Central America | Guatemala – More Tikal
Got up 5:15 am to see sunrise from Templo IV. The park doesn’t open until 6 am so technically it’s not possible to see sunrise itself. With a lot of pleading to the guard we were let in 10 minutes early. Then we ran the dark muddy gauntlet with me trailing behind, proving I’m built for endurance but not speed. Saw the orange/pink glow over the other temples, and listened to all the forest life. We had the summit to ourselves for a bit until a huge tour group arrived. The guide started a long, meandering, historically inaccurate (?) account of Tikal. I left with R. so we could get the dramatic view of Templo IV from the jungle and enjoy the Grande Plaza which was already filling with tourists. Didn’t have much time to re-explore. The others had stayed at Templo IV to bird watch. There is great animal watching on the jungle canopy from there. My favorite are the playful spider monkeys.
Very good french toast for breakkie at Jungle Lodge and the rats were all sleeping so that’s always a nice touch.
Then back to Belize. Two Guatemalan police got on the bus again, (I may not have mentioned it before), for an even longer ride. Apparently it behooves any bus driver (or is it just tour bus drivers? Or is it drivers with Belize plates?) to give the Guat. ‘politur’ rides. This is great because they are obviously armed and hopefully their presence discourages los banditos you read so much about in tour books.
We got through the border smoothly but the Belizean watermelon was confiscated on the Belize side. Ironic, n’est-ce pas?
Lunch in San Ignacio. Sylvino went to take me music shopping for Punta Rock (Super G) but the first record store was closed and the second didn’t have any. I did get to meet his wife and son at the pizza place his sister owns. Went to Green Dragon to email people how great Tikal was. Then the first record store was open so I got a tape and a cd. Expensive.
Then we went to the Belize Zoo. Very good zoo with as much attention as can be paid to mimicking natural habitat. For the most part it’s a zoo of endangered species with a look to breeding and re-introduction into the wild. Except for the otters who were being fed chicken feet which they will not get in the wild. Loved the scarlet mc caws and the jaguars and the ocelot and the jabberoo.