Tikal, Zip Line, and Markets

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Yesterday, we visited Tikal. The most impressive Mayan ruins in Central America. It would take a couple days to see everything, since Tikal is in fact a city, so we just saw the highlights with the time we had. Rather then try to describe how incredible this place was, I’ll leave it to the pictures which will, of course never give the sheer grandeur of the site justice, but certainly can do pretty good job. Or you know, you watch Return of the Jedi, which has about a 6-second scene here.

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Short Term Travel: The Tradeoff.

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Lake Peten Itza

In the past few years, my travel has been, at it’s shortest one month in length. I usually tout the benefits of such travel, and generally believe its incredibly difficult to really see a country for any less than three weeks. Even then, you mostly only scratch the surface, catch glimpses, get a taste. But I do believe this sort of quick ten day jaunt is still an incredibly worthwhile venture, but for entirely different reasons.

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Thunderstorms and Horseback Riding

Arriving late afternoon to La Lancha, the sky had been an ominous grey threatening to downpour at any moment. Light trickles punctuated the evening, but by dinner the skies were clear. We went to bed listening to the light mist spray across our windows. My dreams were vivid and turbulent, matching the building energy in the air. Howler monkeys whined softly somewhere in the distance, while the wind picked up, extinguishing the low flicker of the candles outside. A gecko scurried across the roof, an insect buzzed somewhere above, the overhead fan clicked in a slow rhythm. In a half conscious daze I heard the rain pick up, turning from a light trickle to a full force downpour. As I began to slip back into unconsciousness, letting the sound of rain falling on our thatched roof lull me back to sleep, a thunder clap, louder than I’ve ever heard enveloped the entire night. All other sounds muted, it sounded as if something had crashed directly into our room. Startled and dazed I braced as if the roof might be collapsing. But nothing happened. Just the sound of rain once again. It felt surreal, and I wasn’t sure it had actually happened, but the next boom reassured me it had. The sky remained pitch black, if there was lightening, it never lit up the sky. It was just thunder, rain, and the thick feeling of humidity nearing 100%. And just as quickly as it came, it was over. Morning revealed blue skies, as if the calamity of the previous night hadn’t happened at all.

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Candles at night.

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The Road to Guatemala

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I’ve lost my sunglasses. Again. I always do this. For some reason, on trips it’s the one thing I continually misplace. I have yet to be pickpocketed, or leave my phone on a train, but evidentially I am incapable of maintaining possession of my sunglasses. My favorite ray-bans are currently somewhere in a sand dune in Peru. I don’t know why, but this greatly frustrates me, I don’t really bring pairs I’m super attached to, so the thought that my persols had foreven been lost was more of an inconvenience than anything else. But, I do feel as if by being so careless with them I’m somehow letting myself down as a traveler, that this is an indication of a lack of travel savvy. I was luckily, able to locate them, and retrieve them in San Ignacio on our way to Guatemala. I’m guessing this isn’t the first, or last time I’ll do something like this, or, perhaps get my laptop stuck in a safe in Cuzco. Worse things could happen while traveling, and I’m extremely lucky that this (and a few flight cancelations, and broken-down vehicles) have been the pinnacle of travel disruptions. So perhaps, this was my travel karma, and everything else will be perfectly smooth from now on, heres to hoping anyway!

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