From Tikal

So they have this sunrise tour of Tikal. The idea being that you get up at 4.30am and join a group to watch the sunrise from the top of The Great Pyramid. Unfortunately, I slept until almost 6am, when the howler monkeys woke me up. Don't know if you've ever heard them, but you really would swear there was a lion right outside your bedroom door. Even when they're way off in the jungle.

Went back into the park after breakfast, to visit the temples I didn't see yesterday. Sat by the reservoirs for a few minutes to see if any crocodiles were about. Managed to get a photo of his eyes just above the water. While I was taking a photo of Group F ruins, some monkeys appeared in the trees above, so I videoed them for a while. Then I went back to the Great Plaza and sat atop the North Acropolis. I tried to get a 360 degree photo from the centre of the Great Plaza, but my battery died about three-quarters through!

Then I visited the Plaza of Windows (not very exciting) and climbed Temple 5. You're not allowed to climb some of the steps anymore, so wooden ladders/stairs have been built up the side. Incredibly steep wooden ladders. On the way up I looked down several times, and was convinced I'd plummet to my death when coming back down. And I was by myself, not in a tour group which made me even more anxious. And when I finally got to the top, I couldn't see Temples 3 or 4 from there, which was a bummer. Anyway, made it back down safely, and went back to the hotel through the East Plaza and Central Acropolis.

After another much-needed shower (can't describe how bad my clothes smell!), I went for a wander around the museum. Again surprised by how much I understood, but got fed up of reading Spanish after a while. Interesting photos of how the temples looked during the restoration tho. I went for lunch to one of the comedors nearby, checked out of the hotel, and then waited for the shuttle back to the airport.

The plane on the way back was even smaller. Four seats across, and about eleven rows. And there were no huge jet engines that I'm used to. We had propellors instead. This one really was like a private jet. We were a bit late getting back to Guatemala City and I was worried the shuttle would go without me, but when I got outside, there was my driver with a sign with my name on it. I felt so important!

Took forever to get out of the city. As you're driving through, you don't realise what the terrain is like. From the air, you can see huge ravines cutting the city into chunks. When driving, you only really drive over one huge bridge and then around a few hills. Apparently Christmas in Guatemala is sponsored by Gallo, the national beer. There is a huge tree in the city, not with an angel or star on top, but with a huge rotating "Gallo" logo. Gallo, by the way, means cockerel, and the logo is a cockerel's head.

I was back in Antigua by 7pm, and after checking what time we were leaving for Monterrico tomorrow, I went to an Italian restaurant for supper. I started reading Robinson Crusoe, but fell asleep quite quickly.

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Tuesday, 22 November 2005

From Tikal

So they have this sunrise tour of Tikal. The idea being that you get up at 4.30am and join a group to watch the sunrise from the top of The Great Pyramid. Unfortunately, I slept until almost 6am, when the howler monkeys woke me up. Don't know if you've ever heard them, but you really would swear there was a lion right outside your bedroom door. Even when they're way off in the jungle.

Went back into the park after breakfast, to visit the temples I didn't see yesterday. Sat by the reservoirs for a few minutes to see if any crocodiles were about. Managed to get a photo of his eyes just above the water. While I was taking a photo of Group F ruins, some monkeys appeared in the trees above, so I videoed them for a while. Then I went back to the Great Plaza and sat atop the North Acropolis. I tried to get a 360 degree photo from the centre of the Great Plaza, but my battery died about three-quarters through!

Then I visited the Plaza of Windows (not very exciting) and climbed Temple 5. You're not allowed to climb some of the steps anymore, so wooden ladders/stairs have been built up the side. Incredibly steep wooden ladders. On the way up I looked down several times, and was convinced I'd plummet to my death when coming back down. And I was by myself, not in a tour group which made me even more anxious. And when I finally got to the top, I couldn't see Temples 3 or 4 from there, which was a bummer. Anyway, made it back down safely, and went back to the hotel through the East Plaza and Central Acropolis.

After another much-needed shower (can't describe how bad my clothes smell!), I went for a wander around the museum. Again surprised by how much I understood, but got fed up of reading Spanish after a while. Interesting photos of how the temples looked during the restoration tho. I went for lunch to one of the comedors nearby, checked out of the hotel, and then waited for the shuttle back to the airport.

The plane on the way back was even smaller. Four seats across, and about eleven rows. And there were no huge jet engines that I'm used to. We had propellors instead. This one really was like a private jet. We were a bit late getting back to Guatemala City and I was worried the shuttle would go without me, but when I got outside, there was my driver with a sign with my name on it. I felt so important!

Took forever to get out of the city. As you're driving through, you don't realise what the terrain is like. From the air, you can see huge ravines cutting the city into chunks. When driving, you only really drive over one huge bridge and then around a few hills. Apparently Christmas in Guatemala is sponsored by Gallo, the national beer. There is a huge tree in the city, not with an angel or star on top, but with a huge rotating "Gallo" logo. Gallo, by the way, means cockerel, and the logo is a cockerel's head.

I was back in Antigua by 7pm, and after checking what time we were leaving for Monterrico tomorrow, I went to an Italian restaurant for supper. I started reading Robinson Crusoe, but fell asleep quite quickly.

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