Before I launch into this blog, there’s two things. First, I am trying out a new offline software, so if this posts strangely, I will fix it. Second, I’d like to share the two videos I posted directly to our Facebook Page for those of you who opt out of social media. The first is a meditative-type of video with a beautiful piano solo song set to footage taken during our sail to Guatemala from Grand Cayman:
In the next video,we travelled up the Rio Dulce, which I set another amazing piano solo song:
I would like to thank my cousin for allowing me to use his beautiful original music in my videos. If anyone is interested, you can look up the “Light Falls” album by Micah. I used ‘Hero’ and ‘Majesty,’ respectively.
Okay, so this brings us up to our home at Catamaran Island Marina for the hurricane season. Once settled in, we went exploring this new (to us) country. It seemed more wild and exotic than the other countries we’ve sailed to. This perception was proven accurate. Let me just show you where we left from in contrast to where we arrived to give you an idea of how we felt. Grand Cayman:
Paul from Delphinus sails in Governor’s Creek among multi-million dollar homes.
Local Grand Cayman wildlife.
This last one is Pedro St James Castle. As you can see, Grand Cayman was not exactly what I’d call wild, though we did see iguanas and chickens everywhere. Haha. I would liken Grand Cayman to Florida. Now let me show you a few of our first pictures around the Rio Dulce:
Net casting from a cayuco in the river.
A hanging bridge on our walking tour through the jungle and nature preserve.
Even the “city” has an exotic feel to it. In fact, when Dave and I first set foot in Fronteras, we felt like we were back in India. There are many similarities, including rickshaw or tuktuk taxis. This isn’t to say that there aren’t some park-like places that rival the million-dollar properties of Grand Cayman. Take the Castillo de San Felipe for instance, a fort with cannons and park grounds right on the river.
The park fills with local families picnicking on the weekends (see top of page).
San Felipe Castle from the river.
Only a few of the many canons onsite. The marinas have a more resort-like feel to them as well. Hacienda Tijax, where our friends on Delphinus are staying, is set into the jungle and includes property protected as a nature reserve. I love it.
Arriving at Tijax by water.
The pool with the thatched restaurant in the background.
Strange looking bats under the eaves of one of the visitor cabins.
Jesus Christ lizard, so called because it can run across the top of the water.
Walkways through the marina/resort.
As contrasted as the two countries were for us, we did not experience culture shock. We’ve seen too much for that. Instead, the Rio Dulce seemed peaceful, slow-paced, mystical, and a clash of past and present at odds with each other. Fronteras is a bustling city with simple open tiendas (stores) selling fresh produce, plastic products, hardware, clothing, and more. And there are guys walking around carrying an array of cellphone cases and chargers. Then a guy walks by carrying a bundle of sticks on his back by strapping it around his forehead. I believe they use these to cook over a fire in the cocina (kitchen). Women walk by balancing water vases or bowls filled with dried corn kernels on their heads. Then a big truck drives by filled with large oxen.
I think I need to make a video about Fronteras alone. It is not like any other city we later drove through in Guatemala. Maybe when it cools down some, I’ll sit in a roadside cafe and see what I see. I’ll stop here for now, but the wildlife helped to form my initial impression of Rio Dulce as well. We arrived during breeding season for the egrets and, well, I’ll show you what we saw in the next blog.