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Published: September 28th 2007
I was asleep on the 9hr night bus to palenque and it was about -4 degrees due to over AC use and i was woken by a military looking dude wielding a shooter telling everyone to get off the bus, it was around 4 in the morning and all bags where taken off the bus by 10 or so military and searched. not sure who they where or what but eventually we where allowed on our way. wierd.
got to palenque to a beautiful sunrise at 6am and checked in at the maya-bell in the jungle (tents, cabanas and hammocks). Palenque was beautiful and spent the morning roaming around the amazing ruins, the museum was really good too and had lots of artifacts from BC.
turned the fan on in my cabana and it exploded and nearly set fire to the wooden cabana - heheh.
met some nice people from austin texas, which was nice as you imagine ppl from texas to be a certain way and its nice break some stereotypes. we stayed up in the jungle and put the world to rights with cat sized frogs jumping around :-)
realised i have
too much stuff with me and gave away some clothes to lighten me up.
after a few nights, i went to guatamala (woke up and my eyelid had been bitten in the night - my eye was massive for a few hours heheh), used a bus, boat then bus to get to the immigration shed in guatemala where you haggle on an entry fee amongst chickens. The scenery in guatemala is beatiful tho the roads are rocky and lots of mayans are living with chicken ruraly. The country has had a horrific civil war fairly recently and a had an earthquake devistate it in the 80's. In the civil war around 200k people where murdered including whole villages.
I went to flores, a beautiful small town on an island in a lake, quite a few travellers and a really good atmosphere. stayed at this wonderful place with parrots and amazing fresh healthy food all for £3 a night! this place is not advertised and is word of mouth. A tuc-tuc taxi is 30p.
chilled out here for a few days with some good people.
what you find out down here is that the US supplies alot of
money and weapons to central and southern amercian countries and feeds alot of the corruption - surprise surprise, so outwardly facing they are fighting "the war on drugs and corruption" but in fact they are pretty much in control of it - naughty old them, would never of guessed.
quite a few isreali's about whom have just finished their national service - which the girls have to do too!! they only get £50 a month when in the service and get hardly any breaks in 3 years. All of them i have met mainly resented it.
got up at 3am in flores to goto tikal, these are the oldest and biggest maya ruins, only found in the 60's these are over 4000 buildings covering 6 miles squared in the deep jungle, the jungle has taken over these ruins but the centre structures have been cleared a bit.
I went with a yank and two ozzies, they showed me a movie of them sliding down the side of a volcano on a plank of wood in nicuragua, was very funny and nuts!
at 3am around the streets of flores a few minibuses
took people up to tikal, after driving an hour into the jungle we hiked pitch black 2miles more along a little track (we had a guide who was nuts but works on the research of the ruins, he had a machette cut from an accident with a snake 2 days ago). Most of the site still needs to be found and they have yet to make tunnels into the structures.
we climbed up temple4 - it was really dangerous and slippery and high. when we got to the top we waited for light to come and slowly the jungle came alive with howler monkeys, jaguars, cougars and toucans - it was a racket and quite amazing. after that we walked around the jungle for 10k or so around the structures. it was misty and very cool. We saw lots of spider monkeys, foxes, turkeys and other animals too. Temple4 is where star wars filmed the rebel base for 2 scenes in 1979. tourists regularly die here as it is well dangerous climbing round these buildings but so much fun too :-) The guide was loose and let us roam off but we needed him in the dark. The seven
massive temples are lined up exactly with the seven stars of the big dipper, and another area lines up 4 keystones with small temples for the equinox/soltices exactly. It all reminded me of that kids cartoon "mysterious cities of gold".
The pics from Tikal dont show the abience of the jungle or the heat and humidity, it really was a special morning.
heard something about lava and an active volcano a few hundred K away in a cooler region with no health and safety, hmmm, stay tuned :-)
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