Night of the Tortugas!

Trip Start Jul 04, 2010
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132
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Trip End May 10, 2011


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Where I stayed
Hotel El Delfin

Flag of Guatemala  , Santa Rosa,
Sunday, February 13, 2011

We intended to ride the bikes over to the "new" Delfin Hotel but the sand was fluffy and our heavy bikes just sank. El Delfin noted “new” on some of the flyers because Juan and Becky just bought the place in November and are turning the business around.  The prior owners had done such a job as to receive a so-so review in Lonely Planet guide before being dropped from the latest edition altogether. El Delfin endeavors to provide a peaceful & relaxing environment at economical prices. Alejandro is in charge when Juan and Becky are away and he is a good guy too. The dogs, Payaso (clown)  Luna (moon) another stray also keep an eye on things with the help from the one eye parrot named Pirote (the pirate). They have another guy who” hangs out there a lot” per Becky. He doesn't really work there but keeps the plants arranged and makes the occasional sand & cactus sort of bonsai arrangements. He keeps some of his stuff in the storage room and usually sleeps in one of the hammocks around.  Luna is Juan’s dog but the other dogs and the bird stayed on from the prior owners. They are now part of the character of the place. From what we could see, they turned the business around and they are always “full” on Saturday night when all the weekenders come down from Antigua – better call and reserve by Thursday. Cliental are half 20 something single foreigners but they do get a steady stream of Guatemalans and more seasoned (wrinkled) travelers too. The patio area is relaxing and a good place to have a smoothie. The nice size pool attracts the swimmers and sun worshipers alike and is clean enough but could be a tad bit cleaner. A third common area, the bar, spills onto the beachfront sand and is a great place to watch the sunset.  We decided to stay until “Monday” but did we specify which Monday? Humm, maybe Juan and Becky have a couple more strays to take care of. Of course we recommend El Delfin, website:  www.hotel-el-delfin.com



We made it over to the Tortuga Projecto about 5:15 to find a bunch of leatherback turtle newborns swimming around one tiled tank and a 15 year old mama in another. The Project collects the eggs from around the area and then bury them safely at the Project. The theory is dogs, other animals, and people will eat the vast majority of the eggs if they are left where the turtles lay them. The ones hatched at the Project, are release in the evening. As the little babes run down the sand to the surf, the memory of the sand and it texture are imprinted on their little bellies and they know how to find their way back to the same beach when it is time to lay their eggs...amazing. We paid 10Q to name and release a turtle. Michelle was as excited as the young students who came to do the turtle release too!  Dave was in line next to a Guatemalan family who did not buy a turtle. How could he resist? He gave is turtle away to a girl who looked about 10. Some of the babies had a difficult time navigating their ways to the surf. Others were strong little buggers including turtle “Mchelle”. It was great fun.


El Taberno Pelicano is said to have  the best food in Monterrico “by far “. With a reputation like that, how could we go anywhere else for Dave’s birthday dinner? It was pretty good. But we found ourselves going back to  Calle Real Restaurant and  Brisas Del Mar (who has a culinary school trained chef) after we worked our way through the menu at El Delfin.

What more is there to do? Brunch, surf the internet (we steer clear of the ocean currents which are particularly stiff here), jump in the pool, watch another sunset from the hammock? Ready to move on? “Not yet”
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