Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Back in Guatemala (Whew!)

We had an eventful last couple of weeks and I never got around to doing another update. So here's a rough sketch...

Thanksgiving with the family & unplanned road trip to Atlanta... We had been looking forward to Thanksgiving in St. Augustine to see all of Sherry's family at once. But Sherry's Dad got sick with acute pneumonia just before Thanksgiving and was unable to come down. By the time Thanksgiving was over, he was in intensive care with pneumonia in both lungs and some internal bleeding. By the end of the weekend he was on a respirator and in very serious condition. Sherry & her brothers jumped in her
brother's motor home and made a quick trip to Atlanta to see him, and Dave followed Sherry up in his car a day later. But we only stayed 2 days because we were just getting in my sister's way--she had his care well in hand and didn't need more people to care for.

It was nice to see Sherry's sister's beautiful new house in Fayetteville, but not under those circumstances.

Pictures of the family Thanksgiving can be found here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/DLSAJ0ZkU5rCNf863

For awhile it looked like Dad was going to pull through, but he passed away quietly in his sleep on December 2.

We pushed off our planned December 6 return to Guatemala to December 9 so we could attend the family memorial service in the Keys. Again we enjoyed spending more time with Sherry's scattered family, but it was a very sad time saying goodbye to Gordo.

Pictures of Gordo's send-off can be found here:


On Sunday, we drove out from the Keys and direct to Ft. Lauderdale airport for a late night return to Guatemala via San Pedro Sula, Honduras (the only reasonably priced airfare we could get on short notice--our December 6 Spirit Airlines flight had been bought at such a discount that it was cheaper to abandon it than to change it). The flight into San Pedro Sula is pretty cheap because it is such an inconvenient time... You land at SPS airport at 12:30am.

I couldn't find much information about hotels in San Pedro Sula or the bus trip to Guatemala. We did manage to book a hotel and a shuttle from the airport via email ahead of time... good thing, because there were no taxis that late at night. And finally got some advice from other cruisers on the Rio about the bus trip.

We only got about 2 hrs sleep as we had to be up at 5am to catch the 6am once-a-day bus that goes to Rio Dulce. Though the 'crow flies' distance from San Pedro Sula to Rio Dulce is only about 60 miles, this is 'only' a 4 hour trip with an easy change in buses. But between a road that goes around the mountains, and 3 stops at the border for Honduran and Guatemalan Immigration, we were estimating 5 hours. We thought we were home free when we got to the crossroads, only 20 miles left on a straight
road to the Rio Dulce.

But the bus we were to change to got delayed, due to a traffic accident up the road. After about 2 hours, we finally gave up waiting for the bus we'd already paid for, and hired a passing van to take us and our 4 HEAVY suitcases the last 20 miles to the Rio Dulce. We finally arrived about 2pm, in the midst of a downpour. So Dave and I sat in the Rio Bravo bar annd had a pizza with Dave's friend Paul, who was there to give us a ride back to the boat.

We were happy to find Soggy Paws in good shape... except for the thin film of grey-green dust (mold) coating the interior, and some bright green mold in the low spots around the deck.

We are REALLY REALLY glad to be back. (Sherry started saying "I can't wait to get back on the boat" in about mid November).

Sherry's daughter Nicki arrives by plane in 2 days (Friday Dec 14), so we're furiously cleaning and getting the boat ready, as well as making travel reservations for travel with her around Guatemala.


  1. Sorry about your Dad Sherry :( I know Soggy Paws missed you guys too - they don't sit well - now back to the adventure - good luck and fair winds

  2. Viewed Gordo's sendoff - thx for sharing that - very moving - AND the ONLY way to go - cremated and buried at sea - that's for me. Love to all,