After 4 months still in Rio Dulce, Guatemala
Let me introduce you Magico – Cape Dory 28ft sailboat I acquired in November 2014. My previous post I ended with a notice that I started the process of buying a boat down here in Carribean. Originally I intended to buy an Alberg 37 in Antigua and Barbuda but it turned out to be a bad idea from various reasons. Although I paid already the deposit at the end I decided to back of from the deal (and I’m still trying to get my deposit back). A few weeks later I made my mind and I got one of the first boats I found here in Rio Dulce – Magico. Magico is after 40 years still in a very good shape, technically speaking, but there is a lot of small issues that I want to address before I set of for cruising. But almost everything I started to work on I could not finish due the lack of spars. And also because of the lack of money since I was robbed here and lost my cache, cards, iPhone and diving computer. Fortunately, passport was not interesting for the thief and he didn’t take mine laptop as I borrowed it to a friend for a few hours. So it was not that bad at the end. Then I was robbed again by a turist who took my diving mask, head torch and second cell phone. Thanks to those circumstances and also because Christmas time was coming I decided to return home – to get new cards and to buy some spars for the boat.
After spending a few weeks in December and January with my family and friends the time to return back to Guatemala finally came. Although I was enjoying the time at home very much I could not wait any longer to come back. As I had lots of various staff for Magico I decided to take a regular luggage – the funny thing with wheels and handle on top of it. It seemed to more practical than a backpack in this case since the weight of the stuff was about 35kg and before seting of for Mexico I had to go to Netherlands to attend an ecommerce fair. The thing is that the wheels broke apart when I got off the bus in London where I arrived from Amsterdam. What a promising beginning of a jurney – how to carry absolutely unpractical 35kg box?
Anyway, I made it to Cancun in Mexiko and intended to catch a conecting bus to Belize City and later on to Guatemala. Unfortunately, I got robbed (yes, again!) at the ADO bus station while waiting for the bus! I was sitting on the bench with my small backpack on one side and the big luggage on the other one. Then I stood up to strech my legs and noticed a small fast food stand 5 meters far from my place. Before I approached that stand I was thinking for few milliseconds “I should NOT leave there my small back pack …“. Anyway, that’s what I did and during the next 5-10 seconds of inattention my backpack disappeared! Fuck! So I lost all my documents, this time including passport, all cards, all cache, cell phone, laptop, iPad (that I intended to use for navigation and sailing, otherwise I would not buy it), camera, neopren for freediving and bunch of small things. That happend at 9PM and with 50 pesos and a ticket for Belize in my pocket I realized that this time I’m fucked up quite a lot. I spent the night at the police station and the next day I called our embassy in Mexico City.
I was told that I can get a temporary passport that allows me to stay in Mexico or to return back home. As it takes 2 months to issue a regular passport that would mean I would have to stay 2 months in Mexiko. Mexiko is great country and under different circumstances I wouldn’t mind to stay here but I was on the way to Guatemala where I had Magico! That was totaly unaccepteble. The second option was to return back home, get my new passport there (which supposedly shouldn’t take more than a month) and then return back to Mexiko or Guatemala directly. I felt realy destructed, not because I lost a lot of things but because I was so close to Guatemala and Magico and could not make it there.
Btw, in the airplane for Mexico City I met a very nice Mexican family – I spent the night in their place and the next day they helped me to get to the embassy.
The third option was to cross the border for Guatemala somehow illegaly, only with temporary passport and report document from police in my pockets. I intended to explain at the border what happend and eventually pay to let me go through the border. I chose the same checkpoint as a few months ago, to have the advantage of knowing that place. But first I had to get rid of the fucking 35kg luggage, now absolutely unmanageable box. The only option was to send it to Guatemala by FedEx or DHL. But that’s different story.
At the border I arrived early in the morning since I expected to stuck here for some time. There was a long queue of people waiting in front of the border police office but I didn’t bother me to stop there – I just went confidently (that’s what I tried to pretend at least) across the Mexican border without showing my passport or saying anything and made it to the border of Guatemala. More or less the same happend here and here I was, in Guatemala! I could not believe it! I jumped in the first colectivo bus and within a couple of minutes we left the border and were heading for the first village in Guatemala.
So that’s how I made it to Guatemala – I just sneaked through the border! The same day in the evening I arrived to Rio Dulce where Magico was waiting for me. From Mexico City to Rio Dulce it was about 30 hours of hell ride by various buses, taxis, tuktuks and colectivos, every time with only a few minutes long break to change the bus.
So here I’m, back in Rio Dulce, working on Magico and preparing us for the first voyage. Although I lost a lot of stuff in the past months, I enjoy it here a lot. After all, I lost only material stuff which I can sooner or later acquire again if I decide to do so. Unless you don’t get hurt, nothing is serious. And foremost, it’s a challenging life what I’m enjoying here that much, so different from the routine one I had before.
And now, keep you fingers crossed for my luggage – it still has not arrived and I realy need the stuff which is inside!