Central America - Day 9 - Tikal

Saturday, March 22, 2014

San Jose Succotz, Cayo, Belize

This morning was an early start today, up at 4:30am to head to Tikal National Park to look around the Mayan Ruins. We had two vans this morning, so I'm not sure about the van, but in our one, most of us slept the entire trip.


We arrived in Tikal at about 6:30am and then spent the next 4-5 hours walking around with our tour guide Miguel who has been working at the park for the last 33 years was very informative and seemed to have answers to everything, except the one thing that no one knows for sure "How long did it take them to build each temple", he only knew how long it took to uncover them.


The entire walk took us around a number of temples which it turns out were actually build on top of old ruins. We also got to walk up onto the top of some of the temples. Unfortunately some of the cooler temples that we wanted to climb were closed to the public as some people had died walking up and down them (tripping and rolling down).


Turns out that the first Star Wars movie that George Lucas made (Episode IV: A New Hope, released in 1977) was filmed partially in Tikal.


I think this must have been the best sight to see on this trip so far. Not only did we get to see the cool ruins, we were able to see some of the wildlife up close in person. Most of us got to see some monkeys. Some saw Tucans, we all some other creature (not sure what its called) and rumor has it that just a week or two ago, some people even saw a jaguar.

As the trip had started so early in the morning, none of us had really eaten breakfast, except for those of us that had left over snacks from previous days. We finished the walk and were all pretty hungry so made our way to a little restaurant on the way to the Belize border.

While we waited for our lunch Thomas thought it would be nice to show us around his imaginary home in the lake, I have to admit it was pretty nice, apart from the flooded room and the broken door which apparently use to be an electric door. I wasn't lucky enough to be given a look around his wine cellar, I think it may have had some remodeling going on. To be honest, I don't know what the hell goes on in Thomas' mind... he comes up with the most random stuff at times, you can't help but laugh.

We then headed off to Belize, which was about 30 minutes or so from out lunch stop to the border. Pretty easy going getting though the border crossing, no luggage checks or paperwork to fill out.

We then travelled for about 10 minutes to a little truckstop town called San Jose Succotz, where we will stay in an ecolodge for the next couple of days. The toilets are compost toilets, showers are outside and only have the walls and door in place (no roof). It is actually a much nicer place than what I was expecting apart from all the mosiqtoes. One other brightside about this place, it does have some really good Wifi in place even if it is limited to one place.

Some of the guys had a quick play of Frisbee golf before we had a quick presentation of some of the things we can do tomorrow. I decided I'd go caving in the Crystal Caves. it looks like the hardest option we have, and the longest one (I think about 8 hours or so in total), about 8 of the others are coming as well, should be fun.