Back in the U.S.A.

May 27, 2013 Posted by Deb

Day one of the trip back to the U.S. started with an early morning, 20-plus mile ride in a panga with a 50-horse outboard. El Golfete was flat calm and the air was full of smoke from either Guatemala burning or charcoal making, probably the latter. We thought Guatemala was on fire 18 years ago, and it doesn’t seem to have changed.


We grabbed the bus with at least five minutes to spare. Our memories of the bus trip were that it was hot and long and whenever the bus stopped, cockroaches crawled up the walls. This time it was a modern bus with a movie and nice seats and it only stopped once.


Once in Guatemala City, we did a small amount of tourist stuff then overnighted at Villa Toscana, a nice little bed and breakfast. They arranged for a cab driver to meet us at the main bus terminal holding up a card with our name.


VillaToscanaChuckThe next morning it was a short trip to the airport followed by a cold flight and a very cold layover in the Dallas airport with delays due to the Oklahoma City tornado followed by a final cold flight to Des Moines, Iowa. We arrived in Des Moines 36 hours after starting.

Despite a nasty head cold, we kept up the pace to get ready for the Cast Iron Canoe trip and a transition from 100° and 92% humidity to 40° nights in a tent and dry air. We fired up the old van, rounded up old gear, loaded up the old Alumacraft canoe, and headed to Danbury, Wisconsin, and the Namekagon River. After one night in a tent with a bad cold, I had to beg off and leave the group for a day but Deb continued. I hit a motel and did a lot of sleep, hot showers, Jacuzzis, and was able to return to the fleet on day two at the McDowell Landing. We had a great finishing two day canoe and major food and alcohol event followed by a six pound bacon fry on the final morning.






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