Guatemala Road Trip log 3 – Rio Dulce - North to Tikal
|Otilio, a really good man|
|Cattle country in the north|
The road north was the straightest road we had yet seen in Guatemala that gave me a great 6 hours practising Spanish with Otilio without major concern for road distractions. We passed the southwest corner of Belize with flags on the hill denoting the boundary and soon got into the cattle country province of Petén.
The final 40+ km from Flores to Tikal became progressively denser and signs warned of jungle wildlife, until we arrived at the Tikal Inn. We were early enough to join the evening sunset tour to the ruins, fortunately guided by an incredibly knowledgeable local girl, Fauvia. (I apologize for the miss-spelling). She was amazing. She knew the history in great detail, but shared it only to clarify the chronology, never as a self-aggrandizing exercise.
Her knowledge of the
local fauna and flora was equally extensive which proved fortunate when Paul
stepped within a meter of a Barba-amarilla, or more commonly known as the Fer-de-lance,
a deadly poisonous pit viper snake. Even as Fauvia pointed at the snake, we still had problems seeing it because the camouflage worked so well. Fauvia also spotted the small banded toucans,
the large yellow (fruitloops) toucans.
The spider monkeys and howler monkeys
were numerous enough to be readily seen. We encountered Pizotes, probably from the opossum family, and a small Guatemalan fox.
|Barba Amarillo, or Fer de Lance, a deadly Pit Viper|
I used the zoom and my outreached arms were not perfectly steady
but I was not getting any closer!
|A curious but shy Fox|
The architecture of Tikal is stunning with six tall pyramids, several can be climbed, giving impressive overviews of the acropolii, plazas and palace areas. The glyphs are carved in a much lower relief than those of Copan in Honduras but the history is being unravelled and the city-state allegiances over the millennia are being better understood.