The bus crossed the border from Honduras into a small Guatemalan town where my passport was given its entry stamp. I didn’t really notice the name of the town until I checked the passport stamp. Agua Caliente. Even with my rudimentary spanish I know that agua is water and caliente is hot. So I have been in hot water. Well it made me smile. The bus carried on to Flores where I checked into a hostel just outside the town. It seems it is a quite a distance to Tikal, so I think I will explore Flores tomorrow and Tikal the day after.
Tessa - I’ve been in Hot Water too but mine was in Peru!
17th June 1976 - Flores
Odd Tableau in Flores
Flores must be one of the most beautiful towns I have ever been to. It is an old world town built on an island on a clear blue lake, Access is by a single causeway. The town has extended to the lake shore, which is where I am staying, but the original town covers the whole island, and so it can not really be changed except by removing something first. I went swimming in the lake, gorgeous.
On a smaller island is a weird restaurant called the Palacio Maya. Access is by boat, you pay a local to take you across in a canoe. As we were going across we passed another canoe with a Mother and daughter in. The mother appeared to be picking nits from her daughters hair and throwing them into the lake. Making good use of the journey time, and nowhere for the child to escape.
Why did I say the restaurant was weird? It was covered with stuffed animals and skins. The food was very good though.
I took a picture of the band there which was quite unique. I went back into town in the evening. There seemed to be a party atmosphere everywhere. There was even a steel band playing in one of the streets. Walking back across the causeway to my hotel everyone was chatting and happy.
18th June 1976 - Tikal
I took the bus out to the ruins at Tikal to day. It is a fair way from Flores, but it is surrounded by forest so I think Flores is about the closest you can stay. The ruins are magnificent. Larger than Copan, though in some ways not as interesting. I climbed the stairs to the top of one of the large temples. Could do with being a bit fitter. Once I got there though the views of the site and of the surrounding jungle were incredible.
When I returned to Flores I has another swim in the lake and an evening walk around the island town. It seemed to be just as lively as last night.
If you have ever watched the original Star Wars film you will have seen Tikal. It appears for a few seconds after the Death Star is destroyed as the home of the rebel alliance.