Thursday, April 11, 2019

Thursday, April 11, 2019

got lucky at rio dulce

Posted by Hippobean at 11:55 PM
Today drove back across the border to Quatemala. First stop was Quiriguá, a Maya site i've never heard of till now. On the way, we've entered Chiquita Banana land. Mucho banana trees. Quiriguá was small with no notable temples, but it's stela and zoomorph central. Zoomorfo, never heard of these until now. They were altars in animal forms. Very artistic stone monuments. The tallest one Estela E, 12m monolith, featured Cauac Sky (K’ak’ Tiliw Chan Yopaat) holding the Manikin Sceptre in his right hand to show his divine rulership. Estela I, Jade Sky was depicted sitting on a raised throne surrounded by the Sky Band. Estela J glyphs told us Cauac Sky beheaded 18-Rabbit, ruler of Copán who originally made Cauac Sky the ruler of Quirguá, to gain Quiriguá independence. Although Quiriguá boasts of the tallest stela in Maya land and many more than in Copán, I liked the stelae in Copán better. Beyond the stela plaza, there's the central plaza and acropolis, not very interesting. In a souvenir shop, T saw a circular carving depicting a Spaniard (Cortez?) fighting an Aztec, with a Serpent between them. Very significant piece of Art.

By the afternoon, we've reached Rio Dulce. Had fish lunch under the Puente Rio Dulce. Nice breezy restaurant, very pleasant next to the river. After lunch we've boarded a boat to cross the river to our hotel, the Catamaran. Really enjoyed this short refreshing boat ride. The Catamaran was owned by an american. TripAdvisor reviews complained of the owner not trusting the employees and guests must pay him first and given a token to get the drinks at the bar. Bad reviews about him sitting at the bar watching TV, switching channels to suit him, being rude to guests and everything run army style. All the cabins were named in military names for A-Z. alpha, bravo, charlie, delta, oscar, whisky, zulu. When asked to turned down the TV so the guests could talk and relax at the bar, he told the guests to go someplace else. So i've dubbed him Basil Fawlty. When I asked Luis about him, Luis laughed out loud and said he would probably be at the bar watching TV. So the TripAdvisor reviews were true. Dinner had to be pre-ordered and was over priced and not good. After dinner, i wanted to go to the bar and see if the infamous owner was there. To my great disappointment, he didnt show up. However, both T&A and I got lucky as we got the Golfo and Hotel cabins, right on the river. Big cabin with 1 double and 2 single beds. Basic but with AC and the balcony facing the river. Was so sure with these tours, we wont be getting a river facing cabin, but was utterly pleasantly surprised. Spent some time reading my book sitting in the balcony with SmallLeo and drinking my tea there after dinner. The river view with the Rio Dulce bridge and the other riverbank was calming in the early evening. This trip wont be any good if i didnt get a room with a balcony right on the river. So I lucked out and was more than happy. Now only if I got to see the owner's face as well.

Quiriguá photos:

Rio Dulce photos:



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