professional mariner | full-time traveller | part-time blogger | amateur photographer | semi-circumnavigator | happy wife | made in South Africa

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Crossing the Panama Canal

After we returned from our overland trip to Costa Rica and Nicaragua, we spend Easter weekend in Bocas del Toro and then made the trip down south to the port town of Colón. Before we left though, we met up with a friend from our super yacht days, Peter, and invited him to join us as crew for the Panama Canal transit.

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Family Farm Life in Costa Rica

And we are BACK! If you follow our page on Facebook you will know that my MacBook charger took a walk in Bocas del Toro so my photo editing/blogging station has been down for a while. Luckily Panama mainland is not short on malls and electronics shops so I finally found a replacement and I am back online!

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Navigating Nicaragua

Rufus and I recently took a 10-day trip north to Costa Rica and Nicaragua. We left Melody on anchor off Isla Bastimentos and travelled overland by bus and motorcycle. Our first stop in Nicaragua was the surf town of San Juan del Sur where we spent two nights and then rented our motorcycle from Chris at El Gringos.

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Surfing Kusapín

In the last post I mentioned that during our island hopping trip we stopped at Bluefield Lagoon and did a short overland walk to the well-known surf spot of Kusapín.

Two years ago, while we were in Trinidad, we met a Brazillian guy by the name of Manuel Alves. We became fast friends and when we came to Panama he offered his help and connections, as he also has his sailboat based in Bocas del Toro. He is away working right now but he kindly loaned Rufus his surfboard for our time here, as we gave away all our boards in Guatemala, when we thought we would not be returning to Melody last year 🙁

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Cruising Bocas with Babilé

Last week we arrived in Panama, after 7 days sailing down from Guatemala. We dropped anchor in front of Isla Colón which is part of the Bocas del Toro Archipelago, off the Caribbean coast of Panama.

To our absolute delight, the same day we arrived, our favourite cruising friends Natali and João, of S/Y Babile, appeared in our anchorage – reunited after almost 2 years!! We spent a few days anchored there, resting and exploring the island, enjoying the restaurants and bars of the little surf town.

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Where are we now?

Hello, friends!

We are on the move again… and yes, I am sorry we have not been keeping better contact re. our movements. I have been struggling with updating the blog chronologically (as in going back 6 months and doing each post individually) vs. doing one post with a summary and bring you all up to date with where we are at right now – literally and figuratively.

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Bike Trip Day 3: Panajachel to Pastores

On the third and last day we took the first water taxi we could get, across to the South West shore, to San Pedro La Laguna. This is known as the “party” town on the lake and has a lot more life to it. It lies at the base of one of the volcanos, from which it takes it’s name. There are lovely restaurants, open air bars, coffee shops, smoothie bars, markets with beautiful locally handmade goods, great places to stay with breathtaking lake views and a multitude of Spanish schools for those who want to learn the language from the locals.

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Bike Trip Day 2: Pacific Coast to Lake Atitlán

The next day it was back inland, with more offroad through sugar plantations, to Lago de Atitlán. The lake is situated in the Guatemalan Highlands of the Sierra Madre and the Lonely Planet Guide calls it “the closest thing to Eden on earth”. The change in temperature, from the warm and humid coastline to the crisp cool volcanic mountains surrounding the lake, was quite drastic. We literally ascended into the clouds as we wound our way up and around the steep mountain passes. We were thankful for our windbreakers which up till this point we had been using as bug armour, protection against the multitude of insects ending their brief lives as gooey splats all over our chests, arms, helmets and (my least favourite) faces.

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Bike Trip Day 1: Antigua to El Paredon

Apart from circumnavigating in our own sail boat we are also keen land travellers and we have a kind of overland bucket list to use all the kinds of transport available. The one we have always had high on the list is doing a bike trip and the right opportunity presented itself in Antigua.

While exploring the town on foot, we came across MotoTours, a motorbike rental shop. After a chat with the owner, and discussing our budget options over a good cup of coffee and a pastry, we decided to take the opportunity and do an unguided (less expensive and more adventurous/exciting for us) trip to the Pacific coast, Lake Atitlán and then back to Antigua.

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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 rented a bike and took a 3 day trip through part of Guatemala; from Antigua to the Pacific coast, inland to Lake Atitlan and back to Antigua. We rode through rivers, along black sandy beaches, on winding 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!

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. View Post