BootsnAll Travel Network

Rio Dulce – Hotel Catamaran 31 Dec ’05

After a good night’s kip we went off for breakfast. The “Benny Hill” music continued to play but at least there were some people around – we were not alone! Most people appeared to be from the United States and we think that most of them were mooring their boats here, not actually staying in the “sheds”.

The breakfast here was really good, with a choice of everything really. We stocked up for the day.

Then we settled on the front terrace (on the “special tables”) to read our books for a couple of hours. It was hot! Even under a parasol we were boiling – and got burnt!! Eugene went to the reception to inquire about hand fishing lines. The hotel’s blurb says that these are available. Eug met the owner, Kevin Lucas. He gave him a bit of background to the place and told us that the New Years buffet would start at 7pm. New Year itself would be a quiet affair. And surprise, no hand lines.

We went back to our shed to cool off. Eug caught the 3pm launch into Rio Dulce to make sure we had some beers for New Year – the bar at Hotel Catamaran was not going to be reliable. He was also in search of some fishing line and hooks. The river seemed to be teaming with fish – it was too good an opportunity to miss. I stayed on the balcony with the latest book!! Our shed was not the best placed in that it was permanently in shade and not overlooking the main part of the river. However, after a morning of sun, the shade and cool was most welcome!

Eug came back in the dark. I expected him to be hammered!!! He’d had a nightmare getting a boat back and had to wait for the boat to pick up the staff. But he’d found fishing line and hooks – and beers, so we were sorted for the next day. He’d also been sold some strange tasting chocolaty covered nuts from a bloke in the street. I’ve told him to be careful before about buying things from strange men.

That evening, the bar had a few more people in it, including a selection of middle aged American blokes sat with Kevin Lucas gawping at the American football on the screens. Fascinating. We had a couple of games of crib and thought we’d better show our faces at the buffet. Again, there was no-one there. Mrs Misery told us we were early and that the buffet didn’t start until 9pm – her face really hurt as she told us this. We were relieved that it was less likely we’d be eating alone and returned to the equally exciting bar once more.

When the buffet did come round, we were surrounded by the more well-off and more rude Guatemalan families. Our table was designated for us. The food itself wasn’t anything special, disappointing in fact. Again, the service was miserable and minimal. Kevin Lucas was in situ but it didn’t seem to bother him. But if everyone has paid up front like us then why should it???

We headed back to those “special tables” looking out over the river and argued about Hotel Catamaran and how poor it was and should we or should we not complain. We were never going to have another New Year like the amazing party in Cusco last year!

Lots of fireworks were exploding across the river which was pretty. We were friends again as New Year turned and watched the firework displays going off everywhere else. Nice when you don’t have to buy your own fireworks and watch your money go up in smoke! 2005 has been a good year but has flown by. This next year will probably do the same but will be so different for all of us.

Happy New Year everyone!

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