Lara Croft, eat your heart out!

Trip Start Apr 23, 2009
Trip End May 23, 2009

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Flag of Guatemala  ,
Sunday, May 10, 2009

The 5 a.m. Tikal bus didnīt leave at 5 a.m. But then whatīs new? At least it was a nice tourist bus. We arrived at 6:30 a.m. just in time to catch the 4:30 a.m. shuttle people having their breakfast at the Jaguar Inn where the bus dropped us all off. Those guys at the hostel were right. It was overcast and soon enough the rain poured down. We ate 20 quetzals cornflakes and 25 quetzals sandwiches with tea while waiting it out. Fifteen minutes later, the skies cleared enough for us to walk out to the park. No sunrise but we could at least see Tikal without mobs of people about.

The entrance fee to the park is now 150 quetzals. Ouch. We stuck with the San Juan Travel guide for the walk to through the entrance. He was very knowledgeable, spoke fluent English and told us that the price went up recently because it cost a lot to maintain trash removal and security at the ruins. I didnīt mind much, besides, I was secretly feeling triumphant in saving 20 quetzals instead of buying tickets from the van guy. Bwahahahaha!

We purchased a map and along with one of our Lanquin-Flores ride share friend, Nick from the UK, we were off to see Templo IV, the most climbed for the view of the temples and surrounding jungle. A man at the check booth punched our ticket and not 20 minutes later we were at the top with no one in sight. Success. The view was great, but not so great as the view from Templo V as we found out later and arguably the best place to see the sunrise/sunset. The Grand Plaza surrounded Acropolis Norte, Acropolis Central, Templo I and II. You couldnīt climb Templo I anymore due to some unfortunate tumbling deaths but thatīs alright, Templo IIīs views were just as good. Afterward we saw Palacio de las Ventanas, Mundo Perdido, Plaza de los VII Templos, Acropolis Sur, Templo V, Palacio de las Acanaladuras (Grupo G), Templo VI and trekked around the jungle. Howler monkeys swung over head and Tucans voiced their calls. We even spotted a vulture circling about.

At 2 p.m. we went back to the Jaguar Inn for a quick lunch break. Restaurants inside were too expensive; drinks were only 10 quetzals on the outside plus it wasnīt such a long walk back to the entrance. A sudden storm blew in, the balmy air suddenly cooled and the wind overturned umbrellas all around outside. The skies opened and continued the afternoon downpour for 3 hours. Before we knew it, Jeff, Heather, Abra and Steven arrived from their 2:30 p.m. shuttle for our last meet up. When the rain finally let up, we ran back to Complex Q. You can really get lost here for a whole day if you wanted to. Through tunnels, up ruins, to the top of the jungle and wildlife spotting too. Lara Croft, eat your heart out!
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