Tikal was so surreal. It’s so hard to believe that Mayans once walked in those jungles. The podiums that the Mayans used for sacrilege were still intact and in place. It was kind of eerie knowing that human beings used to select one of their peers to die on those but at the same time it was SO COOL. The podium was still covered in ash and even though I’ve never seen or experienced anything of the sort, it was so real that I could almost see it happening. My imagination was supplemented with scenes from the movie “The Road to El Dorado” even though it has nothing to do with Mayans or Guatemala.
From zee journal:
6:30 am – breakfast in the car
7:30 am- arrive at Tikal!
1:00 pm – lunch at Mundo Perdido Restaurant
2:30 – 11 pm – drive back to Guatemala City (butt pain, need to urinate, motion sickness)
8:20 pm – pit stop at sketchy gas station
11:30 pm – dinner at Casa de los Amigos (pollo plancha, bread, mashed potatos, steamed veg)
Tikal Sites Visited
Plaza de los Siete Templos
Palacio de las Acanaladuras
Tikal Day! I’ve been waiting for this day to come! I love history and it’s a been a while since I last had a “history field trip” and the history nerd in me just really needed to be fueled again! Plus, it’s the freaking Tikal! There is no better place to travel back in time!
It was such a surreal experience. The thought that kept running through my mind was “I can’t believe I’m here.” Honestly, I never thought I would visit a place like this, knowing how unadventurous I am.
Everything was so breath-taking. Some of the architecture has been around since 4th century BC! Isn’t that crazy?! Some of the templos are super high and made entirely out of rock/stone that are of the perfect straight-edge shape. How did they build everything?!
Steph and I tried to get to as many sites as possible. We went to most of the sites except for some around Templo VI and one of the palacios. All in all, I think we did pretty great at hitting as many templos as possible. Even though it was at the expense of our knees and legs. there were a heck of a lot of stairs to climb!
I can’t express in words how beautiful the park is. Tall jungle trees. Exotic bird calls. Monkeys. Coatimundis.
The best view was from the top of templo IV. Steph and I were nearly crippled from walking up the 10 flights of narrow and tall steps that led to the top. Yenno what made it worst? My extreme fear of heights. The stairs were study enough but it was made from thin pieces of wood just nailed together and it made me nervous because a) there were 30 other people climbing on these at the same time b) I could see through the steps and look down at how high up I was.
By the time I climbed the 3rd flight of stairs, I was shaking and sweating. Not from exhaustion but from trying hard to stay calm and telling my feet to keep going when all they wanted to do was turn around and go back to solid ground.
In the end it was all worth it. The tip of templo IV rose above all the trees in the entire park. At the top, I could see templo I, templo II, and templo III just peaking through the tree cover. The view was absolutely gorgeous.
Oh, back track. When we first arrived at the entrance of the park, one of the staff was selling maps to the park for 20Q. Once I opened the map, I saw A GIANT PICTURE of a jaguar. And I mean GIANT. The picture took up like a quarter of the map. I guess he noticed my slight anxiety attack so he quickly explained that the jaguars are nocturnal and so we won’t see them around. Even after that, I could not rest. My heart was racing just from the thought of running into a jaguar. If it happens, there is no escaping. Jaguar > Connie. I’m terrified of ALL animals, so how in the world am I going to outrun or fight a jaguar?! I was so freaked out that I almost wanted to quit the trip all together.
So glad that I didn’t let my fears get to me though. It was definitely one of the best experiences of my life.