisingly, France won. After lunch, it was more playing — this time downstream from the falls. While wading in the river, we could feel the steam vents between the rocks, making for some interesting sensations.

Not content to just motor back to our boats, we asked our driver to stop at the old fort near Fronteras: Castillo San Felipe. This fort was built in the 1500s to discourage the pirates who discovered that the Rio Dulce and Lake Izabal were a great hideout. Though small, the fort is beautifully built and restored, with 7 cannon pointing at the narrow opening between the river and the lake.

Our 19th Anniversary Dinner in Antigua

Later in the month, Ole and I took a short (three-night) trip to Antigua for our 19th wedding anniversary.

When not going out on excursions, we putter around the boat, doing projects and socializing. A regular meeting is forming up every afternoon at 4:30 in the swimming pool. This seems to be one of those times in life where magically the right people arrive at the same place and time!

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