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Published: June 19th 2009
Day 787 (26.5.09) - Day 793 (1.6.09)
We settled in quickly at Nutria Marina due to it's lovely surroundings and the great welcome by Bex the Manager and dog Fitz, we felt right at home already.
Nutria Marina is a couple of minutes in a boat from Rio Dulce itself and is tucked away enough to have a secluded feel, yet with its great food, drinks and proximity to town you have access to everything else you may need. With a dock to swim from, free internet, water, kayaks, movies, free scheduled boats into town and awesome staff it’s got everything we wanted for a place to kick back and chill out for a couple of days.
Although not a regular thing here, we had arrived for an evening where some friends of the Marina were coming over for a Pot Luck dinner so we took the opportunity in the morning to do some food shopping before taking the rest of the day to relax, swim, read ... you know the sort of thing! After a spot of lunch, Chrissie, who wasn’t quite feeling herself, took the opportunity to relax some more whilst Mark and the girls (Devin
and Leah) took the Kayaks out for a paddle over to check out the small castle on the other bank of the river.
With a trip out to the Finca El Paraiso swimming hole planned for the following day there was yet more relaxing and swimming on the agenda. Stressful stuff!
The swimming hole is a river that has made a natural pool in a beautiful forest glade but with a unique twist. Flowing down and cascading over a waterfall into the pool is a thermal stream which gives you a cool river to swim in and a hot shower falling into it - fabulous! We spent a good chunk of the day swimming, chatting and enjoying the pool before eventually making our way back to town and ultimately back to Nutria. Good times!
As it happens we had reached our last day with the girls as they had to go home (booooo), but before we had to say goodbye we decided to join them on a boat trip down the river to Livingston, another town on the Caribbean coast.
The journey down the river was lovely as we passed trees filled with white herons, broad
lagoons filled with water lilies, some extremely hot thermal pools and the grand steep-sided canyon that eventually opens out into the Caribbean. As we made our way down the river we made a couple of stops both to view some nice spots and to pick up and drop off some locals in villages on the way making it to Livingston with about 3 hours to explore before our return boat. As well as taking a wander around this real Caribbean feeling town we also squeezed in a great lunch of the local delicious tapado soup (loads of seafood and a whole fish in a coconut based soup - Mmmmmmmm).
With our boat waiting for us at the dock we had to say our goodbyes to our American travelling buddies before making our express journey back home.
Feeling the most relaxed we have for a while we spent another few of days simply taking it easy. It's amazing how time flies when you relax! Trips into town, swimming in the river, a couple of movies - we couldn't believe how easy it was for a couple of days just to disappear without us noticing. We even ran the hostel
for a night to give Bex a night off with her fella.
Everything was very relaxing apart from one natural hiccup…
One night at about 2.30am as we were fast asleep in bed we were shaken awake. Not the kind of gentle nudge to the shoulder you might imagine but the whole building was shaking rather violently. Never having felt anything like this before and a little sleep-fuddled it took us a while to realise that we were in fact experiencing our very first earthquake. Doing as all good earthquake participants should, we made our way across the shifting floor and huddled under the door frame until the quake subsided. It felt extremely strange for the ground beneath your feet, the ground which for us English has always been solid as a rock, to be heaving and shaking. It took a while for us to go back to sleep that's for sure!
Reports the next day said that the quake's epicentre was just off the coast of Honduras, measured 7.1 on the richter scale and lasted more than 40 seconds - a monster even by local standards. Although 40 seconds doesn’t sound long it seemed to last
forever and by the time it got to us in Rio Dulce was still over 5 on quake scales. As more news came in we heard that many local residents in town slept in the streets fearing aftershocks and it was the biggest they had experienced here since the early 90s.
We have spent 8 days at Nutria and loved every one of them. Getting in some proper relaxing time we have done as little or as much as we fancied each day. We planned on spending only a couple of days to chillax and made the decision to extend our stay for another day so many times that we have now reached the point where we now need to leave to fit in all the rest of our planned Central America tour. We had such a great stay and are leaving feeling well and truly refreshed. Thanks Bex (and all the other guys and gals at Nutria) for such a lovely time and hope to see you all sometime again in the future!
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