Wilderness waterfall and sailing against the wind.
El Estor Travel Blog› entry 33 of 37 › view all entries
Well last night was the first night sleeping in my dinky cabin on Las Sirenas. I wasn't so bad. The temperature was reasonable, and there were no mosquitos in the area so I could leave my hatch open all night. It did end up raining at least twice that I can remember, but a quick wake up to shut the thing and then again when the coast was clear was no big deal. I am next to the kitchen, so I was awakened a bit earlier then I may have slept by the sounds and smells of breakfast but no big deal.
Breakfast was tasty and fresh, and served with some fresh fruit and coffee. And after that we found out about today's activities. Finca el Paraiso which is where we anchored last night is home to a hot springs waterfall.
We were dropped off by our dingy onto the beach, and we went to the office to pay the minimal fee for the grounds. After that we had about a three kilometer walk through farmlands and woods. During the last stretch we were accompanied by a local guide, who made sure we found the place.
We all dropped our stuff and made way for the water. The rocks were slippery and dangerous, and I elected to wear my Timberland sandals into the water although everybody else went in shoeless. The water seemed a normal temperature, and the shallows fell away as you swam towards the hot waterfall. Nearing the falls, the sulphurous smell hits you as the water begins to warm a bit.
The water itself was very hot, and the intermingling of the streams afforded the chance to 'pick your temperature'. It was one of those spots that you wonder if there is any other place on earth like it. And if there isn't, then why doesn't everybody know about this, and why aren't they here. After lazing around hippopotamus style in the steam of the falls for about 45 minutes, we noticed that there was another group of people coming down the path.
After we got back to the boat, the crew pointed us towards our next point, El Castillo. There little bit of wind that there was seemed to be against us, so we were under motor power for the next few hours. We got our dingy drop-off on the dock, paid the park fee and set off to explore. I think I was more interested by the castle and it's history then the others, and we were all still blissed out a bit by the mornings waterfall bath, so the visit was pretty short. Suffice it to stay that the castle is old, built in the early 1600's to protect against pirate raids on Lago de Izabal.
After returning to the boat, there were engine troubles. The 50 horsepower Honda gave up the ghost, and we were forced to do with the 25 hp Yamaha outboard that was there as a backup. The trip to our next destination was into a pretty strong wind, and we were crawling like turtles for at least three hours before El Golfete got wide enough to set up the sails. First came the spinnaker, then the main sail. We angled at about 30 degrees from the direct wind direction and started tacking back and forth at a high rate of speed. The lake was pretty rough and we were moving, so we got our first taste of alot of spray from the front of the boat.
We made it to the eastern end of El Golfete, and docked at a small jungle resort called Los Polofitos. There were a few mosquitos around so we all lathered up in insect repellent. We had another delicious dinner, and sat around playing cards and talking under a full moon. There were again clouds and distant lightning, and the weather was even a bit cooler. Confident in my insect repellent I left the hatch open while sleeping.