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Tikal Travel Blog› entry 11 of 49 › view all entries
Got talked into heading up to Tikal the night before and staying up there. I was told it was a good experience and there was supposed to be a nice symphony of jungle sounds. It wansn't any more expensive for me to camp than stay in Flores and catch a bus in the morning, so we went for it.
While waiting for the bus I started chatting up an older man cleaning up the area on the main street. He lived in El Remate and gets paid to keep this area clean. He was very nice. He said he likes tourists and they are generally very nice and he can practice his English. He can't afford lessons so this is the only way he can practice.
Took a bus around the lake through El Remate and up toward Tikal. The mini bus was a quality unit...and I thought my truck was bad. This thing was just crawling up the hills and I think I could have biked there in about the same amount of time. On the steep hills I could've been walking the same speed. At one point we went over a bump, which Guatemal loves, and the van died. Wouldn't start so all of the guys had to hop out and and push the damn thing down the road. Luckily it was only a small incline. We did finally get it started and make it to the park.
Threw up my tent for Q25 at the Jaguar Inn. It didn't look like it would rain, it hadn't rained for weeks and it was hot, so I opted for no rain fly. Keith had no tent and slept in a pre-pitched one of theirs for Q50. Decided to hire a guide for the morning to do the sunrise tour. You can get in 1hr earlier if you have a guide. I think you can pay them off and easily get in or even camp in the park if you wanted. After 3pm the park fee is still good for the next day, so we caught a little bit of the ruins before the park closed at 6pm. I spotted some spider monkeys swinging around in the trees. They're so flexible and just swing around and jump all over. It was fun to watch.
This was probably the worst night of the trip! Nothing to do up there while we were there, so I hid out in my tent to stay away from mosquitos. With no book I just layed there in a puddle of my own sweat thinking what in the hell am I going to do for the next 12 hours. I didn't really sleep all night and the symphony of jungle animals consisted of two obnoxious girls and a surround sound of snoring. This night was hell.