Thursday November 7, 2013
One of the most distinguishing things about Rio Dulce is the large bridge at the edge of town that crosses over the river. It’s long and fairly high, I think just over 70 feet at the center, and has a nice little arch that actually makes it quite pretty instead of something plain and boring. It’s so dominant in anyone’s mind that has been there that you could show a photo to a person that only captures the bridge and the water, and it wouldn’t take them two seconds to reply “Oh, that’s Rio Dulce!”.
One other thing about this bridge that is very noticeable is how many locals will sit at the top of it and sometimes spend hours watching the world pass below them. It’s not uncommon to see 2-3 cars or tuk-tuks pulled off to the side, even though there is no shoulder and everyone must now move around them, as they enjoy their lunch, dinner, or just a cold beer with the views that surround them from the top. Although we’ve gone over this bridge a few times on buses we’ve only been able to get a quick glimpse of what made it so special before we were already at the other side. We, actually meaning Elmari and I, decided this needed to change.
One afternoon when all of us had finished our boat projects for the day and we were now entering the golden hour just before sunset, we dragged our men along as we all piled into t/t Skebenga and motored over to the local marina where everyone leaves their dinghies, before hitting the main street and turning left to get to the bridge instead of going right towards town. Walking up the incline, we stopped ourselves at the center and were shown why it was such a popular place for the locals. The views were genuinely beautiful, and the sun making it’s descent made it even more so. Having packed a very small cooler, I offered everyone a beer and we stood there, among young lovers and families with small children, and took it all the splendor around us. I’m just sad it took us four months to do so.
When the four of us arrived back to the marina we found out that we had enjoyed out time atop the bridge so much that we were running late for the dinner club! It only took us a few moments to gather necessary items off our boat and were soon enjoying great food with great company. I love this arrangement. I have no idea what’s going to happen when we leave here. It will be back to orange spaghetti and cans of soup. I think I have picked up a few things from the great chefs at our table though, and I hope they stick once we’re left to our own devices again.
And as usual, our night wasn’t complete without a visit from a dog that lives across the bay and occasionally likes to trot over for scraps or to lick our plates clean. He’s gone though a few names since we’ve ‘adopted’ him at the ranchito, but for now we just call him Foxy, due to his foxy looking appearance. Matt is actually so smitten with him that part of me thinks we might have a new dog aboard once we leave Guatemala.
Luis made us flan!
Foxy, our soon to be skebenga’ed dog.
Enjoying an after dinner cigar.