Monday, November 30, 2020

On The Road Again - Land not Sea

 It's been a long time since I've posted, but that's about to change. Scott and I are off on a new adventure. Yes, we know it's in the middle of a pandemic. That's why we aren't returning back to Scott Free this season. Guatemala is having an even worse time of it than we are. They are not only fighting COVID 19 but two destructive hurricanes. The Rio Dulce has recently logged the highest level ever recorded, Constant drenching rain has flooded communities and washed away highways and bridges. Our good friends Tamara and Scott have remained at Tortugal Marina and have kept us up to date with the news and photos. We have a weekly Zoom meeting with Tortugal cruisers (and a few others) checking in from Australia, Canada, the US, United Kingdom, and Germany. Although the docks and some of the buildings at the Marina are underwater, they are taking good care of our boats and Scott Free is safe there until next year.

A number of our friends did not make it back into Guatemala when the virus hit us all and closed borders. They had to leave their boats in Belize and it's been a frightening summer for them with the hurricanes battering Central America and one that went right over Belize. One couple are now in Placencia readying two boats to bring back to the Rio Dulce. Several others have tickets to Belize in December to do the same. On 12/31 all boats there that haven't left will be assessed a temporary permit and charged a percentage of their worth. We feel very lucky that we got back to Guatemala in time last March!

But we did not want to spend the winter in Vermont so - Plan B. Land cruising. After careful research we decided on a travel trailer. A search through RV sales lots around Vermont helped us winnow down the important elements we needed - fiberglass exterior, a separate bathroom & shower, a center queen bed, and a dinette that seats 4. The smallest size we could find that had all items was 24 feet and we found the perfect one right here in Rutland. It's a 2019 Kodiak Ultralite 201 QB - we're the first owners. And the needed tow vehicle was in the same lot - a 2014 RAM extended cab 4 wheel drive black truck. The cost - $19,000 each. 

We leave on December 21 and head to Washington DC for Xmas with our son James and his family. Due to the pandemic, we'll be staying in our RV and managing within the current restrictions for socializing. We have been very careful and followed all of Vermont's COVID 19 recommendations - we are the lowest state in the country for infections and deaths. We plan to continue this was across the country and back again over the next 5 months. 

So come along! I'll be posting regularly from now on...

RAM Marina is underwater - you can't even see
the fuel dock and the restaurant/store is flooded.

Scott and Daphne (owner of Tortugal)

The docks are underwater up to the top of the pilings. Normally the restaurant is way above the water.
It isn't possible to walk out to the road anymore.

One of the cabins, now an island.

Our new travel trailer and truck

Another view in an early snow storm.

Our grandson Daniel is living with us this fall
while he attends both Columbia University and
Edinburgh University Medical School - both
virtually. He's decided to attend the later in 
person next semester. 

We had a wonderful time with him - it has been
a highlight of this year. He loves cooking with

Another highlight of the fall was Joe Biden's election as President. We celebrated with champagne
and friends (masked, outdoors but not socially distanced as you can see - tut tut)