Ahh! You Want a Bribe?
Trip Start Oct 22, 2005
224Trip End Ongoing
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On the Guatemala side of the border things changed. The road went from being fairly well kept to majorly bumpy with massive (I mean massive) pot holes we had to slow down and drive around. Outside there was jungle and it was stinking hot. On the outskirts of Flores we had to change bus because evidently the bus we were comfortably in couldn't go the 500 meters into town. We all stuffed, like sardines, into the new van and were taken, not surprisingly, to their preferred hostel. We checked it out to see the price but decided to pass on the two single beds the three of us would have share. Around the corner we found another place and after having lovely spaghetti for lunch, were able to ditch our stuff and relax
Flores was a really nice place to visit, being an island on the Lake Peten Itza. We wandered around town and chose a place to have dinner.
We chose Flores as a base to see the Mayan ruins of Tikal as it was only 45 minutes away. Getting up at 3AM we headed out for sunrise at Tikal. Our mini van only had eight people in it so we figured it'd be a small group. This was until we arrived at the ruins to see another five or six mini vans. We'd be spending sunrise with about fifty other people. The hardest part of seeing sunrise with this number of people is that there is always someone that won't stop talking and enjoy the tranquility of the moment. Our guide was forever asking people to stop talking so we could hear the jungle coming to life, as the animals woke up.
Surrounded by darkness we headed straight to the Grand Plaza, people tripping and falling on tree roots (who figured we'd need torches in the dark!). Once there we walked across to the IV Temple, after climbing the steep ladders to the top we stopped and watched the sunrise. You could hear Spider Monkeys screaming and hundreds of birds chirping
We spent the whole morning wandering around the magnificent ruins. Rick climbed all the temples he could, some of them very very steep, while Megan and Carlie relaxed on the grass. At one stage Carlie almost disappeared as the guide came out the jungle holding a massive furry tarantula. She doesn't like spiders. The Tikal ruins, although heavily restored were definitely a highlight of the Mayan ruins we've seen in Central America.