Flores & Dawn in Tikal
Trip Start Jan 16, 2008
37Trip End Jan 01, 2009
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Anyway, we set off from Palenque at 6am and waited for the 1st of our bus trips of the day, which wasn't bad at all as far as our other bus trips went. This would bring us to a mini port from where we would get a little boat across the river in Guatemala and another bus trip.
Once at the port we really didn't think we would all fit into the boat with luggage as well, some how we did though. We were also the only boat that didn't use life jackets! The trip itself was great only about 25 minutes but enjoyable all the same and the craic and laughter on it was great. Another Irish guy onboard, Shane, made us the majority nation so we made the most of it!
When we got to Guatemala it was most low key arrival into a country ever....in fact low key would be a compliment! It was a basically a small muck hill with a bus at the top. The bus was to be our first experience of the famous "chicken buses" of Latin America. They are notorious cos they will pack them to the hills with all kinds of people, animals, objects....basically anything goes! There was 30 odd people waiting for out bus that only fit 28! So we all boarded in and set off for the 4 hour trip which was uncomfortable to say the least!
Eventually we got to Flores at about 4.30pm and got set up in a hostel. We had a quick bite to eat and set off to book a trip to Tikal for the famous sunrise trip to the Mayan ruins there. We would have to leave at 3am the following morning so it was an early night and a very early start!
Setting off at 3am was tough and we got the site at about 4.30, where our guide introduced himself to us. He scared the shit out of us all, he was an ex army Sergent and wasn't big on humour or small talk. We had a 45 minute walk in complete darkness to the top of temple to sit and watch the sunrise and listen to the jungle wake up
We spent a further 4 hours in the park looking at all the ruins and climbing some more, including a nasty climb on a very very dodgy wooden staircase up the side of a 60 ft Temple. Coming down was worse cos the staircase was practically vertical and this meant having to climb down backwards. By 10 am we'd done a full days trekking and were famished so we set off back at 11 and nearly gave the local restaurant a heart attack when we all ran in gagging for whatever type of food was available.
The town of Flores itself was really picturesque and the people were very very friendly, but we were only stopping here very briefly as we were heading off to Belize the next day at 7.30am. This was also our last night with our good Aussie mate Bill who was now going into Guatemala City to learn Spanish or as he would say in his Melbourne accent... "Ssspenish". We had a beers to bid farewell and finished off on the hostel rooftop in hammocks. Not a bad way to finish off this part of the trip!
We're in Caye Caulker at the moment, a most amazing Caribbean Island off the coast of Belize, where everyone speaks in Caribbean English and Bob Marley is King. Very very laid back! I'll be back soon with photos from here.
Until then, it's a goodbye from me!