Shaun precariously hid in an ongoing dance with the ever-changing shade spots of the catamaran as we made our way down the Rio Dulce. Life on a boat is unkind to those with fair skin. Freckles started dotting their way along his pale landscape but they did little to protect him from the harsh Guatemalan sun. I was soaking it in. It felt perfect.
I think I was a sailor in a past life or something; I connect with the water. The sun on my now brown Latina skin felt right. I nimbly made my way to the front of the boat and started furiously scribbling in my personal diary. It had been a while since I had felt so inspired.
We had fallen in love with Guatemala when we took our Spanish lessons in Xela, two years prior. This was a side of Guate we hadn’t familiarized ourselves with and I couldn’t have asked for a more amazing experience.
Small huts and palapas dotted the shore as we made our way to the mouth of the river. We were getting tiny glimpses of the real Guatemala as we sailed and my eyes were glued to the shoreline. These places were only accessible by water and I immediately felt as though I was part of some exclusive club – and in a way I was. Not everyone gets the opportunity to slowly float their way to Livingston.
I almost felt like a voyeur as I watched locals swimming and bathing on the side of the river. Everyone was smiling and waving at us happily, I couldn’t help myself as my camera joyfully clicked away.
Sparrows playfully flew through the air, taking a brief moment to find their personal spot on the catamaran to rest up a bit before quickly taking off.
The occasional manatee made themselves known by waving hello with a quick tail whip.
L and D started fumbling around in the galley.
“Where is it?”
“Where is what?”
…and after a quick hookup, it started.
As we approached the high canyon walls on the Rio Dulce, a familiar song that reminded me so much of my youth slowly made its way into a crescendo…
It couldn’t have been more perfect. My friends are nerds and I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect soundtrack to our sail.
Pelicans and other various birds gracefully glided along the green, placid water.
The grandeur of the canyon walls were made even more epic.
The local fisherman were dwarfed by the sharp drop of canyon wall. Can you spot them?
I sat there in awe. These places exist.
This is why I travel. I love to be a child again, being in a world of wonder.
I hope it never stops. I can’t stop wanting to discover.
What drives you to travel?