Our last few days in Guatemala

Phil & Nikki Hoskins
Sat 10 Dec 2011 16:17
Having waved goodbye, fuelled up & headed off down the Rio we realised that we had left some vital water hose fittings attached to two of the marinas water supply pipes........ too long on the dock! Now several miles away we were not inclined to turn round & resigned ourselves to doing without & probably having to 'jury' rig something at the next watering hole. What a resourceful lot the Monkey Bay 6 are!  After a few VHF calls asking that the errant fittings be retrieved & held on to in case we crossed paths at a later date we heard that they'd found a launcha due to come down river the next day.  On Sunday morning the launcha full of bemused tourists enroute to Livingstone detoured into Texan Bay where we were anchored.  The driver manoeuvred alongside & duly handed over the package.
The Bay has many small creeks to explore.  Watching the launcha disappear down one we decided to do a bit of gunk holing ourselves & spent an enjoyable afternoon buzzing in & out of the nearby bays & mangroves......
Lilypads                                                                                Cheeky lad selling tortoise shells                                 Waterside property!
Before the rains returned with a vengeance......
There were several of us in the anchorage waiting to clear out & take advantage of the weather window.  The marina offers a fast launcha service down the gorge to Livingstone.  This beats taking your own boat, anchoring off the mouth of the river, launching your dinghy & running the gauntlet of the "boat minders".  We'd already set the wheels in motion the previous week when we contacted the customs agent to let him know our intended date of departure.  It was a great ride down the river with a few pick-ups along the way.  The customs agent dealt with the paperwork whilst we had a wander around this mainly Garifuna town.  The Garifunas are of black African decent & live mainly on the Central American Caribbean coast line.
High Street                                                                            Laundrette                                                                             On the way to church
Street cleaner                                                                       Skip in the "car" parking lot                                                 Excellent smells from this place!
The ride back was fast with a few stop offs - one was to a newly open Eco-lodge called The Roundhouse.  The young managers had renovated an old Rancho, only accessible by water providing a retreat for backpackers & the like.  The were a few double rooms & a large dormitory & even a swimming pool.  No internet (yet) & hardly a phone signal.  We all agreed to stop for a welcome beer & have a look round at their handy work.  Then followed a stop at a 'shop' in the middle of a deserted swamp to pick up some ice!
We spent a pleasant couple of days also frequenting the marina bar & restaurant in the evenings with our fellow escapees! Skip by now had had a good look at the engines following our run down to the Bay.  It was looking more & more likely that the head gasket had gone on the port engine.  Once more we called the Monkey Bay 6 on the VHF to see if anyone knew if there was a Yanmar agent in the Bay Islands.  Unbelievably, news came back that there was a spare parts dealer on Utila the first small island in the chain.  You could also check in there.  Free to leave Guatemala guess where we were now headed..................................