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Jeremy - Traveling Central America
31 Jan 2008

Tikal, Guatemala

Right from the moment we got of the boat in Rio Dulce Molly, Raquel and I went up to the main road and found a bus going to Flores, the small town about an hour outside of Tikal in the Peten region of Guatemala.  It was not a direct bus but it was there and we already had all our stuff and everything happened so fast so we asked how long the trip was and if there were seats.  We were told it would be an hour and yes there were seats.  I never ask the bag or ticket guy anymore and always check the bus first as there were no seats and the trip was about four hours long on windy bad roads with just barely enough foot room to stand in the aisle of the bus.  I am so glad we three decided to go together otherwise the bus ride would have been a cruel version of hell for me.

It was a pretty ride, watching the mountains fall off and riding deeper into the jungle.  We got to a little town, Santa Elena and thought we still had quite a bit of time left so we started taking the enpty seats as everyone got off.  Turns out it was just a short taxi ride into Flores over the land bridge connecting the island to the mainland.

We looked at many hotels, each time stepping up our price range as the horrible bus ride was cheap and we decided we should spend what we saved.  We got a great hotel with nice staff, a pool with a small waterfall, whirlpool, outside bar and a nice triple room.  It came to about $22 a night and the shower was great as all we had on the boat was a liter of water each night to rinse off the salt water with. 

We set up a tour to go to Tikal after speaking with the guy in a travel agency for a while.  We got a package with transport, guide, entrance fees and lunch included but we opted to do our own lunch (which turned out to be a great idea).  We didnt do the sunrise tour since we didnt think we would be able to wake up early enough and did one a bit later.

Our breakfast was some quick coffee and some cake we had bought the day before, mine was a sort of bland carrot cake.  It did ok.  Our van was to pick us up at 7am and we were still sitting waiting at 7:40 and we started to worry.  We asked the girl at the reception to call and both numbers there was no answer.  We thought we had lost our chance to go.  But alas, we worried for nothing and they were just running late-big suprise there, it seems everything runs late.

In the van we drove to another nicer mini tour bus, met our guide who was very informative and had some ok jokes too.  When we got to the park there was a small model of the ruins that have been uncovered and he gave us some history and spoke about the temples and he seemed to know many of the guys who had first done work on uncovering the ruins years ago and knew quite a bit.  It was cool to hear about how the great city rose and fell and how people might have lived and worked in the city. 

The park was beautiful, nice paths through the jungle, monkeys in the trees, interesting birds, lots of butterflies, and ruins!  The grand ackropolis and the midway were amazing.  Everything we were seeing was from almost 2000 years ago and still quite preserved. 

31 Jan 2008

:::Jeremy - Traveling Central America,,1
posted 31 January 2008


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