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Placencia, Belize

Over the course of our three hour commute from Punta Gorda to Placencia in Belize we got to talking with a couple from the U.K. When the boat docked we said our goodbyes. They turned to their guidebook to look for accommodations and we consulted a map to chart the best course to the guest house we had booked a couple days earlier.

As we waited for our room to be ready we pulled up a seat at a “road”-side restaurant and watched the throngs of tourists from what looked like a cruise ship convention amble by. Apparently it was the last day of some kind of festival and the place was mobbed.

Before we finished our lunch we saw the U.K. friends we had traveled with earlier in the day, only this time they looked dejected. They couldn’t find a room and were leaving. From Placencia they’d have a four hour bus ride to Belize City, on top of a likely hour or more wait for the next bus. By the time they arrived in Belize City the last water taxi to their next destination, Caye Caulker, would have long since sailed. “All part of the experience,” they said.

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Are We Having Fun Yet?

A small boat bounced us over the Gulf of Honduras as we made our way from Livingston, Guatemala to Punta Gorda, Belize. Its speed adding force to the otherwise gentle rain that sprayed in our faces. Fortunately, the craft came equipped with all of the amenities you expect in this part of the world. The First Mate unfurled a plastic tarp for us to hold over our heads to try and keep dry.

Soon, the clouds parted, the tarp was discarded and dramatic skies welcomed us back to Belize.

Despite the rain, or perhaps because of it, I found the trip exhilarating. It’s not everyday we get to sail across the Gulf of Honduras. Sometimes, simply appreciating the uniqueness of the moment is enough to put a smile on my face.

Video of the Day: Boat Trip Down Guatemala’s Rio Dulce

An abbreviated look at our journey winding through the jungle on the Rio Dulce from Guatemala’s Lake Izbal to Livingston.

Rio Dulce, Guatemala

Tortugal Rio Dulce Guatemala

After spending a bit too much time in the cities of Antigua and Panajachel, we were excited to get a couple of days on the tranquil Rio Dulce. We stayed in the wonderful Tortugal Hotel and Marina, where even the resident cats had bungalows.

Tortugal Rio Dulce Guatemala 2

We spent most of our time here lounging about and relaxing. We skipped visiting the nearby hot springs and local waterfall, feeling too lazy to put much effort into getting out and about. We did rouse ourselves enough to kayak down to Castillo San Felipe, a defensive fort built by the Spanish in the 1500s to combat local pirate activity.

Castillo San Felipe, Guatemala

Seeing the boats in Tortugal’s marina got us thinking again about the next leg of our journey. We’re drawn to the idea of sailing the seven seas, even if we currently know less about boating than we did about RVing when we set out. The thought of getting ourselves prepared for that kind of trip was more taxing than our mood allowed. Instead we just to watched the boats drift by, dreamed a little, and saved the details for another day.

Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

Lake Atitlan Guatemala

Commentary outsourced to Aldous Huxley:

Italy’s “lake Como, it seems to me, touches the limit of the permissibly picturesque; but Atitlan is Como with the additional embellishment of several immense volcanoes. It is really too much of a good thing.

Lake Atitlan - Guatemala

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