Wooohaaa! Tikal Dec/29/2012
We said bye to Blake the previous night without a doubt that we will cross paths on this trip again. Not an uncommon thing. We have been running into the same people ever since Mexico. He was rushing to a family reunion in Antigua some 500km away and we were going to backtrack to the ancient city of Tical. By now I’m totally sick. I felt a sore throat the day before but thought that if I ignore it, it will go away. All the tequila and Gallos have just added to it not to mention a slight hangover. The morning was a struggle. Tical is off the grid way in the jungle and what a sight. The day was so fulfilled with excitement that the crappy feeling has totally gone until the next day. My jaw dropped when I entered the Main Square. I know I have said this before, but this, this has outdone anything on this trip.
I was so hyped to see this place that I never grabbed a map guide. I climb up the highest spot possible and just when I thought I have seen the best of it I see two more temples out on the distance to the west. Without hesitation I set out westward. I find Alex to ask him to join me but he is still limping from our little incident when we tripped over the Tropic of Cancer way back in Mexico. To add to the sorrow, he thought it would be a good idea to kick a coconut laying on the road while doing 80km/h. Yes, using his already swollen foot. He politely declined.
Cool thing about this place that there was very little tourists. Tikal is luckily not very easily accessible and Guatemala is not the most popular tourist destination. It damn should be.
I found myself alone almost every time I went off the main path and every time I was getting myself into a never ending maze of Mayan structures. The other cool thing is about Tikal is that it is in the middle of the jungle and thus not maintained to a degree like Chichen Itza. You can not see from one place to another through the trees and there is no abundance of wild life either. I have seen wild turkeys and pizotes roaming together, with spider and congo monkeys above. It all added all that much more to the atmosphere. I make it to temple IV and clime all the way up. What a sight. Nothing but thick jungle with now the main place and temples I and II in the distance. It was a perfectly sunny day, but to add the the spectacle a dark cloud with a tube of rain and a rainbow coming at us from the left.
I spend about 3 hours exploring and getting educated. The ancient city is spread over an area of more than 100km square and at one point had up to 80 000 inhabitants. Over a million pieces of artifacts and tools have been dug up and apparently over a million still hidden in the ruins that to this day still have not been excavated.
I find in at the off the grid hotel/ cabins by the parking lot and not surprising, he is sitting there with the Czechs that we ran into in Belize city. The hotel owner let’s us pitch our tents up on the grounds. Nice. I missed camping and there was very little choice as it was nearing dark and the closest town with a hostel is 50km away. Not that we couldn’t afford the $75 cabins but the further south we get the further we seem to push the envelope on how little we can survive. Cold shower and a toilet. What else could you possibly need. To top it off they ran the generator until 9 to keep the beers cool. We dragged it long into the night. No big good byes as again, we might see each other in perhaps another country down the road. That night we decided to go 200km south to Rio Dulce and than perhaps take a boat down the river into Livingston on the Caribbean side again. They decided to head west to Semuc Champey