Thursday, November 06, 2008

Guatemala: Of Mountains, Monkeys, and Maya

Guatemala packs a hell of a lot into a small country. After travelling around it for a week, I feel like I’ve been here a month! I’ve been caught in a stampede of Catholics, my friend has been robbed, I’ve fought with monkeys, had tarantulas crawl on me, climbed 70m Mayan ruins, been marooned on an island, and watched an election in Spanish.

After a 28hr transit from Moscow (nobody told me Moscow-LA was 13hrs?), I landed bleary-eyed in Guatemala City, and hightailed it to Antigua, a stunning ancient colonial city nestled between three volcanoes, one sufficiently active to regularly be sending large plumes of ash into the sky. The town is a colourful mix of plazas, cobblestone streets, and fountains, with a predominantly local Maya population (over 60% of Guatemalans are Mayan). I happened to arrive the day after “Day of the Dead”, and was witness to a massive procession of devout Catholics carrying a semi-trailer-sized coffin of Jesus & Co. through the streets for 8hrs (& I used to think my ex-girlfriend occasionally dragging me to a church was excessively pious).

I joyfully meet up with my friend Kenna, another world traveller, who I last saw in Kathmandu. Our routes had overlapped during the year, and it was great to see her again. Unfortunately, we had a taste of the omnipresent risk in Guatemala, as she had her bag slashed and wallet stolen as we watched the Catholic procession (bringing up an interesting debate as to the piousness of the perpetrators- which would add to the list the Catholic church has to answer to).

Early the next morning I wound my way through the highlands to the beauty of Lake Atitlan, who’s surrounding villages are perched on the slopes of the huge volcanoes that ring the lake. I spent a pleasant time boating my way between villages, fending off determined Mayan souvenir vendors, and eating felafel (don’t ask) before the lure of Antigua drew me back.

A day later, I was deep in the jungles of Northern Guatemala, hiking into the ruined Mayan city of Tikal. Holy sh$t this place is impressive. For my first massive Mayan complex this place is hard to beat. At least 8 structures tower over 50m above the flat forest floor, breaching the rainforest canopy and allowing extraordinary views across the complex (any of you who have seen Star Wars where the rebel force leaves the base to take on the Death Star have seen the same view).

As you wander from temple to temple, monkeys chase each other through the canopy, coutis, agoutis, anteaters and god knows what else (we saw fresh jaguar tracks) charge through the undergrowth, and toucans & parrots flit through the ruins. The wildlife was almost as enthralling as the (seriously impressive) ruins. I was less enthused when a large tarantula made an appearance, but I eventually let him take a stroll up my arm.

Much of the site is yet to be uncovered, which gives a visitor a real feel for how the last Mayans or early explorers would have seen them. The absence of visitors or security allows you to clamber and explore as far as the wildlife will let you, and the mood and colours of the site change markedly with the time of day.

Arising before sunrise the next morning (you know how enthused about something I have to be to get me out of bed that early), I was sorely tempted to join in the noisy poop fight between two howler monkeys that had been keeping me awake much of the night, but I figured I’d already need the extra shower later, as I had many more kilometres of ruins to explore in the jungle humidity.

That night, I returned to Flores- Guatemala’s answer to Venice, a tiny, heavily populated island joined by a causeway in the middle of a lake. Like Venice, the island’s sole mission seems to be in fleecing tourists, as it’s apparently only occupied by hotels, bars, and Internet cafes, but with permanent happy hours of Cuba Libres for $1, I figured it was pointless to complain, and therefore my duty to help the local economy as best I could.

The next morning, only a seat by the lake with tacos and guacamole, Coke from a glass bottle, my laptop & free wireless could soothe my pounding head (damn that cheap rum), as I solved the world’s problems over Skype, and awaited my flight to El Salvador.

Photos are here.

Worldguide is here.

111 comments:

Ariel Barack said...

But I do want to ask ! Falafel ??? Ima would be proud, but why ?

Cam said...

Because it was there, I was hungry, and you KNOW how I love Hummus. :)

Anonymous said...

xanax online buy xanax online discover card - pass mouth swab drug test xanax

Anonymous said...

diazepam 10mg diazepam 5 mg rectal - diazepam to buy

Anonymous said...

buy valium valium dosage dental procedures - yellow pill valium 5

Anonymous said...

ambien zolpidem zolpidem tartrate purchase - ambien cr ( zolpidem tartrate)

Anonymous said...

generic lorazepam ativan side effects blurred vision - info lorazepam 1mg tablets

Anonymous said...

diazepam 5mg the drug diazepam - buy 5mg diazepam online usa

Anonymous said...

cheap xanax online xanax mg - xanax bar quotes

Anonymous said...

zolpidem ambien zolpidem erowid - zolpidem rb 82

Anonymous said...

buy diazepam diazepam 10 mg effects - liquid diazepam for dogs

Anonymous said...

xanax 1mg generic xanax ingredients - 500 xanax bars

Anonymous said...

lorazepam online ativan medication - ativan 733

Anonymous said...

discount xanax xanax side effects heart - xanax and alcohol heath ledger

Anonymous said...

buy xanax bars cheap xanax online no rx - how to buy xanax online

Anonymous said...

ambien sale lunesta vs ambien cost - drug interaction ambien and vicodin

Anonymous said...

ambien sale lowest price ambien cr - ambien date drug

Anonymous said...

buy soma online soma drug fun - order soma online cod

Anonymous said...

cheap valium online no prescription valium dosage for dogs - will 10mg valium do

Anonymous said...

buy valium online legally cheap valium online no prescription - valium vs xanax

Anonymous said...

buy soma online ativan soma drug interactions - buy soma in texas

Anonymous said...

buy ambien online ambien cr coupon discount - ambien on drug screen

Anonymous said...

cheapest valium valium used treat anxiety - buy valium from canada

Anonymous said...

valium online valium for sale in china - how strong 5mg valium

Anonymous said...

Blogger: The International Mutt - Post a Comment prednisone 5mg - prednisone acne http://www.ourdailybreadmarket.net/#prednisone-acne

Anonymous said...

Blogger: The International Mutt - Post a Comment where can i buy acomplia online - buy generic acomplia http://www.a6soft.com/#buy-generic-acomplia

Anonymous said...

Blogger: The International Mutt - Post a Comment prednisolone online - prednisolone without prescription http://www.ourdailybreadmarket.net/#prednisolone-without-prescription

Anonymous said...

Blogger: The International Mutt - Post a Comment buy prednisone - buy prednisone online http://www.ourdailybreadmarket.net/#buy-prednisone-online

Anonymous said...

Hi, MoxoredapeTox generic effexor - generic effexor online http://www.effexorcostonline.com/#generic-effexor-online

Anonymous said...

Hi, MoxoredapeTox buy ambien online no prescription - purchase ambien http://topandhra.com/#purchase-ambien

Anonymous said...

Canidates War On Drugs discount prednisone - generic prednisone http://www.prednisone4sale.com/#generic-prednisone

Anonymous said...

Urine Drug Screen Legal Chlorpheniramine cheap acomplia - purchase acomplia http://www.buydiscountedisotretinoin.net/#purchase-acomplia

Anonymous said...

Hello, cheap accutane - accutane no prescription http://www.wheretobuymedsonline.com/accutane/

Anonymous said...

Diet Drugs Forums Adipex acomplia online - generic acomplia http://www.buydiscountedisotretinoin.net/#generic-acomplia

Anonymous said...

Hello, sumatriptan price - sumatriptan no prescription http://www.oparticular.net/#sumatriptan-no-prescription

Anonymous said...

Hello, lipitor without prescription - cheap atorvastatin http://www.costoflipitoronline.net/#cheap-atorvastatin

Anonymous said...

Hello, buy generic lipitor - lipitor no prescription needed http://www.costoflipitoronline.net/#lipitor-no-prescription-needed

Anonymous said...

Hello, buy generic lipitor online - cheap lipitor 40 mg http://www.costoflipitoronline.net/#cheap-lipitor-40-mg

Anonymous said...

Hello, lipitor online no prescription - buy atorvastatin no prescription http://www.costoflipitoronline.net/#buy-atorvastatin-no-prescription

Anonymous said...

Hello, cytotec medication - order cytotec no prescription http://www.cytotecforlessonline.net/#order-cytotec-no-prescription

Anonymous said...

advitleva order premarin - order premarin online http://www.premarindiscount.com/

Anonymous said...

advitleva seroquel xr - seroquel 50 mg http://www.seroqueldiscounts.com/

Anonymous said...

Health And Medicine In Islam buy cheap sibutramine - cheap reductil http://www.meridiaonlineorder.net/#cheap-reductil , reductil for sale

Anonymous said...

Oprah Drugs buy reductil online no prescription - meridia diet pills http://www.meridiaonlineorder.net/#meridia-diet-pills , [url=http://www.meridiaonlineorder.net/#buy-sibutramine ]buy sibutramine [/url]

Anonymous said...

tfv buy generic maxalt - cheap maxalt online http://www.maxaltonlinesale.net/#order-maxalt, [url=http://www.maxaltonlinesale.net/#order-maxalt]generic maxalt online [/url]

Anonymous said...

tmd buy lamisil online - buy lamisil http://www.lamisilonlinerx.net/#purchase-lamisil, [url=http://www.lamisilonlinerx.net/#purchase-lamisil]terbinafine without prescription [/url]

Anonymous said...

xrh generic for strattera - generic for strattera medication http://www.stratteraforsale.net/#generic-for-strattera-medication , [url=http://www.stratteraforsale.net/#buy-atomoxetine-online ]buy atomoxetine online [/url]

Anonymous said...

Hello, female viagra - generic sildenafil http://www.viagraonlineoffers.com/#generic-sildenafil , [url=http://www.viagraonlineoffers.com/#generic-viagra ]generic viagra [/url]

Anonymous said...


4 Cymbalta Without Prescription - cheap cymbalta no prescription http://www.cymbaltaduloxetineorder.net/#cymbalta-60mg, [url=http://www.cymbaltaduloxetineorder.net/#cymbalta-generic]Order Cymbalta[/url]

Anonymous said...

6, imitrex for sale - imitrex for sale http://www.imitrexonlinebuy.com/#sumatriptan-no-prescription, imitrex sale online

Anonymous said...

6, no prescription klonopin - klonopin for sale online http://www.klonopinonlinediscount.com/#no-prescription-klonopin, [url=http://www.klonopinonlinediscount.com/#klonopin-without-prescription]order klonopin online[/url]

Anonymous said...

6, sumatriptan no prescription - buy generic imitrex online http://www.imitrexonlinebuy.com/#imitrex-for-sale, imitrex sale

Anonymous said...

3, order provigil - cheap modafinil http://www.provigilonlinediscount.com/#provigil-online-order, order provigil online

Anonymous said...

The article has confirmеԁ beneficiаl to me personally.
It’ѕ quite infоrmative and you гeally are obviously very experiencеd in
this fiеld. Yοu possеss opened our eyе in oгdeг tο numerοus opinіоn of this particular subjeсt with inteгesting and solіd content material.
Here is my web page :: ambien

Anonymous said...

Υour oωn wrіte-uρ pгovidеs established helpful tо me peгsonally.
It’s really educational and you're simply obviously extremely educated of this type. You possess opened up my personal eyes for you to varying opinion of this subject with intriguing, notable and solid written content.
Feel free to visit my web blog - ativan

Anonymous said...

Yοuг current рost feаtures proven helpful
tο me. Іt’s very helpful anԁ
you are ceгtainly eхtremely κnowledgеablе in thiѕ area.

You have popped my oωn ѕight to numerous viеws on this kind of ѕubject along ωіth intriguіng, notаble and reliable content material.
My web-site buy Klonopin

Anonymous said...

Your curгent post offers confiгmеd necessary to me persοnally.
It’s extremely informativе and you're simply naturally extremely knowledgeable in this region. You get popped my own eyes to be able to varying opinion of this specific subject matter together with intriguing, notable and sound articles.
Here is my webpage :: buy ambien

Anonymous said...

Hi, generic provigil - provigil online pharmacy http://www.provigilpills4sale.com/, [url=http://www.provigilpills4sale.com/]buy modafinil online no prescription [/url]

Anonymous said...

Li, Provigil Without Prescription - modafinil online pharmacy http://www.provigilbenefitsonline.net/, [url=http://www.provigilbenefitsonline.net/]Provigil Online[/url]

Anonymous said...

Your write-up featuгes ѵеrifiеd uѕeful to me.

It’s vегу useful anԁ
you're clearly extremely educated in this area. You get opened up my own eye in order to varying opinion of this specific topic using interesting and sound content.
Review my site :: Xanax Online

Anonymous said...

2, [url=http://www.ativangenericonline.com/]Ativan - The Anxiety Cure[/url] - Ativan - The Anxiety Cure - buy ativan no prescription http://www.ativangenericonline.com/ .

Anonymous said...

5, [url=http://www.nexiumpricewatch.net/] Generic Nexium [/url] - Buy Nexium - buy nexium no prescription http://www.nexiumpricewatch.net/ .

Anonymous said...

12, [url=http://www.costofklonopin.com/]Cheap Klonopin[/url] - Generic Klonopin - cheap klonopin no prescription http://www.costofklonopin.com/ .

Anonymous said...

Your own article offers verified useful to me personаlly.
It’s extremely informatiνe and you're naturally extremely experienced in this region. You have opened up our sight for you to varying opinion of this specific subject matter along with intriquing, notable and strong content material.
Here is my homepage - phentermine

Anonymous said...

Thе ωritе-uρ fеatures verifіed benеfiсial to mе.

It’s νery іnformative anԁ уоu're obviously very well-informed in this field. You possess popped my personal eye for you to varying thoughts about this particular matter along with intriguing and sound content material.
Also visit my web-site Xanax

Anonymous said...

Youг wrіte-up features establiѕhed helpful to myself.
It’s extremely informatіve and уοu're simply naturally quite well-informed in this region. You possess popped my own sight to be able to various views on this topic with intriquing, notable and sound content material.
Check out my weblog :: buy Valium

Anonymous said...

It's really very complex in this busy life to listen news on TV, therefore I simply use internet for that reason, and obtain the newest news. green coffee bean extract - green coffee bean extract au - green coffee bean extract au

My blog Pure green coffee Bean extract au

Anonymous said...

cialis no prescription3 cialis usesukcialis.co.uk
viagra 100mg viagra recreationalviagra 911

Anonymous said...

modafinil online modafinil x ritalinamodafinil effects
cialis cialis trialcialis $0.92

Anonymous said...

canadian pharmacy pharmacy couponspharmacy 24 hours
viagra no prescription viagra proviagra 70 year old

Anonymous said...

tadalafil online tadalafil y cervezatadalafil kaufen
cialis 20mg cialis online pharmacy ukgenuine cialis uk

Anonymous said...

tadalafil online tadalafil citrate liquidtadalafil no prescription needed
http://www.buyviagras.info/ viagra maximum dosageviagra discount

Anonymous said...

modafinil modafinil drugmodafinil 100
online ambien ambien 2.5ambien habit forming

Anonymous said...

cialis cialis киевcialis 30's 5mg tablet
http://www.tadalafile.info/ tadalafil becker muscular dystrophytadalafil young men

Anonymous said...

cialis in uk cialis uk bootscialis back pain
modafinil schedule modafinil jet lagmodafinil yawning

Anonymous said...

pharmacy one pharmacy checkerpharmacy 60622
cialis ingredients cialis retail pricecialis странични ефекти

Anonymous said...

ambien price ambien nauseaambien overdose treatment
viagra logo viagra 22 year oldviagra 70

Anonymous said...

viagra drug interactions viagra 40 year oldviagra natural
modafinil blood pressure modafinil 200mg side-effectsmodafinil usp

Anonymous said...

viagra and alcohol viagra 5 mgviagra directions
pharmacy goals pharmacy essaypharmacy manpower

Anonymous said...

pharmacy 24 hrs pharmacy newsletterpharmacy outlook
pharmacy quizzes pharmacy quality assurance programpharmacy quality commitment

Anonymous said...

ambien 78 ambien street priceambien xanax interaction
dapoxetine trial pack pharmacy 60622pharmacy salary

Anonymous said...

viagra russian singers viagra benefitsviagra jokes
cialis generic cheap cialis 20cialis wiki

Anonymous said...

pharmacy residency programs pharmacy benefit managementpharmacy escrow
pharmacy board ca pharmacy midyear 2012pharmacy 64111

Anonymous said...

pharmacy week games pharmacy jobs in mapharmacy fellowship
pharmacy 547 pharmacy degreepharmacy xanax

Anonymous said...

cialis как принимать сиалисcialis uses
buy modafinil online modafinil erowidmodafinil to study

Anonymous said...

cvs pharmacy online pharmacy yearly salarypharmacy 4 less
pharmacy in canada pharmacy xlpharmacy years of school

Anonymous said...

canadian pharmacy pharmacy tech salarypharmacy abbreviations
ambien online ambien on less than 8 hoursambien 74

Anonymous said...

http://www.reelorbit.com/ viagra brandviagra 75
viagra viagra amazonviagra 100

Anonymous said...

online modafinil modafinil mechanism actionmodafinil hangover
pharmacy pharmacy kaiserpharmacy uconn

Anonymous said...

generic viagra viagra for womenviagra discount card
http://www.buyviagras.info/ viagra 100mg price costcoviagra youtube

Anonymous said...

tadalafil online tadalafil y sildenafiltadalafil for pah
canadian pharmacy pharmacy 33401pharmacy times

Anonymous said...

online xanax xanax rebound anxietyxanax news
canadian pharmacy pharmacy 53pharmacy week ideas

Anonymous said...

viagra without prescription viagra best priceviagra interactions
buy dapoxetine dapoxetine 60 mg tabletsdapoxetine cipla

Anonymous said...

viagra gold viagra quick medviagra falls
cialis lowers blood pressure cialis цениcialis 80

Anonymous said...

viagra prescription viagra with alcoholviagra 300mg
pharmacy month pharmacy jobs nypharmacy internships summer 2013

Anonymous said...

cialis 0.25 cialis 75 oral liquidcialis with dapoxetine uk
valium ingredients valium gemvalium color

Anonymous said...

viagra how long viagra xlpharmacyviagra 30 off coupon
pharmacy personal statement pharmacy questionspharmacy license lookup

Anonymous said...

modafinil zyban modafinil japanmodafinil reviews
pharmacy calculations pharmacy week 2012pharmacy 3 year programs

Anonymous said...

pharmacy 2012 pharmacy personal statementpharmacy director salary
pharmacy quizzes pharmacy 4 youpharmacy ethics

Anonymous said...

cialis daily cialis viagra togethercialis reviews
pharmacy 07920 pharmacy labelspharmacy degree

Anonymous said...

http://www.buyambienonlines.com/ ambien first trimesterambien 479 rdy
pharmacy pharmacy 91711pharmacy 90403

Anonymous said...

http://www.modafinilonlinerx.info/ modafinil off label usemodafinil modalert
canadian pharmacy pharmacy quizzespharmacy 365

Anonymous said...

cialis generic cialis quick does workcialis leg pain
cialis without prescription cialis quick deliverycialis soft

Anonymous said...

cialis cialis uk kaufencialis bph
viagra viagra blood pressureviagra how it works

Anonymous said...

pharmacy online pharmacy newspharmacy 89128
http://www.genericcialis2013.info/ cialis just for funcialis overnight shipping

Anonymous said...

pharmacy pharmacy nashvillepharmacy prices
http://www.viagra4uk.co.uk/ viagra homemade6-apb viagra

Anonymous said...

buy dapoxetine dapoxetine 30mg price in delhidapoxetine label
cheap viagra 6-apb viagraviagra walgreens

Anonymous said...

http://www.canadianpharmacy4u.org/ pharmacy vialspharmacy discount network
valium valium bioavailability85 valium a day

Anonymous said...

dapoxetine online dapoxetine hcl dosagedapoxetine australia
generic viagra viagra 200mg reviewstosh.0 viagra gay challenge

Anonymous said...

cvs pharmacy online pharmacy week giftspharmacy gpo
buy dapoxetine dapoxetine saudi arabiaparoxetine vs sertraline

Anonymous said...

canadian pharmacy dapoxetine 120 mg premature ejaculationdapoxetine bangladesh
cialis cialis and alcoholcialis cheapest