欢蹦乱跳的旗鱼和冒烟的火山(一) / Leaping Sailfish and Smoking Volcanoes (Part 1)

欢蹦乱跳的旗鱼和冒烟的火山(一)

记得2005年我在《财富》当时的姊妹刊《财富小型企业》上看到一篇文章,内容是关于中美洲小国危地马拉在黑沙滩上新建的一家渔舍。

危地马拉和邻国哥斯达黎加一样,都拥有世界级的深海垂钓资源,也是捕捉海洋中最美、最令人叹为观止的鱼类——旗鱼的最佳场所。两国还率先实行了极为严格的海洋资源保护措施,其中包括对捕获的旗鱼和青枪鱼必须放生。钓鱼游以及生态游所属的旅游业,是当地极为重要的收入来源,因此,两国都非常明智地制定了相应的法规,用于保护并涵养渔业资源。

看完那篇文章之后,我把它剪了下来,收藏到我的旅游目的地“愿望清单”中,以备将来有一天能梦想成真。终于,今年2月我盼来了机会,可以趁去纽约开会之机多耽搁数日,完成这次旅行。

《财富小型企业》上提到的渔舍名叫旗鱼湾渔舍,看上去很不错。经过一番网上调查之后,我决定就住在那里。这家海边小旅馆离危地马拉市只有不到两个小时的车程,就在高速公路边。我看到有评论说那里的钓鱼、服务、食品、住宿条件和设施都不错。领略过纽约2月严寒的天气之后,那儿听上去是个完美的休养生息之地。

我的目标不仅是钓到旗鱼,还要实现用飞杆钓旗鱼的零的突破。飞杆钓鱼因电影《大河之恋》而名噪一时,是一种最具挑战的垂钓方式,其成败更多地取决于鱼的喜好。这种钓鱼形式既刺激又有一定难度,和端坐岸边几小时不动的垂钓方式大不相同,需要极高的技巧、手眼配合能力、水生物知识,还要有耐心。过去,飞杆钓鱼主要是在淡水进行,但最近几十年飞杆海钓普及得也很快。

Leaping Sailfish and Smoking Volcanoes (Part 1)

Back in 2005, I read an article in FORTUNE’s then sister magazine, FSB (FORTUNE Small Business), about a newly built fishing lodge on a black sand beach in the small Central American country of Guatemala.

Guatemala, like its neighbor Costa Rica, has world class deep sea sportfishing. Both are among the best places in the world to catch a sailfish, which is one of the most beautiful and magnificent fish in the sea. And both have been pioneers of strict marine conservation practices, including catch-and-release only policies for sailfish and marlin. Tourism, including fishing tourism and eco-tourism, is an extremely important source of revenue; so they wisely have put policies in place aimed at protecting and conserving fish stocks.

After I read the FSB article, I clipped it and filed it among other “wish list” travel destinations I wanted to visit someday. This February I finally had the chance to make the trip, an add-on for a few days following my business meetings in New York.

The destination profiled in FSB was Sailfish Bay Lodge. It sounded good, and after doing some further research online, that’s where I decided to stay. The small beachside lodge is less than 2 hours’ drive from Guatemala City, on modern paved highways. I’d read good reviews of the fishing, the service, food, accommodations and facilities. It sounded like the perfect break from New York’s frigid February weather.

My goal was not only to catch a sailfish, but to catch one on a fly rod for the first time. Fly fishing — made famous in the film “A River Runs Through It” — is the most challenging type of sportfishing, in which the odds are very much in the fish’s favor. It is a very exciting and challenging form. of fishing, very different in style. from sitting on the shore in one spot for many hours. It requires a fair amount of finesse, hand-eye coordination, knowledge of aquatic biology, and patience. Traditionally, fly fishing was mainly done in fresh water; but in recent decades its popularity for sea fishing has grown dramatically.

在蒙古飞杆钓鳟鱼 / Fly fishing for trout in a river in Mongolia

我从纽约飞至迈阿密(航程3小时15分钟),在那里停留了将近3个小时,又换乘其他航班于2小时45分钟后抵达了危地马拉城——飞行时间和北京至香港大抵相当。总之是漫长的一天,因为到得太晚,也赶不及开车前往旗鱼湾了。

第二天一早,渔舍的面包车到威斯汀酒店来接我,我们轻松上路。第一次在白天看到危地马拉的交通状况,让我觉得自己是不会愿意在这里开车的。

车开到危地马拉城边,我看到了一望无际的甘蔗田一直延伸到地平线。我们的车驶过一辆正吭哧吭哧地爬坡的长途车,车身的颜色花里胡哨,车顶上捆着大包小裹的行李,车厢里塞满了乘客。车尾用显眼的颜色喷着“Dios es Amor”(神即是爱)。

From New York, I flew to Miami (3 hours 15 minutes’ flight). After nearly 3 hours’ layover there, I caught another flight which got me into Guatemala City 2 hours 45 minutes’ later — about the flying time between Beijing and Hong Kong. All in all, a long day, arriving too late to make the drive to Sailfish Bay.

The next morning, the lodge’s van picked me up from the Westin Hotel for the easy drive. Seeing Guatemala City’s traffic for the first time in daylight persuaded me it’s a place I probably wouldn’t want to drive myself around.

As we reached the edge of Guatemala City and saw extensive fields of sugar cane on the horizon, we passed a very colorful long-distance public bus as it chugged up a hill, with crates and boxes strapped to its roof, and belly full of passengers. On its back was painted “Dios es Amor” in outstanding colors: “God is love.”

危地马拉的公交车:花里胡哨 / Guatemala’s buses: dazzling colors

危地马拉超过半数的人口信奉天主教,多种基督教的信仰也很流行。近年来,当地的旅游业迅猛发展,一跃成为该国的首要收入来源,超过了甘蔗和咖啡。2010年,12艘国际邮轮到访格查尔,今年到访的邮轮预计将达到100余艘。经过多年内战和动荡之后,危地马拉逐渐成为安全和富有吸引力的旅游目的地。

我随后抵达了渔舍,受到经理艾瑞克的友好接待。他非常乐于助人,预备了鲜榨果汁欢迎我,还带我参观了房间,指给我泳池、海滩和餐厅的位置。“早餐6点钟开始供应,钓鱼船的出发时间是7点。”他说。

他还远远地给我指了三座火山的方向,其中两座火山明显是活火山,不断冒出缕缕白烟,飘向湛蓝的天空。

我在泳池旁安顿下来,开始读书放松。没过一会儿, 艾瑞克的同事杰西就给我送来一盘薯片,还有用当地自产牛油果制成的蘸酱——真是又可口又健康的下午茶点。在渔舍停留期间,饭菜都很美味,新鲜水果和海味的品种也极其丰富。

Guatemala is more than 50% Catholic, and there are a variety of other Christian faiths which are popular as well. In recent years, tourism has grown very quickly, overtaking sugar cane and coffee as the country’s top earner. In 2010, 12 international cruise ships called at Quetzal. This year, around 100 are expected. Following many years of civil war and unrest, Guatemala is emerging as a safe and attractive tourist destination.

I arrived at the Lodge and was met by their very friendly and helpful manager, Eric, who welcomed me with a fresh fruit juice, showed me to my room, and pointed to the swimming pool, beach, and dining areas. “Breakfast is at 6 a.m., and the fishing boats depart the marina at 7,” he advised.

In the distance, he pointed to three volcanoes, two of which were visibly active, with plumes of white smoke rising into the clear blue sky.

I settled by the side of the pool to read and relax. Not long after, Eric’s colleague, Jesse, brought me a plate of freshly made guacamole with chips for dipping — a delicious and healthy afternoon snack, made from local avocados. The food during my stay was outstanding, with an especially wide variety of fresh fruit and seafood.

紧邻渔舍的礁湖日落美景 / Sunset on the lagoon next to the lodge

晚餐后,我早早就上床休息了。

(未完待续……)

After dinner I turned in early.

(to be continued…)


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