|This is a panorama Scott took from the top of Temple 2 looking towards Temple 1 over the central square of the complex|
|One of a troupe of spider monkeys that entertained us.|
|Sitting around the lovely pool at the Jungle Lodge|
Tikal has been partially restored by the University of Pennsylvania and the government of Guatemala. The pyramids, palaces and monuments are built of limestone and some tower over 230 feet high. Broad causeways built of packed and plastered limestone linked the various sections of the city. The central city held as many as 90,000 but maybe over 400,000 lived around it.
We were able to climb 2 of the tallest pyramids on wooden staircases built to stop the harm from tourists climbing the stairs (and to keep them from harming themselves). On our second day there we got up at 3:45 am and went on the Sunrise Tour - hiking over an hour in the dark through the jungle to the "music" of the howler monkeys and birds to the tallest temple at the site, number 4. We climbed to the top and sat in the dark to watch the sun come up. Unfortunately the mist was so strong we didn't see a thing! But it was atmospheric for sure.
As I mentioned earlier, we had to make our own way back to the Rio Dulce. We took a "collectivo" leaving from the bus station at Flores - it was PACKED with people and things. To the point that Scott and I had our legs up in the air at times. The driver had to unload the pile in the front of the mini bus every time anyone got on or off - which was often. And his driving was hair raising at times. Needless to say - no seat belts. But we got back safely. Now we hope to head down the river tomorrow and over to Belize on Wednesday. Wish us luck!
|Temple 3 is only partially restored, the top and|
the bottom are uncovered
|The view near the top of Temple 4 from the wooden stairs|
|Scott sitting at the top, that's my knee at the|
bottom - this is Temple 4 in the daytime.
|From there you can see the tops of several pyramids in the distance|
|Temple 2 - we climbed up to the top on a wooden ladder and took the panorama you can see on the top of the blog|
|Temple 1 and the central courtyard|
|The turkeys here have marvelous plumage|
|Scott waits next to me in the dark|
|You can get an idea how steep it is.|
|The huge acropolis on one side of the main square. The palapa roofs protect some of the remaining carvings and stelas|
|Scott's legs are packed in with all the luggage - which has to be removed|
|We thought they couldn't get one item more in the bus until|
this woman came in and found a place to stand!