Guatemala Travel Stories, Page 5

2011 June 25 Enter Guatemala Leave Dominican Republic

I am now at by default one of the best places for me to live on planet earth, I have voted for it too many times to ignore. I have visited Lago Atitlan many times, that is how I vote for what I like in life, I go do it.

Getting to know myself it an enigmatic puzzle to solve, when I was in the USA, people would ask me,
"Andy, what do you like to do for fun?"
I would say,
"Walk around in Office Depot, looking for Gadgets."

I go there a lot, I must enjoy it, because I repeated the same action many times.

I have this obsessive, compulsive desire to simplify my life, therefore I was always searching for some organizational things to be more effective and efficient.

I found it finally, I have traveled to places like Lago Atitlan, whereby I have no need to:

1. Watch my money, the place is so cheap, I am a millionaire by default.
2. Prioritize, it is small enough, I can walk the place.
3. There is no need to work, that is for the losers in life here.
4. Simple people, offering up simple ideas, like
"How are you today?"

I think I just said no, I rejected a lifestyle of complicated crap, and moved on.

Lago Atitlan, Guatemala
(One of the perfect climates and most beautiful location on earth.)
by Andy Graham (Gadget) of | Gadget Profile


Why I Take Readers Personally
Mark my friend said the other day,
"Why do you get so angry or frustrated with readers, or when you write?"
The more or less said,
"Ignore them."

Hmm, I think the equation for a good writer must be:
Passion in and Passion out.

The passion you put into something, will beget the passion you get out. I am in love with the life I live, and know there a few, a very few, I mean maybe 1 in 10,000 who can sense there is something better out there.

I put my heart out, and of course I do not like people trying to step on it, but I am big boy, an readers know that, they do not believe they can hurt my feelings. I will get over it, but I must allow myself to feel or I am just another idiot.

I guess, I know I am a target, I get personal, I write about my personal life, I do not write some off the wall advertisement to get you to pay 500 USD a night to get to travel to impersonal five star resorts for a one night love affair with youself, I call it a lot of money to not find any friends.

What is it when you give yourself pleasure alone?

Most people cannot have friends, because face it, they are too scared to be a friend, they are too scared to say this is me, why, same as all the readers comments. There are too many idiots out there, that want to derive evil pleasure by trying to talk about other people. There are too many Michael Moore’s on the planet, too many people who spend their whole life make defining themselves as the critique of others.

George Bush made Michael Moore, because he did something that Michael could complain about.

And Hitler used the Jewish people to make him a leader, all a bunch of crap.

I love Pana, I love the simple people here, but I also love the stories of debauchery in Sosua, they both are real life, but two side of the coin, it is the same coin. If you allow people to talk, and do not try to change them, they will tell you tons of wild stories because they will believe you agree with their lifestyle. Everyone tries to change their friends, including me, and sometimes I just give up and stop.

Go do something that will define you today, I am lying here freezing in Pana at 1500 meters, and I am going to finish a book. What are you doing today, reacting to everyone around you? Or allowing them to react to you, are you the story, or is someone else’s life the story of your life. As always, you are invited to Paradise here, but I am not your tour guide.

2011 June 25 Enter Guatemala Leave Dominican Republic

249.20 USD Per Month Room in Rio Dulce Guatemala

249.20 USD Per Month Room in Rio Dulce Guatemala

Proving I can live for under 500 Dollars per month in Tropical Paradise locations all over the planet. Here is a video explaining my Hotel in Rio Dulce, Guatemala. I work on the internet; therefore, I pay an additional 50-100 Dollars per month as a business related cost for 24/7 Internet access. I can easily get a room here for 125-150 Dollars per month without the Internet access.

Andy Graham, a.k.a Me in front of the Swimming Pool at the Hotel La Fonda Escondida where I have lived for the last month for 249 dollars. Note, an apartment is usually cheaper than a hotel; a hotel is competing with tourist, while an apartment needs to stay at local pricing, therefore can be much cheaper.

Rio Dulce, Fronteras, Guatemala --- Monday, July 26, 2010
On the river by the name "Rio Dulce" in the city of Fronteras, Guatemala
By Andy Graham of


Video of the Hotel La Fonda Escondida

This is the Despensa Grocery, owned by Walmart here on the Rio Dulce River in Guatemala. The back of this grocery is on the river and boats, drive up to the back, and park. I always make my travelers nest close to a super market, life is cheaper.

ATM machine, I have not used Traveler Checks in 12 years of travel, the word has ATM machines, even in Africa.

Contrary to any mythical, misinformed opinions, there is always medical assistance and Doctors close. Yes, I admit, if I wanted to get better treatment for something special, I would go four hours by bus to Guatemala City, but most medical problems are simple.

Mario the owner of this Internet Café behind the BanRural Bank helped me buy a new cord for my Laptop Computer. Mario speaks perfect English and truly a good person to help with Computer problems.

If you want knowledge here in Rio Dulce, I recommend you talk with Jody at the small convenience store in front of Brunos, however I do not recommend you stay a Brunos, for tourist, I suppose Tijax is best, but sort of in a swamp to live, but for tourist we can call it a Jungle….

View from the bridge that goes over the Rio Dulce (River Sweet). Note, anywhere near that bridge is a horribly noisy location for a month. If you want super cheap, try the Sindy Hotel next to La Fonda Escondida or other hotels in the center of the city. The super nice apartments for cheap, would be towards San Felipe.

I lived here in Rio Dulce to see if I like the Sailor bunch, let me explain it this way. There are people who love their dog more than people. Well, I think Sailors love their boats more than people, and focus on objects; I always want to find nice people, Sailing is not the same goal. I may one day hitch a ride here and there on a sailboat. However, unless someone gives me a Sailboat for free, which for sure would be easy enough to do, I am not going to be living on Sailboat soon.

This is the Sundog Bar, the central hangout for expats or foreigners in this area. Not many women, mostly this is a bar for crusty old sailor types, a hard drinking bunch. Yet, if you want an answer to a question, this is the best place to ask.

Rio Dulce is about a 2 on a 10-point scale for women, 10 is the best --- I met these three beauties and soon found out, they are Latinas living in California who came back to visit their families. (Imported)

Review is Finished

I came to Rio Dulce to explore the lifestyle of sailors, I am leaving less enthused. I think the life is too solitary for me, and for sure, this bunch drinks more beer than they sail. Now, the world is big, I am sure there are many ports, but this hurricane safe port was my best choice in the Caribbean area of the planet.

I am positive now I can get a 37-40 foot sailboat for less than 5000 dollars without a problem, when I want one, if I want one, most owners of Sailboat pay continuously for something they seldom use.

I am off to San Pedro Sula, Honduras tomorrow; I think I will go find another 200 Dollar room in Tela, Honduras for month. This is located right on the ocean, and should be more interesting culturally.

249.20 USD Per Month Room in Rio Dulce Guatemala

Interview of Liveaboard Sailor at Rio Dulce Guatemala

Interview of Liveaboard Sailor at Rio Dulce Guatemala

Video interview with Chris who sailed from South Africa to Guatemala and now lives anchored in the river called Rio Dulce on the Caribbean side of Guatemala. He explains his boat, his life, and how he has lived since 2006 until now as a retired person on the anchor in his Sailboat the Free Spirit.

"Life on the Hook."

Chris Diedericks in Sailboat "Free Spirit," from South Africa
Email: sevenseaschris AT
Qualifications: R.Y.A. Yacht master / R. up to 200 Tons Commercially / R.Y.A. Cruising Instructor

Rio Dulce, Fronteras, Guatemala --- Tuesday, July 20, 2010
On the river by the name "Rio Dulce" in the city of Fronteras, Guatemala
By Andy Graham of


Part 1:
Interview of Liveaboard Sailor at Rio Dulce Guatemala

Part 2:
Interview of Liveaboard Sailor at Rio Dulce Guatemala

Part 3:
Interview of Live aboard Sailor at Rio Dulce Guatemala

Chris in his dinghy as he approached the dock at the Rio Bravo Restaurant in the city of Fronteras, that is commonly called "Rio Dulce."

This is the sailboat by the name "Free Spirit."

Sailboat on the Rio Dulce, or the Sweet River in English that leads to the Caribbean and the city of Livingston that is on the ocean.


I wish to thank Chris for the interview and help in understanding how to live
"Life on the Hook."

Andy Graham of in Rio Dulce, Guatemala
Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Interview of Liveaboard Sailor at Rio Dulce Guatemala

Did you Come to See Paradise or the Pig

Did you Come to See Paradise or the Pig

I am on the beautiful Jungle Lake called Izabal, which starts the river called the "Rio Dulce." This lake and river system that has become a popular cruising sailboat destination. There are some people who can only see the lake and river, I on the other hand seen a pig.

Rio Dulce, Fronteras, Guatemala --- Tuesday, July 13, 2010
By Andy Graham of


This dog was lying around at the Sundog bar here in the city of Fronteras, commonly called Rio Dulce in Guatemala.

Two majestic looking Catamaran Sailboats, this is a hurricane safe area whereby a boat can dock for about 100-200 dollars per month.

I was walking by a big pig the other day, a sow with a piglet, and I had a moment of empathy for tourist. They want to see beauty, I see real life, the guts and glory as beautiful, and even when I am complaining, I am vibrantly, voraciously, vividly alive.

I was enjoying watching the pig wallow in the water, I thought to myself, a pig does not have sweat gland, therefore it needs mud to cool its body, it was a happy thought, and it reminded me of my youth working on the farm.

The Travel Tip here, it is best to ask yourself the question, do you want to see a pig, or do you want to see paradise? Moreover, if you see a pig, is this paradise for you, it is real life, it can be paradise for you, or are you continually searching for a sweeter spot?

Did you Come to See Paradise or the Pig

Caribbean Sailing Port Rio Dulce

Caribbean Sailing Port Rio Dulce

People who dream of living on Sailboats may know of Rio Dulce, Guatemala, this is one of my dreams, therefore I came to Rio Dulce to chase my dream. I am in the living business, and search for places on this small planet that allows me to live my dreams.

Rio Dulce has two large lakes, many miles from the ocean, the live aboard sailors park their boats in these lakes safe from hurricanes.

"If you live a life of make-believe, your life isn't worth anything until you do something that does challenge your reality. And to me, sailing the open ocean is a real challenge, because it's life or death."
- Morgan Freeman

I have dreamed of living on a sailboat for years, and I still have many questions. I get very seasick, and worry about this, but I think maybe being lonely is a bigger problem. The reason I would live on a Sailboat would be to have the same closet, shower, and toilet for a year or two. I already have wandered the planet for 12 years, nothing new about that.

I would want a sailboat between 35 and 45 feet, something I can sail myself, enough head room to walk, and a great dinghy. I would try to live on the hook as much as possible, this would save great sums of money, my hotel room yearly budget would be applied to the cost of the buying the boat.

Rio Dulce, Fronteras, Guatemala --- Wednesday, July 7, 2010
By Andy Graham of


Travel is about living in places, and the people you meet in these places. There are places along the ocean, up on mountains, and in the plains. The idea of sailing between islands in the Caribbean or South Pacific has a lure. I am not a hermit, I need people, and contrary to the idea of sailing, I believe live aboard sailors spend more time at port than at sea, therefore I need a map of all the ports where I can live, even more than I need to know how to navigate. If I am going to live in ports, I want to know, where the safe and happy people ports are located.

From Sea to Shining Sea

"O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!"

- America the Beautiful

The world is a beautiful place, I do hope my friends and family can understand this and leave the mall, and stop playing on the Internet or cell phone long enough to feel what I feel.

Thank You,

by Andy Graham
12 years of continuous travel.
I am homeless
I have visited 88 countries and live as a Digital Nomad. Travel Blog

Caribbean Sailing Port Rio Dulce

Andy Graham in Rio Dulce Guatemala 2010

I left Lake Atitlan and traveled by private Taxi to Rio Dulce, or the city of Fronteras in Guatemala. This is popular Hurricane Harbor for Sailboats or Yachts.

I shared a private air-conditioned van with two other people; the cost was 175 dollars split three ways, roughly 60 dollars per person.

Rio Dulce, Fronteras, Guatemala --- Monday, June 21, 2010
By Andy Graham of


Private Taxis
Private Taxis are great travel options, it only cost me 20 dollars more than regular public transport, and we did not have to stop in Guatemala city and arrived early enough to shop around for better Hotel rooms. If a person arrives before 2:00 PM they can negotiate and easily save money on Hotel rooms.

Hotels in Rio Dulce or Fronteras
I spent the first night in Bruno’s, but consider the place lacking in many ways, no mirrors in shower, the door locks were not up to snuff, no TV and WIFI internet was expensive and complicated. At 125 Quetzals per night, and I dould not get discount even when I said I would rent for a month, I decided I neeed to search for a better value.

I found the Hotel y Restaurante Fonda Escondida that made me a great deal, 1000 Quetzals for 15 days, with Color TV, Cable, Air Conditioning and High Speed Internet in my room.

I am paying 8.33 U.S. Dollars per night, and I forgot to say, I have a great swimming pool, life is too easy.

Andy Graham in Rio Dulce Guatemala 2010

Andy Graham in Guatemala 2010

Andy Graham in Guatemala 2010

Enjoy daily photos by clicking on the small photos at the top of this letter.

This is Andy Graham of, I hope life is good. I have been traveling now for 12 years and visited 88 countries. I am presently in Guatemala, and wanted to update loyal readers on changes.

I am not the same person that left small town Indiana 12 years ago, I have become a citizen of the world, experienced, yet humbled daily by the realization of how short life is and the wonders of the planet.

San Pedro, Lake Atitlan, Guatemala --- Monday, June 21, 2010
By Andy Graham of


Changes to
1. New Photo Link is included in every letter.
2. Merging Blog, Newsletter and Daily Photos into one missive.
3. Increase in the number of photos, 12 years ago, I was lucky to take five photos per day and publish to the internet, now it is possible for me to take and publish up to 200 photos.

My Lifestyle Change
I have decided to slow down my travels and stay longer in cities; I will now negotiate rooms for one month and upgrade the quality of my room. I am in the process of writing a book explaining how people can live in Paradise for less than 500 Dollar per month.

Traveling fast and furious through many countries is more about an adventure, I will still live the adventure, but I will now share a lifestyle that I would recommend to anyone.

Learn how to live in Paradise that starts at 500 Dollars per month. Plan you escape, change your stars, life is about living, be the hero or your life.

Thank you, Andy Graham

Andy Graham in Guatemala 2010

Yes Yes Yes Verizon Now Includes West Africa

I often use a Verizon Smartphone to publish my Blog in difficult countries like Haiti, or last year for five months in East Africa.

213 Countries
Woopee, Verizon has rolled out most of the countries in West Africa, this mean I can return to Togo, Ghana or Benin West Africa with seamless ease.

San Pedro, Lake Atitlan, Guatemala --- Saturday, June 19, 2010
By Andy Graham of


The world is getting smaller at an incredible rate, I estimate there are 252 countries on this small planet and Verizon is kicking at that number, what a great relief.

What this means to me, I can stay in contact by email almost always, anywhere there is a cell tower on this small planet. Generally, in the poorer countries they have more towers than the developed world. This means I can remain in business now in 213 countries: Simplified...

As best I can suss out, to utilize this service cost about 100 US Dollars per month, you can read more about it here:
Global Email by Verizon

Disclosure of Influence: 4

Yes Yes Yes Verizon Now Includes West Africa