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March 1, 2015

Saturday, Januarimagey 28, 201image5 Day 45imageimage

Along with many other visitors to Guatemala, you feel you must visit Tikal National park to visit the Myan ruins there. I had visited a site in Copan, Honduras earlier in my trip but it would pale in comparison to Tikal. Travellers are encouraged to sign up for the Sunrise tour in order to see the sun rise, which is supposed to be pretty spectacular, so I did. Up at 2:45 am, picked up by the bus and at 4:30 am we were there. We were met by a great guide, Luis, who had us spellbound with his knowledge and stories about Tikal. Luis is now 40 and has been guiding here since the age of 12, along with some of his brothers( from a family of 12 kids). Another cool thing about Luis for the television show Survivor fans, like me,  Luis was involved in the series and  I would have loved toimageimage image image hear some inside information, but even with my prodding, his lips were sealed. However, for $200 US , he offered to take me in his own car up to another Mayan site where one of the seasons was shot and show me all kinds of things pertaining to the show, then out for supper and a drive home..I was hoping his price would have been way less than that, like maybe $50 US and I would  have liked to grab the opportunity!!!! It was pitch black and we knew to take flashlights and it was pretty neat to be exploring the rainforest so early in the morning. We sat up on one of the ruins and waited patiently for the sun to rise, but unfortunately there was a shroud of mist and we did not get that experience, but we sat and listened for the forest to awaken and sure enough we heard it! The eerie sounds of the howler monkeys were incredible to listen to and we learned that these same howler monkeys were the sounds that were used in the Jurassic Park movie for the dinosaurs. Also, Luis talked about a scene from one of the Star Wars movies which I am not very familiar with, which was filmed here. Luis was with us from 4:30 am until 10:30 am and we all loved him. We saw the howler and spider monkeys and it is always fun watching their antics high up in the trees. We saw some other ground creatures and lots of interesting birds; the quetzal is the national bird of Guatemala and the toucan is the national bird of Belize. We did a lot of climbing and were able to ascend some of the temples. The site is dominated by 6 giant temples and thousands of other structures, many half- strangled by giant roots and still hidden beneath mounds of earth in this vast historical site. We had 3 times to return to Flores as per our tour terms, and everyone left early except me, as I loved exploring this place and wanted to stay as long as I could. As the battery for my IPad was almost dead, I headed to a local eatery where I thought I could plug in my IPad while getting a bite to eat, so I did this and wasted over an hour, as it seemed that my battery was not charging even when I tried different outlets; finally asked and apparently power is very limited up at Tikal, so sadly I returned to the park unable to take anymore photos. 3:00 pm arrived and I waited at the pickup point and waited and waited and no driver and no telephone number on my return voucher. I was mad, but finally caught a ride with another driver, who wrote his contact information on my voucher and as soon as I arrived in Flores, I went straight to the office where the tour was purchased and straightened out the matter, getting some money back! Hard to do with my limited Spanish but did it! Walked around the beautiful town for a bit, then returned to the hostel and had a nice, albeit cold, shower..getting used to them and tidied my self and my belongings up.  The Los Amigos hostel is a great place and quite a story about the young man who started this business. I had a Crazy Mayan burger for supper here at the hostel and after doing my blog it will be lights out, as again, tomorrow I have an early rise. 2 new dorm mates, 2 young men from is going to be too quiet when I go home…😄


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  1. Helina permalink

    No it won’t be so quiet Kathy! You’ll be reliving all these adventures and those you’ve had over the years. You know what they say: “Keep a diary when you’re young, and it’ll keep you when you’re old!: )” I don’t know if someone as hearted as you ever does get ‘old’ but you now have enough adventures written for a great lifetime!


  2. Gary permalink

    Very Cool! I love all that ancient history stuff. Going to see you in a couple days! Love you

  3. Please let me know when you return home so we can get together.
    Susan xo

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