Thursday, 28 February 2013

Boat ride to Livingston

It was a beautiful boat ride from Rio Dulce to Livingston. We went along the broad golfito with bird sanctuary islands for the Great Egrets and Comorants, small marinas and lodges along the green edges, then onto small communities amongst the mangrove, then it narrowed to a canyon like feeling with limestone walls and hanging vines. There were flocks of great big brown pelicans soaring along the rivers mixed in with more Comorants.. it felt Jurrasic Park 3 like.. the pelicans look  pre-historic when they fly. We arrived in the coast town of Livingston and trudged through the main street to find a hotel. We found a  eceletic styled hotel with an inner courtyard perfect for hanging out.  It seems like we are reluctant to leave Guatemala as we have decided to stay in Livingston one more day.. we like it here..it has a fun Caribe vibe on the main street. There is a more heterogenous group of people living here.. a bit of Garifuna, Mayan, Ladinos, Creole, and Asian. There is Bob Marley playing from the stores, people practicing drum somewhere in the distance and just an overall more Caribbean feel.. as we are on the Caribbean Coast!  So, today is a homeschooling, get laundry done kind of day and tomorrow we'll leave for Belize.
















Here are some pictures from our boat trip and a few glimpses into Livingston. Enjoy!

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Rivers and Menagerie

The last few days have been action packed! A few days ago we took the collectivo to Canyon Boqueron where a very mature 12 year boy with his 10 year old friend paddled us up the river for a fantastic view of the canyon (the kids are so entrepreneurial around here). Limestone formations and the sounds of howlers echoing above us in the jungle. Very cool.

                                      








Then the very friendly Guatemalans waved down the collectivo for us and we went on down the road to the Finca Parasio where there was an amazing river/watering hole for swimming in but the  main attraction was the hotspring waterfall! It's  this amazing combination of cool fresh swimming hole mixed with a magical hot waterfall. I think Eric and Liam spent the most time just putting their backs under the falls and giving themselves a hot water massage.. it was like being in a really hot shower and not having to worry about draining the hot water tank!  There was a cave like thing behind the waterfall where you could swim under and hang out - the hot water created a steamy room.. it actually was hard to breath at times. We all had a absolute blast! This was all on a Sunday and a day of play for Guatemalans so both the canyon/river and the hot waterfall were busy with families enjoying it as well.. it was great to see and people watch too. Then a very hot wait on the side of the road to catch the collectivo back to Rio Dulce. What a full amazing day.

                                    





The next day we were invited to an ex-pat's house, Pam, who has created an amazing menagerie of mostly rescue animals of all kinds. She has a huge heart for animals and takes in horses, cats, paralyzed pigs, foxes, coati, kinkajou, you name it .... and cares for them. All of her animals are so healthy and happy. While we got a personalized tour of her place and met the animals, rode the horses and swam in the river, Pam kept us enthralled with her  stories about how she came about the animals and what her experience has been living in Guatemala for the last 4 years (all with a true Texan accent). We were so amazed at her hospitality.. definitely a Texan with a big heart!

Weasel.. juvenile

look at those paws!.. he'll be big.


Kinkajou.. or locally they call them honey bears


fox, cat and coutimundi all living in harmony

Pam and one of 16 cats!

Freddy.. back two legs are paralyzed.. but he's a happy guy!

Paca
Agoutis and rabbits.. 

Braham Bull - young one

such interesting profile..
snout like a dog.. ears like a floppy ear rabbit.. and such soft gentle eyes




gorgeous Bengal cat

This morning we take a boat up the river to Livingston (about 2 hour journey) on the coast, then the tomorrow we'll take a boat across the Bay of Honduras (an inlet of the Caribbean Sea) to Belize. Bye-Bye Guatemala.. but we'll be back in a month or so.



Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Liam's Blog - you must have seen "Caution: do not read this blog"



tODAY I GOT UP AND WAITED FOR MOMMY AND DADDY TO WAKE UP AND WHEN THEY WOKE UP I WENT DOWNSTAIRS AND PLAYED WITH THE KITTENS. tHEN WE HAD BREAKFAST AND I GOT PANCAKES AND THEY WERE DELICIOUS AND FRUIT CAME WITH IT. fOR A DRINK I ORDERED ORANGE JUICE WHICH WAS MORE LIKE POP AND THEN I WENT BACK TO THE KITTENS TO PLAY WITH THEM. tHEN ONE OF THE KITTENS ESCAPED THE LITTLE PEN SO I PUT THE KITTEN BACK IN AND THAT KITTEN'S NAME WAS hONEY. i HAD A LOT OF FUN PLAYING WITH THEM. aND THEN I WENT OVER TO THE MOM AND THE MOM WAS SLEEPING AND SO I WENT BACK TO FINISH UP MY PANCAKES AND DRINK THE REST OF MY ORANGE JUICE. tHEN I WENT TO PLAY WITH ANOTHER CAT AND WE GOT HIM A NICKNAME CALLED mR. mISCHIEF. hIS REAL NAME IS dESTROYER AND HE IS ALSO A SCAREDY CAT SO I WENT TO PLAY WITH HIM HE RAN AWAY SO I CHASED HIM  AND UNTIL HE WENT SOMEWHERE I COULDN'T GO.  tHEN I WENT BACK AND PLAYED WITH THE KITTENS AGAIN BUT THEY WERE SLEEPING SO I PUT A PIECE OF NEWSPAPER OVER THEM BUT hONEY WAS STILL AWAKE THEN MOMMY SAID "TIME TO GO TO THE PARK" AND SO I SAID "OKAY" AND THEN WE WENT TO THE PARK. 



Sean's Blog - Adventures 14


Here are some of the things I liked doing this week:

  • going to the fort by boat because it was like a maze in there and you could get lost and you could hide.
  • hanging out with the kittens because they are so so cute and we try to make traps so they can't get out of the cage.

  • going to the park and playing on the merry-go-round and pretending that we are going back in time to the dinosaurs.

  • going to Pam's to see her farm and seeing Freddy the pig and seeing all the horses and we got to ride horses and I thought that was very very very fun.

  • And I liked waking up in the morning and coming outside to see the boats and the birds and the water and trying to wake up Mommy and Daddy and then we'd go downstairs to have breakfast and I thought it was nice.

  • And I liked going to a waterfall that was a hot spring and I liked hiding under it and when you looked at it from the top it looked like a sea serpent and I also liked jumping off of a rock and swimming over and there was a cave and I went in and it leads out right beside the waterfall and I liked going down the current in the river and I though that was very fun. 


Those are all the funnest things I have done in Rio Dulce and if you come here I hope you do those things too.






Monday, 25 February 2013

Rio Dulce

We had 3 nights planned but now it looks like we'll be here 5.. it's pretty relaxed around here so we'll linger a bit longer. The tropical heat feels great (though the sticky nights are a bit tough.. the slight breeze from the fan is our saviour!). The hotel/restaurant/marina has a ex-pat sailer culture and it's fun having breakfast with the water and boats right there and the sailer talk about. The boys continue to be drawn like magnets to the kittens (they are getting very socialized with the boys handling them all the time!).



The owners of the place are super friendly and have made us feel at home and are one of the reasons why we decided to stay a bit longer. That and they keep telling us of cool things to see or do! We knew about the castillo but there is a canyon that is worth a visit and a hotsprings waterfall that sounds like it shouldn't be missed too. So, first on our list we visited the old Spanish fort, Castillo de San Filipe, which was built to protect their Spanish Galleons moored in Lago Isabel from the Pirates. The owner of the hotel motored us over by "launcha" (boat) and the boys (Eric included) had so much fun exploring the old castle/fort with narrow passageways and stairs and tunnels and look out points with beautiful views over the Lago Isabel. The grounds were really nice too. On the way back we took the local "collectivo" (mini-bus type things) which was an experience as they leave the side panel door open and Sean and Eric were right at the door.. the breeze was nice!














this is a picture of a picture
                                



Then back to the hotel/restaurant for a bit of homeschooling (which actually went really smooth) and then a rum and coke while the afternoon breeze off the water made the whole day just perfect!