Week 28 – Chillin’ in the Rio

Life here on the Rio Dulce is pretty chill… but I’m not talking about the weather… that is sizzling!! I had been warned by another cruiser who spent last summer here and said they spent most of their time in the pool at their marina… but, having survived chartering these last few months in Belize, we thought we’d be ok… HA!

So like I said, we are settled at Vista Rio marina…

S/V Third Aye at Vista Rio
S/V Third Aye at Vista Rio
which is right next to the bridge here… purportedly the longest bridge in Central America
The longest bridge in Central America
The longest bridge in Central America
The bridge does look cool… and generally you can’t hear the traffic… but every once in a while a truck with next to no breaks, and certainly no break pads screeches it’s way down our side into Fronteras.
We’ve been enjoying our time hiding out on board Third Aye with our wonderful air conditioner (thank you Jim for helping to sort that out!), but we try to make ourselves get out a bit here and there to avoid going totally doolally!So, the other day we headed off in our little put-put of a dinghy to check out one of the few tourist attractions locally… El Castillo San Felipe.

Sign at Castillo San Felipe
Sign at Castillo San Felipe
Apparently (as you probably can’t actually read below) was built in the 16th century, originally as a watchtower, to look out for pirates. Over the next century or so, many pirates sailed all the way up from the coast here to Rio Dulce and so the Spanish needed to prevent them getting further in land here at the narrows and stop them from pillaging local towns.
Castilllo San Felipe tower
Castilllo San Felipe tower
Over the next couple of centuries the pirate activity came in waves of force and so they built and rebuilt the place until it became a full-on, miniature castle – yes! it was a very cool little castle but really quite compact and bijoux!!IMG00032

It’s really a maze of little (they must have been short and rather skinny Spaniards stationed here) corridors, rooms, stairwell and turret with cannons. Quite elaborate and very cool by the looks of it – if anyone had infiltrated one part of it, they would never have survived beyond the next corner where a sword or rifle would have undoubtedly been waiting for them.
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Tadd loved the big, old cannons

Tadd and Lindsay aboard "Ayelet"
Tadd and Lindsay aboard “Ayelet”
After our history lesson we headed back out on the dingy…
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to find a pool to cool off in. That day it was courtesy of Hotel & Marina Tijax.. not a bad setting for the pool, but the most expensive cokes in the area at a whopping $1.30 each!! Outrageous!

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Sadly we couldn’t stay too long as the I noticed the sky darkening through the trees, out over the lake…
So it was back in the dingy..  And time for Happy Hour!

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p.s. and yes, Linda, I did take these pictures… our camera died but we managed to get my ignored blackberry to take over the job until we can get a new one in the States. 🙂