Rio Dulce, Guatemala: Quebec-ian youth

A new post, and yet we are still in Guatemala…take that TREE! ‘Beta’ (Tree’s term for information) is the wind that fills the sails of the good ship SprinterLife. Tree is always 3 steps ahead of the game intel-wise. This works out great for us, since we are the lucky beneficiaries of Mr.Trujillo’s detailed research. Our usual modus operandi is to let SprinterLife get a couple day’s head start and then gently breeze through town in their substantial wake. This particular course has led us into the beautiful river town of Rio Dulce.

Our own ‘Beta’ (Lonely Planet), had led us to the Backpacker’s Hostel/Restaurant. This place is right on the river and helps support a local orphanage. We had heard that travelers could work out an arrangement to stay for free at the hostel in exchange for volunteering at the orphanage. It turns out that this is not necessarily true. You can volunteer at the orphanage, but not in exchange for lodging and you must also pay for a boat to take you down the river to the orphanage…which ends up being about $90. Emily was really into working with the kids, but unfortunately this involved a decent amount of money, a full day’s commitment (because of the boat trip) and on top of all this Luna was starting to act lethargic again. A trip to the vet was now a possibility. We decided to stay put for a while to monitor Luna’s condition as we started her back on the Doxicycline regimen.

We were the only people in our dorm-style room for the first 2 nights. Then, we were joined by a group a backpackers from Quebec. Many Canadians had crossed our path during our journey so far, but this was our first encounter with French Canadians. Definitely a different breed. The group consisted of 2 girls and 2 guys. They were in their late teens and full of energy. They offered us much in the way of constant entertainment. They were into poi spinning, Edith Piaf, pot, journals, dreadlocks, tall cans of beer, jumping into the river, pushing people into the river, singing in French and playing guitar. Awesome. One of the girls had recently ‘liberated’ herself from a Christian work camp in central California, and was now heading still south. They were a trip and made me wish I had done more traveling when I was a younger man.

It was nice being on the river, except for our close proximity to the main thoroughfare bridge. We heard the wonderful screech of tractor trailers applying their air brakes all night long. It rained a lot while we were on Rio Dulce, whuch made for lazy days just sitting around writing, drinking, and watching the spectacle of Quebec-ian youth. The uneventful days breezed by and before we knew it, it was time to head to El Salvador. We had been away from the coast for too long and I needed some waves.

Luna was in a bad way, and at some point in the night before we were to depart, she tore a hole through the sheet and well into the foam of the ‘mattress’ of the bed she was on. We apologized to the hostel and offered to pay whatever they wanted to make everything ok. They charged us a whopping $9 for the sheet and mattress combo and we left on good terms.

We didn’t know what to expect as we headed towards El Salvador, but surf was on the agenda. Everything I know about the country I learned from Oliver Stone’s movie “Salvador”. I only hoped that we wouldn’t get mistaken for press and get riddled with bullets from a low flying fighter plane.


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~ by pleasuredevice on 07/04/2011.

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