Saturday, April 13, 2019

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Tikal in the morning and at night

Posted by Hippobean at 11:55 PM
Good idea to start Tikal very early in the morning. Air was cool, very few tourists. Animals and birds were out. Our local guide Samuel led us into the park and pointed out mut muts, woodpeckers and howler monkeys on trees, a giant saba tree and cuati mundis. They're everywhere and one could hear the howler monkeys (very loud) and woody woodpecker destroying the tree trunks. Temple Q, the first we encountered, was climbable, so we did. Then the infamous Jaguar temple, Temple 1 facing Temple 2 on the main plaza. A wonder to admire. Not allowed to climb Temple I but there's a steep wooden staircase behind temple 2, so at least we could climb to the top to take in the entire complex. There's also a wooden staircase leading to the top of the grandest temple, the Great Pyramid, the Mundo Perdido. Asked why it was called that and the answer was the archaeologists found sexual connotations in the carvings which could reveal the builders were high on psychedelics or the archaeologists themselves high on mushrooms. The view from its top was spectacular as one could see the top of all the temples above the foliage. Last we climbed the switchback wooden stairs to get up to the top of Temple IV, the tallest. Ran back to the hotel for a late breakfast just before they stopped serving it. souvenir shopping was grand at Tikal. An entire area reserved for shops just outside of the entrance to the site. We shopped big time.

Legs tired, we retired back to the hotel for another sit by the pool. Around 5, we started the sunset tour. I thought the sunset tour was to just find a spot in Tikal and admire the sunset perhaps from atop a pyramid. But it turned out to be much more. It was quite a long walking tour. First we went to the south side of the site. The temples were different in style, such as Temple 6, the temple of Inscriptions, which had big chaac eyes. Then we came upon the ruins of the Palacio de las Acanaladuras, with white washed slaps for walls. Temple V, the mortuary pyramid which had a round top, was brilliant with the sun setting behind it. Back at the main plaza, we witnessed the jaguar shadow creeping across Temple I. SmallLeo took many photos with his cousin jaguar shadow. We climbed temple IV again and watched the sunset from up there. Very tired, and in the dark, we went hunting for bats in a cave. Spotted a tarantula and a tiny scorpion on our way back to the hotel.

Since our hotel restaurant was so pricey and food so bad, I've suggested to dine at the next door Jungle Lodge. The lodge looked very grand and modern and the restaurant menu extensive and not expensive. I had garlic shrimps and it was delicious. Tummy happy but legs tired, we walked the short distance back to the Tikal Inn and just in time to grab a shower before the lights went out again. That evening, our last in Tikal, I had my usual tea sitting in front of my thatch roof hut with SmallLeo, in complete darkness. I didnt even turn on my USB light. The night was pitch black. What a day it was.

Tikal photos:



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