Ever want to be on
an episode of Survivor? Well, this is the place to do it!
is a national park in the Peten region of Guatemala. It is an
archaeologial site where they have been excavating Mayan ruins. You
have to use your imagination to think about what it would look like
hundreds of years ago when there were 100,000 Mayans living in this
area, and all the hills were buildings, marketplaces, and temples.
was the strongest spider web I've ever felt. It felt like fishing line
for sailfish. You definitely wouldn't want to walk through it. You
notice how I make Steve test it while I take the pictures!
The tall temples are only for worship or viewing of the royalty. All
the lower buildings are the homes and community buildings. What I found
exciting was the lack of any safety concerns so you could walk anywhere
you wanted, and climb to the top of just about any building. The steps
up were about as wide as your shoe sideways so it was not for the faint
was interesting that the guide said that there was little evidence
found of a lower class in the Mayan society. Most of the people
appeared to be high society and a merchant class in some areas. I don't
know if that meant that the society was so developed that everyone
lived well, or that the lower class had so little they had nothing to
leave for evidence.
howler and spider monkeys were out and Steve had to do his howler
monkey impression. If you've never heard them, they are loud and scary
in their efforts to make you go away. They always say, "Oh, they're
more scared of you than you are of them" but to hear them you might
is what the temples look like when they find them, more or less a hill
covered in trees and grass that turn out to be buildings underneath. It
is super expensive to try and restore these places and takes years to
do even a little bit as it is all done by hand.
You don't have to live in Georgia to find cicadas.These are just the
empty shells but they look like an army crawling up the tree.
you can get a little perspective of the heights of the tree and temples
with Steve as your guide in the picture. If anything ever does happen
to Steve, I'll probably have a picture of it.
You look out across the jungle and you see the stone temples poking up
through the trees. It is wild to think about the days when the Mayan
kings would survey their domain and I'm guessing commune with their
gods as they had to have felt close to them at this height. It reminded
me of the tower of Babble as each place was higher than the last,
seemingly trying to reach closer to the heavens.
trip has a variety of sites and insects. We stayed in Flores, an island
town that was very peaceful and quaint, but still had a Burger King if
you needed a cheap meal.
could just be me, but I thought the stones looked like Mayan indian
was our ride to the airport. The little cars are called tuctucs and are
just plain fun!
is my wildlife montage. Below is a yellow woodpecker which I hadn't
seen before. The coatimundi were a huge troop that scampered right by
us in the park. Again, where else can you go and just stumble into
nature with no disclaimers?
word for anyone thinking about visiting Tikal would be 'repellent' to
ensure a fun trip. There are Mayan ruins all over Guatemala, including
the second ruins we visited at Yaxha. This was the park where they
actually filmed an episode of Survivor and our guide was on the crew so
he was telling us all about it.