When we left Lanquin, we knew that we don’t need challenges with too long distances and bad roads anymore. One night we stayed at a restaurant by the Rio Escondido and the next day we passed the huge banana fields of Chiquita and Dole to the Maya Ruins of Quirigua. The rain was always a fellow that days and also the following. They allowed us to camp there and so we visited the ruins at a rain break next morning.
This place is famous about the different well recovered Stelas. This stone carving tells stories of Mayan culture and kingdoms these days. Really worth to see, but not so special for us after so many ruins we have seen. Probably wet feet by visiting were also a reason, why we had enough of ruins. 😛
We headed to the harbor Frontera at the Rio Dulce. The town was pfff… and the campsite was a parking lot at a ferry place with a restaurant. Price was OK, hot showers (never thought that we will miss them so much) and they allowed us to do service works at our van.
Dirty all over during service work, an Austrian couple came along and invited us to their sail boat, which is anchored close at the Lago Izabal. After we finished our job, already dark, Manfred and Erika came back and picked us up to their boat. Manfred told us that he built this boat 14 years long by his own. It was finished for their retirement and now they are travelling for about 5 ½ years. As long as it is possible with many plans for the future, but no plans to get back home.
They invited us for self made bread (best since Austria), delicious dinner and several beers. We listened to their amazing travel stories visiting nearly whole South America with a rebuilt van from Venezuela and sailing all over the world. Envious and dreaming of their stories (probably at our retirement the same 😉 ), Manfred shipped us back to our van after midnight. We wish them all the best and hope to see them one day again.
Next day afternoon we took the ferry to Livingston, which shall be a (basically) Garifuna town . No roads, only the ship brings you there. We rode down the huge Rio Dulce passing the jungle canyon, which is the paradise for so many different kinds of birds. In the 60s they filmed the first Tarzan movie in this area. Perfect place, even that days! Without a plan for accommodation a Garifuna guy picked us up at the harbor and brought us to the Casa de Iguana Hostel.
Great atmosphere, nice people and David, a cool volunteering Austrian guy, invited us to stay there for more than one night. A place to feel comfortable! Rest of Livingston we have seen and try to describe: Great Garifuna culture, but messed all over. The entire coast is covered with buildings and between nearly every place is fucked up with garbage. Nearly every good is imported and they don’t know where to put the trash.
Next morning we did the guided “Reggae on the River”-Tour. With a group of ten we went by boat on the Rio Dulce to a side stream. At the start of the river we continued hiking into the jungle to the Tiger Cave. In the dark with bats passing your head you jump down a waterfall. On a ladder you climb back with the water of the cascade punching you all the time. Strenuous, but a great experience! Also the rest of the four hour trip on the Rio Dulce, we can highly recommend.
Then it was time for Christmas next day. For us it was very important to communicate with our family, friends and especially girlfriends that day. These days you miss home and all the guys more than usual. After contacting them, we tried at the hostel to compensate this feeling by partying with many people. After a dinner with about 25 guys all over the world, we continued “celebrating” until late night. That was fun!
After a long sleep next day we continued with chilling in the hammock most of the time. Perfect rest before we return to our following adventures. Next day we went back to our van at Puerto Frontera Rio Dulce and got prepared for Honduras. A guy from the hostel visited Honduras for 16 days before and he told us, everything was crazy there: Political protests, road barriers, despoliations and curfew over Christmas … Bienvenidos Honduras!