Rio Dulce is at the end of a lake where it joins river Dulce. We didn't stay actually in Rio Dulce but a one of the places dotted along the waterfront. We stayed at El Tortugal - this place was heaven. The moment I stepped of the boat onto it's little pier I knew I was going to be happy here. They had a bar/restaurant area overlooking the river and boardwalks joined the sleeping huts to the main area. We were at the far end and the 8 girls were in a huge chicken hut!!!! A wooden structure with mesh for walls. It was lovely and so much space despite there being so many of us. I felt like I was in an episode of Big Brother. The beds were great - firm mattresses and pillows, cotton sheets and wait for it ….. white furry rugs. I immediately had to do an angel in the fur. It was heaven and it took a lot of coaxing to get me off the furry rug!
Some people went on a trip but I decided to stay and chill on a hidden sun deck with loungers overlooking the posh yachts. We had been told we were not allowed to have sex on the yachts without the permission of the owners - apparently there have been problems in the past! I chilled the afternoon away - easy to do here.
The next day we took a speed boat to Livingstone with a few steps en route. Livingstone is a small town and for itself I am not sure why anyone would bother. However the journey to Livingstone is amazing. The river is huge and you feel more like you are in a bay than going down a river. We stopped at some thermal springs which did wonders for my bad ankle; then a local school; walked up a small overgrown pyramid but the highlight was really the views from the boat. The lush vegetation and the birds - egret; pelican; cormorant etc. Even passed through a huge patch of water lilies where a little girl in a canoe made from the trunk of a tree was selling shells.
We had a quick walk around |Livingstone but it was nothing special. We did however have an amazing lunch - a local dish called Tapado. This is a soup made from coconut milk containing plantain; a whole fish; a whole crab and several king prawns in shells. I spent ages taking the shells off and removing the bones before digging n. It was hard work but it was totally worth the effort.
The boat was being driven by the owners son on his maiden journey alone. With a little bit of encouragement we soon had him performing hand brake turns and taking corners as fast as possible. It was totally exhilarating and for me the highlight of the whole trip. We nicknamed him 'Speedy Gonzales'.
It was a wrench to leave and I must admit I seriously considered staying but onwards and downwards as we head south through Guatemala to Antigua.