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Published: June 23rd 2017
Guatamala Border Crossing
Our taxi dropped us off at the border and we had to walk across to a taxi on the other side.
Geo: 17.2171, -89.6232
It has been hard this week to keep up with writing the blog, partly because I left my phone in a taxi today and partly because of lack of motivation for slow, inaccurate thumb typing. Staying in the town of San Ingnacio was a great choice and we have met many nice people here. From the couple we went caving with who seemed to see us everywhere, to the teachers and survival trainer from New Mexico, to Sergio the tour operator. It has been great meeting all the people along the way. So today we woke up with plans to travel a short distance to the Guatamalan border then a 1.5 hour ride to Tikal, the largest Mayan city uncovered so far. They didn't let our taxi drive across the border so he dropped us off and we walked. Once over, we hired a taxi for the long ride to Tikal. The guy was very proud of his 1983 taxi, that both looked like it had been salvaged from a parts store and ran like it. However, he still managed to get that heap up to speeds that had Alex and I looking at each other waiting for a
Alex and I at Tikal Ruins
I was so excited to get to climb up some of the ruins. How they were able to build this is such a mystery to me.
firey end to our journey. Fortunately, that didn't happen and we arrived in the Tikal area. It was about a 20 km ride from the entrance to the ruins area. The road ran through the jungle in a conservation region. Along the way we saw caution signs for animals crossing for tapiers, jaguars, turkeys, and even snakes?? I wanted to see one with the jaguar chasing the turkey.We arrived in the parking area and couldn't really see much except jungle and concession huts. I guess I had expected to see this huge Mayan city right in the parking lot. Was this going to be one of those over priced parks that really doesn't live up to the hype? Absolutely not!! We told our driver we would be anywhere from 2-4 hours as we had no idea what to expect. We walked into the jungle entrance for about 10 minutes without seeing a thing. We then came to a sign pointing to the grand plaza about 25 minutes away. It was then that I realized, this huge city was enormous and shrowded by the jungle. Every temple and building was a 20 minute hike through the jungle. The greand plaza was
just that. Grand beyond explanation. Photos I will later include will try to show the amazing construction abilities of this culture that did not have the benefits of our modern tools. We hiked to temple after temple where we finally climbed to the top of the largest temple/pyramid in this part of the world. We were well over the jungle canapy and could see for miles. Absolutely incredible. I could probably write a book just on this one experience, however, I will briefly touch on the remainder of this visit. While in the jungle, we saw howler monkeys and spider monkeys swinging from tree to tree, a monkey actually on the ground doing something when we walked up, and while standing in one place in a 30 second time so and, saw a full sized toucan, a hawk, monkeys, and a yellow tailed bird. We looked at each other speechless.
We had earlier discussed whether or not the Mayans had built their pyramids with hidden chambers like the egyptians. That question was answered as we walked down a trail at the base of a huge temple and saw a hole in the side of a hill. Peering in we saw it
Mayan Warlord Alejandro
I found the last of the Mayan Kings hiding behind a boulder ready to attack. He was not very happy I was intruding on his home.
was a well constructed tunnel leading straight into the heart of the base of the temple. I wanted to make a torch and explore, but fearing the Guatemalan justice system, or lack of, decided against it.
What an amazing day.
The photos will have to be posted after our return. I did not realize, after the sad loss of my well traveled phone camera that I used for blog photos, the camera memory card is not compatible with the tablet I'm now using.
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