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Old 21-02-2015, 06:59   #16
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Re: Rio Dulce for hurricane season?

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Originally Posted by sv Winterlude View Post
No, Belize Sailor is right. But we found that learning some Spanish significantly enhanced our time there - chatting with locals was fun and enlightning.
Yes, learning even a little Spanish can really heighten your experiences.
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Old 21-02-2015, 07:21   #17
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Re: Rio Dulce for hurricane season?

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Guatemala is the best place for learning Spanish because the local dialect is the "midwest of Latin America". By that I mean that they speak in a measured pace and pronunciate words very clearly and do not use much slang. It was a revelation to go there because I could actually understand them compared to all other Latin American countries.

There are scores of Spanish immersion schools in the country if you wish to learn.

Mark
True, Guatemalan Spanish is an easy dialect. In rural areas, like much of the Rio, you do hear a more informal dialect with shortened phrases like "buenas' ", "por fa' ", "hijo!" (one of my favorites). I call it "Redneck Spanish". ;-)

Panamanian Spanish is by contrast very sloppy with loads of shortened words and phrases and, dropped "S's" (makes numbers especially confusing), and lots of slang. So bad that sometimes even Panamanians don't understand other Panamanians! I was in a bar in Panama last year and a Panamanian walked in and said to the bartender "do atla". The bartender didn't understand what he meant. I was pretty pleased with myself that I did...he wanted "Dos Atlas" (two "Atlas" beers).

Colombians speak more "proper" Spanish, but often so blisteringly fast I can't keep up.
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Old 11-03-2015, 05:51   #18
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Re: Rio Dulce for hurricane season?

Nice timing on the thread. We're starting to point our attention toward Guatemala, too. Except we're looking longer term.
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Old 11-03-2015, 09:43   #19
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Re: Rio Dulce for hurricane season?

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Nice timing on the thread. We're starting to point our attention toward Guatemala, too. Except we're looking longer term.
"Longer term" like live there or just longer term for the boat?

My home base has been on the Rio since 2006 so either way I can provide info.
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Old 11-03-2015, 10:47   #20
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Re: Rio Dulce for hurricane season?

Got me thinking too. Anywhere there to haul a cat with 24' beam?
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Old 11-03-2015, 10:51   #21
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Re: Rio Dulce for hurricane season?

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Got me thinking too. Anywhere there to haul a cat with 24' beam?
Yep, 2 places: Abel's (railway) or Nana Juana (trailer).

Abel's is upstream of the bridge/power lines which is a consideration for taller masts. What's your mast height?
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Old 11-03-2015, 15:11   #22
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Re: Rio Dulce for hurricane season?

About 68'
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Old 11-03-2015, 16:28   #23
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Re: Rio Dulce for hurricane season?

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About 68'
Plenty of room under the bridge at center (~ 90'), but close enough to the adjacent power lines (~ 75', unofficially) to increase the pucker factor. The usually strong current under the bridge, and closeness of the power lines to the bridge, make this an interesting maneuver which could get ugly fast if something went wrong. And you get to do this twice, coming and going, to get to/from Abel's.

Nana Juana would be a less stressful option for you.
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Old 12-03-2015, 05:28   #24
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Re: Rio Dulce for hurricane season?

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"Longer term" like live there or just longer term for the boat?
Well, both actually. We're looking for a new base of operations, planning to move on board our boat within the next six weeks after getting it ready. We're going to put the house we built here on the market as soon as we move on the boat. Island life has been a real experience, and we're learned a lot about living outside the USA but we feel it's time to move on. It's hard to believe we've been in the Turks and Caicos ten years. Never was our intention. Finding a boat, buying it, getting it here and making it livable just seemed to take freakin' YEARS longer than we anticipated. I bet that's a familiar story. Well, now we've learned it.

We're trying to morph into a situation where we spend three quarters of the year on the boat, and the other three months in our little travel trailer up in Colorado. I'm finishing up a rudimentary "temporary" interior on the boat now, using hull liner and paint to make it as comfy as we can until we can get it someplace to get it extensively refitted with a lot of new wood work and a bunch of aluminum fabrication externally. Rio Dulce is looking good for the wood, but maybe not so much for the aluminum?

Do you know of any good blogs by someone presently in the Rio Dulce area? I know people contact me through our blog here, and pick our brains about the TCI all the time. My turn to pick some brain. We have a zillion questions.
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Old 12-03-2015, 05:56   #25
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Re: Rio Dulce for hurricane season?

See ➥ riodulcechisme.com - Home
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Old 12-03-2015, 06:37   #26
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Re: Rio Dulce for hurricane season?

The Rio Dulce Chisme (gossip) which Gordy posted is the primary web site for the gringo cruising community. There is a Rio specific forum there.

Don't know of my blogs, but I don't follow blogs. Likely there is one out there.

There are a couple of other good web sites with a broader scope than just the Rio, with lots of good info on Guatemala too. Don't get trapped on a bar stool like so many gringos do there...get out an experience Guatemala...it is an amazing country.

http://www.mayaparaiso.com/

http://www.inriodulce.com/
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Old 12-03-2015, 06:52   #27
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Re: Rio Dulce for hurricane season?

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... Rio Dulce is looking good for the wood, but maybe not so much for the aluminum?

Do you know of any good blogs by someone presently in the Rio Dulce area? I know people contact me through our blog here, and pick our brains about the TCI all the time. My turn to pick some brain. We have a zillion questions.
Welders there too! Carlos is the usual guy. Triumphant here has worked with him a lot and I've used him for a few small things.

There is a also a proper machine shop run by a retired gringo machinist. He does welding and fabrication too.

I don't do a blog but have based out of the Rio since 2006 and be happy to answer your questions. Triumphant is a also a Rio Dulce long timer.
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Old 12-03-2015, 07:03   #28
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Re: Rio Dulce for hurricane season?

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... Island life has been a real experience, and we're learned a lot about living outside the USA but we feel it's time to move on. It's hard to believe we've been in the Turks and Caicos ten years. Never was our intention. Finding a boat, buying it, getting it here and making it livable just seemed to take freakin' YEARS longer than we anticipated. I bet that's a familiar story. Well, now we've learned it.

....
Gee, where have I heard (lived) that story before? I started out in Belize, then Guatemala...never had a plan to build a house in Guatemala or live there for almost a decade either...still not completely finished with the place, but now spending most of our time in Panama. Starting to travel in S America, so in another decade probably be living there.
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Old 12-03-2015, 08:49   #29
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Re: Rio Dulce for hurricane season?

Funny how that happens, and have you noticed it seems to happen a lot to a very specific type of person? I've actually spent a lot of time on boats in Latin America in my life and former career. I spent a big part of one year on a seismic boat surveying the Pacific coast of Central America. I got on the boat in Corinto Nicaragua and left it in Panama. I think I went from that job to Pakistan, in the foothills of the Himalayas on the Tarbela dam. What a change that was. I worked in Venezuela, Guyana, Surinam, Brazil,Argentina and all over the Caribe Islands. Not all of them by any means, but quite a few. And it was always work.. I always wanted to go back to some of those places on my own boat and schedule. Now, it looks like I can.

How's internet access in the Rio?
what's the typical travel scenario if you need to leave the boat there and fly up to someplace like Houston, Dallas, or Denver, to name a few of our typical destinations? do you take a bus to a city with an airport?
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Old 12-03-2015, 09:30   #30
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Re: Rio Dulce for hurricane season?

How's internet access in the Rio?

Depends on where you are. Most of the marinas have internet, some of the bars/restaurants in Fronteras have it as well.

Outside of the town, people use the USB sticks, pay as you go which work but are normally pretty slow

what's the typical travel scenario if you need to leave the boat there and fly up to someplace like Houston, Dallas, or Denver, to name a few of our typical destinations? do you take a bus to a city with an airport?

Main options are

a) Bus to Guatemala City, reckon on 6 hours journey time. $32 per night for a hotel in Zona 10, safe zone. American and United fly out of Guat city,

b) Bus to San Pedro Sula, Honduras, reckon on 4 hours bus journey, but check the flight times, they tend to be at antisocial hours. The border is only open from 08:00am to 06:00pm

c) Some people also rent Taxi’s instaed of buses , I think San Pedro Sula is about $200, Guat city will probably be more
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