Saturday, December 22, 2012
Honduras and Guatemala (again)
For Yatistas, Roatan is the main island in a sprinkling of beautiful islets, anchorages known as the Bay Islands off of the Honduran coast. A triple-overnighter from Providencia, this time with fair winds and following seas(!), brought us to French Harbour, Roatan, accompanied by seasoned cruiser buddies Norman and Linda on SV Ariel.
In the 1600's English, French and Dutch pirates descended on these areas, using Roatan as a base for raids on the Spanish Main. Slaves were brought over from Jamaica and abroad, creating the eclectic mix of friendly folk who still inhabit these stunning islands.
About a dozen sailboats were dotted around the bay, including old cruiser friends Liz and Chris on SV Espiritu. That could only mean one thing…..time for a Jam session! We all converged on the newly-reno'd cruiser hangout of Brooksy Point, run by the lively Luli and Mike, for pizza and sing song.
Next day we visited the Iguana Farm and were astounded to find a myriad of prehistoric- looking Iguanas in all shapes, sizes and colours, nonchalantly lounging in the trees and sunbathing in the afternoon heat. Poised in position, and up to 3 feet long, with their glaring eyes, they can appear quite intimidating as they suddenly dart forward and cock their heads ready for a pet and nibble off a cabbage leaf.
Our days here ended too soon with a stop at the enchanting French Cay islet/resort, where one can swim in turquoise, clear waters or recline under a cabana contemplating life's rich pageant. Next day we left for Utila, another beautiful bay island en route to Guatemala.
Christmas in the Rio Dulce, Guatemala
Merry Christmas and God Bless Us Everyone!...from the Rio Dulce, (Sweet River), Guatemala. And what a sweet river it is! We motored up a deep gorge, admiring the towering white cliffs draped in vines on either side. This is where the famous Johnny Weissmuller first flexed his pecs as Tarzan of the Apes. Then the gorge expands into a large, peaceful lake interspersed with small marinas and thatched roof palapa bars. A great arc of a bridge crosses the river at Fronteras, a rather chaotic ‘frontier’ town where chickens and cattle mix with cell-phone shops and mercados selling everything imaginable.
We settled in at Marina Nana Juana for the holidays, and soon had little Chantey V looking festive with a wee Charlie Brown Christmas tree and some twinkling lights. Next day we cycled to Castillo San Fillipe’, an old fortress nearby. Built in defense from the Pirates sacking and pillaging the coast, its’ diminutive scale made it seem more like a children’s playhouse with secret passageways and dank dungeons.
Christmas Eve we hope to attend a Christmas gift party for the local children and cruisers hosted by Casa Guatemala. On Christmas Day we will be dreaming of home and missing friends and family many miles away. We would like to wish you all the Happiest of Christmas Seasons and Best Wishes for 2013!
“...and so I’m offering this simple phrase,
For kids from one to ninety two,
Although it’s been said, many times, many ways,
Merry Christmas to YOU! “