Dispatch: Central America Day 4 -Tikal, Guatemala

We visted the ancient ruins of Tikal today, and I most definitely will get many photos up just as soon as I find a suitable USB port.  Here in Flores, I’m on an outdated computer that is miraculously somehow running Windows Vista in Spanish, no doubt pirated, but it seems to be lacking an USB or other ports. When we arrive in Antigua tomorrow we’ll be staying put for the first time since our journey began. We’ll be spending a week there, giving me an opportunity to do a little more diligent work. I’ve got my radio recording equipment here as well, so just as soon as I get to that USB port, I’ll have plenty of photos and even sounds from Tikal for you.
Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, Tikal. Absolutely marvelous. We were up at five this morning to catch the six A.M. bus from our guesthouse on Flores Island for the hour trip up to Tikal through the jungle. Tikal is surrounded by thousands of acres of preserve that takes up the Northern part of Guatemala. It’s gotta be the only place I’ve ever seen Snake, Jaguar and Turkey Crossing signs.

After a short hike from the main entrance of the ruins, you walk through dense jungle and suddenly emerge in the magnificent Grand Plaza, where two ancient pyramids rise over ten stories above the jungle canopy.  On either side are mostly excavated acropolis(es?).  I spent a lot of energy today climbing rickety wooden stair that take you up the side and to the top of at least three of the ancient monuments from a Kingdom that last possibly longer than two millenia. I can’t really do it justice here, photos are on the way!