Friday, March 9, 2012

Thursday, March 8 and Friday March 9, 2012:Tikal to G’mala City to San Jose, Costa Rico

Thursday morning we were up at 4:00, ready to begin walking by 4:50am through the jungle on rough paths with only flashlight, to the top of one of the TIkal Ruin temple to listen to the jungle waking up and wait for the sun to rise (there were 18 of us at the top).  It was dark in that jungle!  Not something I would want to do without a guide. As we walked it was so quite, but within minutes after we reached the top of the temple, a ‘howler monkey’ began his morning territorial call.  He was definitely the dominate male!  Then in the distance we heard another one relying to the first, it became a symphony as more joined in their morning wake up ritual.  It was unreal!  After a while the birds began their morning territorial calls.  The guide had brought coffee along for us, which was much appreciated after the 40 minute walk at that time of day.  
The only issue of the morning was the mist, and fog.  We soon realized we would NOT be seeing the sun rise.  The sun would have to burn off the fog first on this particular morning.  This was a disappointment, but the walk was worth listening to the jungle wake up. 

Rachel on Temple IV, White Nosed Coati looking for food
Temple IV in Morning Sun
Mundo Perdido Area, Temple only partially Uncovered

Dense Rain Forest
Tikal, at one point, was a large city of 222 sq miles, but with centuries neglect the rain forest grew up and over the buildings.  Only 8 sq miles of the city have been uncovered.  The remainder is still buried in the rain forest, with no plans of farther excavation.  All the resources are going into maintaining what is presently uncovered. They have also more recently found other ruins which are larger than Tikel – you must hike 2 days to reach these through rain forest or take a helicopter ($2000)
Cal & I took our time walking back to the lodge, returning to some of the temples and seeing more structures.  Breakfast was waiting when we returned.  We needed to check out of our room by , but did not leave for the airport until .  There is a museum in the park showing items they found while digging. 

It was an hour and a half +drive to the airport in Flores, this time in a 7 passenger van.  In Guatemala City we returned to the same B & B by the International Airport, which was so handy.  It was a very nice B & B.  We were tired as the last two mornings we have been up early.    

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