With a long drive ahead of us, we had our last breakfast at Hotel Dos Mundos, carefully packed all of our purchases from Chichicastenango into the back of the truck and made our way back through the mountains toward Guatemala City. Our car has certainly taken a real beating on these twisting, plunging roads, as has our patience.

Solola Guatemala
A colorful cemetery in Solola

Plans to visit the Biosphere in Coban, the black Christ in Esquipulas and the ruins at Quiriguia were tabled in an effort to reduce our time in the car and make the trip less frantic and exhausting for us all. I have to admit that fifteen days into the trip, even I (Little Miss Get Up and Go,Go,Go!!) was starting to feel the effects and longing for something that resembled a real "vacation". Unfortunately, this day would bring no rest. On the contrary, this was our worst driving day yet. Two hours hopelessly lost in Guatemala traffic, slow moving trucks and road construction all conspired against us, making for a tough eight hour journey from Lake Atitlan to Rio Dulce.

Guatemala City 

Guatemala City

We arrived in Rio Dulce long past sundown and made a bee-line for Bruno's Marina, a popular stop for the sailing set, recommended to us by our friend and former landlord, Brian. With the exception of a general warning issued to us by a border guard when we entered the country, this was the first time that we had been told to halt our travel for the evening. Our intended destination for the night was Hacienda Tijax, a cool spot on the river highly touted in all the guidebooks. The girls at Bruno's let us know in no uncertain terms that the desolate river road bringing us to Tijax was not safe and known to be a trouble spot at night. They were happy to call us a "lancha", but at this point, we were all so frazzled from the drive that we just wanted to bed down for the night. And so we did.

The next day, we did nothing.

That's right, nothing. Nothing, nothing, nothing.

It was great.

Here are some pictures.

Bruno's Marina Rio Dulce
Nothing

Bruno's Marina Rio Dulce
Birdie and Maria doing nothing.

Bruno's Marina Rio Dulce
Cole doing nothing.

After a long, relaxing day of doing nothing, we wandered into town to check out the carnival that was set up under the Rio Dulce bridge. The kids had spied the huge ferris wheel upon our arrival and promises were made for rides and carnie food. Having seen to many a carnival in Mexico, this one brought no surprizes. Ricketty, poorly maintained rides, bad fried food, impossible games of chance with horrible prizes: we've seen it all before. Still, my children were delighted and we spent the better part of the evening wandering from stall to stall looking for something edible.

Rio Dulce Guatemala

Rio Dulce Guatemala

Rio Dulce Guatemala

Rio Dulce Guatemala

Rio Dulce Guatemala

Rio Dulce Guatemala

Rio Dulce Guatemala

Rio Dulce Guatemala

Rio Dulce Guatemala

Rio Dulce Guatemala

Bellies rumbling and too late for dinner at Bruno's, we headed into town to find a suitable "comedor". The girls at the bar had recommended Jocelyn's and we were not disappointed. We chowed down on greasy fried chicken and fresh smoothies as dozens of produce trucks roared by behind us. OK, so the atmosphere may leave something to be desired but the food really hit the spot. Pleased with our room and the vibe at Bruno's, we had decided to stay for another night rather than move on to Tijax. We all tumbled into our beds, looking forward to a more active day toorrow, exploring more of the area.

Rio Dulce Guatemala

Tomorrow, we explore the Rio Dulce and visit the Garifuna town, Livingston.