31 Jan 2008
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.
Wow! You’re really getting a taste of the true culture and lifestyles within South America. I think it’s great that you’re getting such a rich taste for the history too. Pete Greiner was just here in California for the weekend; so I hung out with him for a couple days. Liz just celebrated her birthday last week, and she’s actually going to Cuba with her dad (which is something only the cool Canadians are allowed to do apparently!). I’m sitting in California awaiting your return and countless hours on the phone hearing every last detail! Much love and hugs!
26 Feb 2008
It sounds like you are having a lot of fun as well as learning a bit about the culture. History is amazing and you are in an incredible place. It is facinating to listen to other peoples stories and it sounds like you will have a few to tell. Have you learned much about the plants? Or got any great recipes? The pictures and stories are AB FAB! I can’t wait to hear and see more. Miss you! Kimberly
16 Feb 2008
honest to goodness, you’ve got my eyes tearing up!!! breathtaking!
25 Jan 2008
Awesome Pics, J! You & your travels are soooo inspiring! Thanks a million.
24 Jan 2008
Hey! Its sonia, I’m thinking of joining you next week. I’m jobless right now with nothing to do… where are you going to be… email me back information
24 Jan 2008
WOW! I’m so glad for this travel blog! Your adventures are already making my life look INCREDIBLY boring! I’m so amazed at your determination to jump right in and pick up the spanish language, and props to you for truly “goin’ cultural” and talking with the natives. I can’t wait to see pictures. What’s the temperature like right now in Guatemala? Really really hot? Humid? BE CAREFUL! MUCH LOVE!!
16 Jan 2008
Hey buddy, Thanks so much for the update….It’s thrills my little landlocked heart to be your arm-chair travelling friend!
Whatever are we doing here???!!!! Amy Byers misses ya, and so do I…I wouldn’t suggest you shouldn’t have just to save us your loss, though.
I wanna hear ALLLLL about the criuse, so take notes or pics, or whatever. Brian Head just got back from the Yucatan, too! Small hotel, huh?
11 Jan 2008
you have no idea how jealous i am of you. i want no responsibilities for a few months. take tons of photos and i will see you in a month or so. cant wait to tear up Costa Rica
just think how nice it will be to have clean clothes and good company.
08 Jan 2008
Hey Jungle boy. Have your seen any cheeky Monkeys yet” The pictures look awesome. Can’t wait to see more.
08 Jan 2008
Jeremy!You are too cool! This is awesome. Man, if you had kids they would think that you are the coolest dad ever. I’ll have to show this to the monsters but they’re not allowed to go anywhere without me yet. :0)
08 Jan 2008
18 Oct 2011 – start of travelblog
posted Thursday January 2008