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Tikal Flores Guatemala

GUATEMALA | Wednesday, 11 June 2008 | Views [973]

the ferry across the river We left Lanquin early in the morning heading off to Flores with a tourist minibus. We stopped briefly in Copan where Turgay and Amy found what they said was excellent banana bread. As we continued on the eight hour journey we came to a river at Sayaxche. There was no bridge and after getting out of the minibus we realized there was a “ferry” that would take us and the minibus across the river. It was probably the most basic car ferry that any of us had ever been on but the journey was without any problems and there were refreshments to be had in the form of green coconuts with straw stuck in them. We arrived in Flores in the late afternoon and took a look around. Sunrise The park central was located in the center of the island or isthmus and was actually on the top of a hill. Here there were locals lounging and music playing as well as two separate games of soccer being played. The thing that Amy and Turgay remember best about Flores, where the giant water beetles that would fly into the side of buildings and end up on their backs all over the sidewalks and roadways. Being large beetles they were pretty much helpless on their backs with legs flailing in the air. After about the 50th of these roach like insects you started to get used to them. It seems that the locals find killing them great sport, although we didn't participate there were some older gentlemen who where killing them with great zeal. We returned to our hotel after an early dinner at Cool Beans cafe and booked a sunrise tour for Tikal the next morning. Our guide Caeser Tikal is an ancient Mayan city that was at its peak during the Mayan classical period and was one of the most important cities religiously and culturally for the Mayans. We were picked up by the bus at 3:30 in the morning and drove the hour and fifteen minutes from Flores and arrived at Tikal, climbing to the top of temple five just as the sun began to rise. We spent half an hour in silence as the sky turned shades of red, pink and orange and the jungle began to awaken around us. Mist rose over the top of the canopy while the calls of the Toucans and parrots mixed with those of the howler monkeys.up up and up After descending the temple we choose our guide, not the one we were actually supposed to b e with but the one that appealed to us most for his lively and animated explanation of Mayan culture and life in Tikal. Caesar (Email) really has a gift for the dramatic and is a wealth of knowledge about his people, the country and the past. Drawing on many sources and his education he was able to make the scene come alive for us. We spent the next four hours exploring the site climbing to the top of temples (one of the climbs up some of the steepest steps any of us had ever seen) ending our tour in the Grand Plaza in front of the Jaguar temple. After the tour we had a couple of hours to wander around on our own and we took the opportunity to walk over to temple 6, the temple of the inscriptions. On the way we were lucky enough to happen on a group of Coati about 30 with many young. Turgay? Indiana Jones? You decide We spent about 15 minutes among them and took many photographs. Among the other wildlife we encountered were some of the most aggressive and evil mosquitoes, Turgay has a scar on his hand to prove it. At the very end of our time in Tikal we looked to see if we could find the Crocodile in the small lake, but we didn’t see any evidence of any except the many warning signs. We headed back to Flores already having had a full day of hiking and sightseeing and it was only noon. Amy and Turgay spent the afternoon and evening in Cool Beans Café with a group of tourists hanging out talking about politics, sex and religion (all the subjects everyone warns you stay away from). The next morning we boarded another early bus to take us to Belize City to catch the boat to Caye Caulker.

Tags: flores, guatemala, tikal

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