Tag Archive for 'tikal'

Guatemala, Day 2 – Tikal

Recently I went on a trip to Guatemala. This is Day 2 of my 9 Day account.

The alarm goes off obnoxiously at 4:30 am. Defiant, we sleep in at first. When I finally wake up to check the time, I nearly have a heart attack when I see it is 6:15 (our flight is at 6:30!). Adrenaline rushes then ebbs as I realize that we are on Central Time.

We make it to the flight. The security process is far more civil than in New York, highlighted by the fact that there is a large, dedicated “recovery area” where you can at least sit down and put your shoes back on. Flying on a regional airline, we realize that air travel is a much bigger deal to people from Guatemala. What is a frustrating means to an end for us is a wonder to them. We sleep for most of the short plane ride to Flores, then deplane for a shuttle to Tikal.

We climb the ruins, which are a bitch. They are pretty impressive, though. After walking around for 4 hours, I ask my friend how long he thinks we’ve walked. He estimates 1.5 miles and I am incredulous. I say we must have been doing at least 20 minute miles. I invent the concept of the “exertion-adjusted mile,” and calculate that we must have done around 7-10 miles!

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Deathtrap!Sprouting2109108684_a32d2607ed_b.jpgLater, we ascend an absolute deathtrap. My friend asserts that this

is the best part of the trip. I learn that I am acutely afraid of death. Not heights, so much as falling to my death. Tikal is amazing, a civilization sprouting thousands of years ago from the jungle. The imagery of huge stone temples poking out from the treetops is very symbolic.

That night we return to Guatemala City, then to the former capital of Antigua, which is beautiful. Mariachi sing, and children are so pervasive, you’d think it was Disneyland. We stay at Quinta de las Flores, which is way too far from the action of the central square. Though Quinta is beautiful, in retrospect, Casa Azul would have been a better choice due to the location. We have steak and wine at El Sereno, which is just ok considering the high price. Afterwards, we go to Riki’s for a drink – it’s a lot smokier than any bar in New York but you can’t get a michelada in New York either.