Saturday, January 31, 2015

Belize Part 3: Guatemala #Huh?

As is customary of my blogs, by the time I write my last entry of a certain vacation, fatigue sets in (surely for the reader, as well!). Therefore, what has now also become customary, my recollection of exploring Mayan ruins in Tikal National Park in Guatemala, and cave tubing in Belize - will be reviewed via photos! Yay!

That's a boarding pass at the San Pedro airport. For a 7am flight, we got to the airport at 6:40-ish. Costs around $35US to fly one-way to Belize City. 
Not that a 7a flight was easy. #ReasonsUndisclosed
This plane did not have any issues with 5-oz liquids.
Or cameras being right up in the cockpit.
Hasta, San Pedro.  
Part of the Belize-Guatemala border. Yeah. Not too exciting.
Guatemalan cow welcoming us.

So according to Fodors, seeing Tikal is along the same must-see human structures like Machu Picchu and Angkor Wat.  With that type of hype, I figured I had to go see it, as the likelihood of being down in this area again seemed slim. There are several tours out of San Pedro, either day tours or overnight tours. We did an overnight with, who I'd highly recommend. The owner, Jovan, is very accommodating and tries to tailor each trip to the customer's needs.
There are around 4000 total structures at Tikal, according to our guide. The Mayans originally settled there around 900 BC, but most of the huge temples seen were built between the 600-900 AD.
From a bird's eye view, you can't really see to much. This was for protective purposes. I'd liken it to how the Merry Men lived in "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves." Wait - they lived in trees. Maybe that doesn't work. This is the view from the tallest temple in Tikal.
Temple IV. 
A sign leading to Jeff Goldblum's house.
Grassy noll? Not quite, there's actually a huge temple underneath all this foliage. Only 10% of Tikal has been fully excavated. So when you see what appear to be grassy hills, you're actually looking at temples that haven't been dug out. As our guide mentioned, the archaeologists down there like to go nice and slow for job protection! Why do something today if you can do it tomorrow? Hmmm….
The previous picture could look like this under all the grass!
The city plaza area. This is where they had bonfires and listened to Mumford and Sons records.
That temple has a Gisele-effect on photos - just makes them look better.
Tikal. The Ruins.

This is a rough model of what's been excavated at Tikal thus far. It helps you realize what you're looking at, because otherwise you can't see the ruins for the trees.
The view from our hotel in San Ignacio. Great view. Awful hotel. Don't stay at the Cahal Pech Village Resort. The pics look rad, the website's solid. Mosquitos flying around, towels and bed sheets were debatably clean, shower curtain broken, no soap holder in shower, and the most annoying of all - the bathroom faucet spout doesn't extend far enough into the sink, so your hands have to touch the sink. Ugh. The lodging was included in our tour deal. 
As were some bomb breakfast burritos from this hole-in-the-wall. Eggs, ham, bacon, cheese, and beans for $1.50US. What a deal! Oddly, Mickey's Snack Shop doesn't have a website. #ActuallyIDidntCheckAndAmOnlyAssuming
They're big "Wire" fans here. Only saw one "Marlo" sign.
So cave rafting in Belize is a fun, seemingly unique Belizean attraction. We went to Nohoch Che'en, about an hour outside of San Ignacio, which features a series of large, dark caves that you can float through.
Our cave entrance point.
There's a slight difference between cave tubing and cave rafting. Rafting is currently only available thru my man, Jovan, at Belize Jungle Trek. Instead of a small inner tube, which is attached to other tubes so people don't get separated from their groups, rafting gives you more of an inflatable raft and paddle, offering far more independence on the tour.
Most of the cave pics are too dark to see anything. It's a relaxing float. It's very much like the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland, without the large drunk lady chasing random pirates. If you could bring an inner tube with a cooler, it might be even that much better. Just saying…
From the outside looking in. Altogether you float about 3/4-mile.
Selfie because I wanted to show off that amazing playoff beard. #HairyBeast
After a relaxing float, this guy was cutting up fresh coconuts. The coconut water was delicious, then he offered to add free local rum, so of course I said sure. That was a mistake. Dude poured like 5 shots into this thing. It's 10:30am!!! I'm not looking to turn up right now!!
Crunk juice.
And just like that, poof, I was gone.

No comments:

Post a Comment