Monday 10 March 2014

Before I Forget....

   I have been back from the cruise for over a week and details are becoming blurred so before it is all gone, I had better get things down.

Saturday, Feb. 22
  A very early start - the wake-up call from the limo company came at 4:15, 5 minutes after I woke, and we were on the road by 5:00 a.m. The flight to Miami took off and arrived on time and, after a short wait we were on our way to San Pedro Sulla in Honduras. We arrived there and were met by a local guide who rounded us all up and escorted us to a bus, where we waited for nearly an hour while she tried to locate someone's lost luggage. It never did turn up so there was a mountain of forms to fill out and other arrangements to make.

"The Yorktown" docked at Santo Tomas de Castillo, Guatemala.
   Finally we arrived at the "Yorktown" , climbed aboard and quickly located our cabins - small but comfortable - and found our way around the ship. It is quite a small cruise ship - just 130 passengers. I was placed on the main deck, very close to the dining room. One deck up was the lounge, and above that the sun deck. First task was a safety drill, conducted by the captain, a visit to our "muster stations" and fitting the life jackets. Next dinner was served and most of us retired early after a long, busy day.

Sunday, Feb. 23
During the night we sailed to Guatemala and docked around 6:30 a.m. Soon after breakfast, we departed for an excursion to an old 16th Century Spanish fortress - "Castillo de San Felipe" - located on Lake Izabal, about 60 kms. inland. It was originally used to protect the area from pirates whose purpose was to intercept and capture ships loaded with cochineal ( a die made from insects). When cochineal became less valuable with the development of other die sources, the attacks stopped and the fort was abandoned around 1700. It was restored in 1960 and boasts some original and well preserved cannons from a British frigate that sank close by.
   We were back at the ship in time for lunch, a beautiful buffet spread. Of course, I had to try everything so headed for a nap afterwards. Later in the afternoon tea and sandwiches were served, followed by two lectures, one on the Mayans and the other on the geological formation of the Yucatan and how it influenced the development of the civilization of the area. More snacks were served when the bar opened around 6:00p.m. so by dinner time I was already half filled and had to cut back on the courses. I decided to be more selective in the future!!

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