Guatemala and Belize 14 Jan - 24 Feb 2015 travel blog

Furry Tarantula

Tikal Gran Plaza and the back of Gorgeous Joshua

Tikal Temple no. 2

Temple No 2 detail - not original!

View from hotel room across lake

Another hotel room view

22 January

Gorgeous Joshua met us to guide us around the Tikal complex and explain more about the Mayans. Their history is complicated and made more so by the unmemorable names of the towns and Heads. There were power struggles over time between Tikal and other places and some of this history explains why temples are where they are. Mainly, however, Tikal retrieved its prominent position and other settlements became mere satellites until Copan in Honduras became heavily populated. There are acres of national parkland around the site so you can walk for miles and get away from the main tourist sites.

The Gran Plaza is wonderful, some parts restored and others just cleared of the jungle and trees as far as possible. I climbed all the temples and Acropoli possible. Temple No 4 is the tallest with some 200 steps up it but not too difficult as they are not the original temple steps but a modern wooden staircase. I found the Acropolis much more challenging with fewer steps but very high ones, All this was worthwhile with either panoramic views or a bird’s eye view of the site.

I was able to take things leisurely as I return here on my Belize trip but did find I had enough time and will come back to relax in the fantastic Jungle Lodge which has a pool and wonderful accommodation in spacious bungalows.

Leaving the site we drove to Flores and had another one night stay in a very fine hotel on the lake shore. My room was wonderful – a corner with windows on two sides and overlooking the lake. It had a small verandah with a bench but only my laundry had time to enjoy it, sadly.

I, unusually, joined the group for a meal in a restaurant on an island where all the nightlife and fine restaurants are, so a later night than I have been having lately.

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