Dinghy-splorin’ the Rio Dulce

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We glided across the glass-like water of the Rio Dulce in Mother Jones’ dinghy. The only sounds that could be heard was the occasional “putt putt” of the motor, the lone bird that would sing out in the mangroves, and the occasional clank of the empty beer cans on the floor.

“I hope there aren’t any crocodiles.” A devilish smile curled my lips as I stuck my hand in the brackish water.

L flinched a bit. “I hope so too!”

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Today we were participating in what D and L loving referred to as “dinghy-splorin’” in which you hop into the inflatable boat, start ‘driving’ and hope for the best as you navigate the narrow waterways and shallow depths.

We had overheard some sailors talking about a lagoon in the area that could be found only by making your way through the maze of mangrove channels. We were determined.

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The mangroves were beautiful, rugged, and untouched. I couldn’t help but be creeped out by the decaying houses that found themselves hidden in this near-unnavigable area.

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Long vines fell from the trees into the water and spider webs decorated trees with their detailed and delicate designs.

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Crab traps lined the docks and shore. As we looked over the side of the boat, hundreds of pinchy-hands were waving at us from the crap traps like a Miss America pageant gone wrong. I licked my lips. “You’re going to taste delicious.”

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Submerged tree stumps posed an interesting obstacle. “PULL UP THE MOTOR!” had to be screamed a few times as we playfully meandered through the fallen trees. Motors have been wrecked for less and we weren’t about to let that happen in the middle of our expedition.

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We weren’t sure how much further we could make it before it got too dangerous for the boat, the motor, and us (besides the fact that I think I was starting to creep myself out at the thought of crocs in the area). But before we lost hope the mangroves parted and before us opened the hidden, lone lagoon.

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Civilization was nowhere to be found and we had it all to ourselves. I can’t even explain how awesome of a feeling that is.

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Mr. K (the dog) immediately started whining. He knew what places like this meant. The sun was intense and this sea pig wanted into the water! With a quick shove there was a massive splash and K swam around in a few circles only to immediately want to get back into the boat when none of us joined him.

Can you imagine what it looks like as two people grab onto a 75 pound pitbull by his lifejacket and haul him over the walls of a dinghy? K started floundering about as his solid body was dragged back into the boat, bringing what seemed like half of the lagoon with him.

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We did a couple of victory dinghy donuts and slowly made our way back to the sailboat. The boat was full of smiles. There are no mangrove maps. We had managed to find the hidden lagoon that the local sailors had whispered about. It was like we were in on this secret club.

We knew where the secret lair was and the secret was safe with us.


18 Responses to “Dinghy-splorin’ the Rio Dulce”

  1. Sofie May 14, 2013 at 4:44 am #

    Loooove this post!
    I’m feeling all excited with adventure:D
    So cool that you guys found this spot and Mr. K. just looks adorable in his life vest:-)

    • Erica May 30, 2013 at 12:00 pm #

      Mr. K always looks adorable. It is horrible and makes me miss my puppy. I’m always weirded out about writing posts like these because they are hit or miss. Most of the time I write them anyway because I like to tell all my experiences. 😀 Glad you enjoyed it!

      • Sofie @ Wonderful Wanderings May 30, 2013 at 1:44 pm #

        And we love your writings for it:)
        Real experiences, that’s what we want!

        • Erica June 2, 2013 at 9:13 pm #

          Aww, thank you Sofie.

  2. Monica May 14, 2013 at 11:40 am #

    This looks like so much fun! I’d love to drive a dingy around a mangrove.

    • Erica May 30, 2013 at 12:05 pm #

      I’m actually really glad someone else was driving because we nearly smacked into a few submerged trees. I don’t want to be the one responsible for killing the motor. 😛 Have you dinghyed before? 😛

  3. Federico May 22, 2013 at 9:52 am #

    One great adventure indeed. Not many mosquitoes?

    • Erica June 1, 2013 at 7:53 pm #

      Nope, not too many where we were.

  4. Ayngelina May 22, 2013 at 10:30 am #

    Oh man when I was there it was rainy season and the bugs were so insane I could only stay one night. Looks like you guys had an amazing time.

    • Erica June 1, 2013 at 7:53 pm #

      O.o I can only imagine. We were at the end of dry season so it hadn’t rained in MONTHS. There was only the occasional mosquito.

  5. Alex May 23, 2013 at 2:15 pm #

    Love the mental image of Mr. K in his life jacket, paddling around! So adorable! Sounds like an amazing adventure.

    • Erica June 2, 2013 at 7:04 pm #

      He was too damn cute. Made me miss having a puppy.

  6. Emily in Chile May 25, 2013 at 10:26 am #

    It all looks so peaceful and beautiful, but I think I would have been worried about getting lost. And I guess it was probably only peaceful until the part where you were trying to haul the dog back into the boat 🙂

    • Erica June 2, 2013 at 8:13 pm #

      You know what – I never thought about what would happen if we got lost. Slightly scary thought there lol!

  7. Abby May 25, 2013 at 10:59 am #

    Love the hat! Wow these photos are beyond gorgeous, just breathtaking. And I love your description of the crabs!

    • Erica June 2, 2013 at 8:14 pm #

      The hat was a loaner from my friend L but I can totally see me grabbing one in the future!

  8. Juno May 27, 2013 at 8:06 am #

    I love the jungle photos. What an adventure!

  9. Digital Nomads May 30, 2013 at 6:43 am #

    Loved the story -aka post- it’s makes you dream about the river, lagoon and the boat. I’m also trying to imagine the putt putt sound LOL.

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