A travel day again. We got the van again and had a slightly cramped journey on to the rather dodgy town of Rio Dolce. I’ve noticed on this trip that there are a number of judder bars/speed bumps (delete as appropriate for your country) along the way, consistent through the three countries we have so far visited (Mexico had by far the most). What is also consistent is the complete lack of consistency in the way one is warned of these coming impedances, the signs seem to be designed at random. There will always be at least one black bump indicated on the yellow sign. The most I’ve seen on one sign is seven in a row. Most often they are just bumps, sometimes bumps and hollows (bump, hollow, bump, hollow etc). Maybe it’ll be a well defined sign with each bump the same size, sometimes they’re different sizes. You notice these things when travelling on roads a lot.
Arriving at what was pretty much the one road town of Rio Dulce we wandered up the street with Josh looking for breakfast ingredients, namely bananas and bread. The bananas we found looked pretty bad, a faded yellow with more black cuts and grazes than nice looking skin, so we passed on those. The hotel, Hacienda Tijax, was reached via a short water journey and was situated on the far shore of the wide river. We were told stories over the next few days of the violence and other problems in the town; just a few weeks previous a mother and daughter had been shot dead in a bar in a drug related killing. Also an Alaskan couple had been killed on the river, their boat boarded and the couple attacked with machetes. There had never been an attack on our side of the river, the possibility reduced by the armed security discretely wandering the site.
The hotel was nice, for us little cabins on stilts over the jungle swamp surrounding the main hotel buildings. There was a bar and separate restaurant building with a pool behind. Bathroom facilities were shared. The rooms had the first permanent mosquito nets we had seen so far, though the weather meant we didn’t really need them in the end.
The afternoon was spent relaxing in and around the pool or for me sitting in the bar making use of the wireless Internet. I managed to chat with a few people via chat clients which was nice (sorry I missed you on Facebook Richard). Given we were over the river from the town the only option for dinner was at the local restaurant. The food was good, Keryn and I took the cheap Hamburger option trying to save money. Decamping to the bar we had a few drinks and watched the lightning through the trees. Heading to bed we were soon followed by the rain, pounding down on our tin roof making quite the noise. The heavy, prolonged rain kept the bugs at bay but I still used the mosquito net. This was a mistake, the small fan in the room was already pretty useless and the thick net blocked any breeze. I woke many times feeling wet and warm with sweat, not pleasant.