Offroad Tourbiking through Guatemala

It's been a while, I know! But we have something special for you... This, dear friends, is our first real "edited" video!!

This was Rufus' baby and, for his first time editing like this, on a new (very basic) program, I think it's pretty rad (I've watched it about 20 times and laughed my ass of at our super glamorous selves). 

We did a 3 day trip through part of Guatemala; from Antigua to the Pacific coast, inland to Lake Atitlan and back to Antigua. We drove through rivers, along the black sand coast, on highways in the rain, through forests and plantations, froze our backsides off at the top of volcanos and eventually back down to the historic cobblestone streets of Antigua.

I will do a post on Antigua in the next few days, with photos and details of the rest of our trip and the time we spent in Antigua itself.

Enjoy the clip and let us know what you think!

Melody for sale!

It is a sad day... We have known for a while that the best course of action for us right now is to sell our trusty sailboat Melody

We adore her and have loved our time living on board and travelling with her. Unfortunately we have come to a point where we work more than we see her and it is no longer practical to keep her. A boat needs to be sailed and used regularly in order to keep it healthy and in good condition.

We have accepted permanent positions on a 109ft private yacht, as 1st Mate and Cook/Stewardess, and so we will not be able to continue taking as detailed care of Melody as we have been till now.

We are looking for a passionate couple or individual to keep cruising with her, continue her journey around the world and love and care for her as much as we have and, if at all possible, even more!

If you are seriously interested in purchasing our boat please don't hesitate to contact us via email or give us a call on +1 (786) 616-0543 / +1 (786) 614-2288.

Please take a look at our new page, created just for Melody, with all her details and photos to date. You can also take a look at our team blog to view the whole refit process from when we bought her at the end of 2010 till when we left South Africa in September 2012.

The does not mean that we have stopped cruising forever! We have already started designing our dream boat to build, when we have made our millions on super yachts ;) We fully intend to continue our circumnavigation, even if it has to be on a different boat later in life.

We did the cruising thing "backwards". We started before we had made our money or set up a passive income. For this reason we have to work now, start building on the budget again and then return as soon as we have the means, just as we have been doing since 2010.

for a LOT more photos please check out our "boat page"

photo credit: Vivian Botha (

photo credit: Vivian Botha (

photo credit: Vivian Botha (

photo credit: Vivian Botha (

photo credit: Vivian Botha (

photo credit: Vivian Botha (

photo credit: Vivian Botha (

Touring Tikal

From Flores we took a bus to Tikal National Park:

"It is one of the largest archaeological sites and urban centers of the pre-Columbian Maya civilization. It is located in the archaeological region of the Petén Basin in what is now northern Guatemala. Situated in the department of El Petén, the site is part of Guatemala's Tikal National Park and in 1979 it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site."

Since I was a young child, I have always been fascinated with ancient civilisations. When my friends were playing with barbies or reading "Sweet Valley High", I was pouring over books about the Ancient Egyptians, Romans and Greece. My favourite movies and TV series were about Roman and Greek myths, legends and ancient civilisations like "The Mysterious Cities of Gold". Visiting Tikal was a dream come true. 

Unfortunately, we learned the hard way, that your guide can either make or break your experience and ours was a huge disappointment. Caesar, from Little Caesar's Tours took us on a private tour of the city. He walked us through at such a rapid pace that we hardly had time to stop and take photos (unless it involved the wildlife), not to mention the minimal info on the structures, civilization and history of the site. We got more information on the wildlife than the temples!

After Caesar raced us through the city at Olympic Gold Medal speed, we did a little exploring of our own. During that time we got more thorough and fascinating information from eavesdropping on other passing tour guides, than we got during the entire "detailed personalized" tour Caesar supposedly provided for us. 

Rubbish guide aside, it was a fascinating experience and another one off my bucket list ;)

Standing at the top of the Temple of Masks, overlooking the Temple of the Grand Jaguar


circular stone altar with intricate carvings of secenes from Maya life

Temple of the Grand Jaguar, tomb of "Lord Chocolate" (Ah Cacau), one of Tikal's greatest rulers

the Lost World Pyramid

A massive stucco mask found on the substructure of one of the temples

Archeologists working on one of the structures

panoramic view of Tikal, from the tallest Temple IV

inside the palace

view of Temple IV from the palace

view from the palace, overlooking the Central Plaza

"No Scratching"

juuuust chillin'

abundance of wildlife in the forest, including toucans and these acrobats!

The Long Way Round

Once we completed our last charters it was off to the other side of the world again - this time, and for the first time, South Korea. We had been asked to join a project there for 10 days and couldn't turn down the opportunity. We had a few days to kill before we flew to Seoul so we decided to take the long way round, via Guatemala, to visit Melody and explore a bit more than the Rio and the marina.

The first stop was Flores, a tiny island town on a lake in the north east of Guatemala, close to the Belizean border. You can circumnavigate the island on foot in a mere 30min. Tiny indeed. The cobblestone streets are lined with colourful old buildings, many with obvious Spanish influence and most of them have beautiful decorative steel balustrades and intricate "spanish bars" over the windows.

There are many little hotels, you can find at least 3 on every street, and the malecon is lined with interesting restaurants and bars for every budget and palette. One of Rufus' favourite things to do in each place we visit is try the street food. In the afternoons, local women set up stalls with colourful assortments of traditional dishes and desserts. We went back to those stalls twice and still had dinner afterwards!

It's a beautiful little town and we have been back since. A great place to relax and get good food and cocktails, especially during happy hour ;)

happy hour!

the local carpentry and handwoven fabrics are beautiful

delicious meals and generous portions to be had here, at budget friendly prices

the best way to get around in Guatemala

love the colours!

a little more on the pricey side but definitely worth a visit to this restaurant

their mojitos are a must

yay for street food!

sunset over the lake

evening stroll back to our hotel

Bye Bye Belize

The charter season is over in Belize and the boats are on their way to the Rio, in Guatemala, for their annual maintenance.  I thought this would be the perfect time to post a selection of our favourite photos, from some of our most memorable experiences, while working for Belize Sailing Vacations. 

So many great memories!

Photo Credit: some of the below photos were taken by guests, specifically Andreas and Andrea Jensen, and they have graciously allowed me to use them for this post, and include their two beautiful daughters :) Thank you, Jensen family!

Goff's Caye

coconut harvesting on Goffs Caye

the view from above...

the view from below... getting to know the local Nurse Sharks

these guys are so beautiful and peaceful, and they love their sea grass. Rufus and I affectionately refer to them as "sea cows" :)

our guide, Ally, interacting with one of the rays - they know her well and greet her personally whenever she gets in the water

these two photos were taken while under way, sailing to the next 

island - perfectly calm and clear

the view from our cabin port hole, while we were sailing

seagull trying his luck for a seafood snack off the back of the boat

fresh shrimps prepared the Danish way, for our Danish guests. D is for DELICIOUS!

these two gorgeous girls stole my heart!

Rufus, our Lion Fish wrangler

soon to be ceviche

there was no one else on or around this island besides the two of us, our two guests and our boat anchored in the background.

chasing a crab up a tree, doing his best crab claw impression

a coconut is not the best hiding place, as it out...

say hello!

exploring the curious and colourful town of San Pedro, on Ambergris Caye, in the north of Belize. definitely worth a visit, if only for the locally hand-made organic chocolate (!!!).

sunset view from South Water Caye

sunset view from South Water Caye

the Fernandez family from Uruguay 

you can take us out of South Africa but you can't take us away from the braai! this is one of our favourite charter meals to prepare: chicken, sweet pepper and pineapple sosaties (kebabs) on the ideally charcoal, not gas, braai (barbecue)

making furry friends on South Water Caye

sailboat sunset