|We are beginning to plan our first land trip, which we will take by bus up to the northern town of Flores and to Tikal, the most impressive Mayan ruins found anywhere, apparently. Of all the recommended tours, this is the #1, must see trip. We have been getting advice from other boaters who have visited Flores and Tikal and reading all about them in our cruising guide and especially in the informative Guatmala Guide Book that Sylvia gave me.
In the meantime, there is so much to see right here on the Rio Dulce and we have just barely scratched the surface. We have been visiting other marinas, looking at their slips and attractions, sometimes stopping for lunch but we have not found any that we prefer to Marios.
We explored a scenic little river that runs into Monkey Bay just across the Rio from us in our dingy. Monkey Bay was named after two troops of free-ranging black howler monkeys who can be heard for miles and we have indeed heard them on this side of the river. The howler monkey is the loudest animal in the world, with it's roar being heard for over a mile. They are the largest monkey found in the Americas and have become threatened due to destruction of their rainforest habitat.
The best time to hear the monkeys is at dawn but we wanted to find the spot in the daylight first. We turned the motor off and drifted in the peaceful little river, listening to all the jungle sounds. Hopefully I can piece together a short film clip so that I can share the sounds with you.
Yesterday we headed under the big bridge to explore the other side of town and the opening to the big, lake Izabal. The water in the lake is cleaner for swimming since it is upstream of town and hence the sewage. There were plenty of boats anchored and hopefully it won't be long before we head up that way in Diamond Lil for a change from the marina life.
Lake Izabal is the largest lake in Guatamala, about the size of Lake Simcoe, with many towns surrounding it and a huge nature reserve up near the far end.