We left Cool M Farm in San Ignacio, Belize early-ish in the morning on Sunday and the border crossing with Guatemala was easy enough. It was quiet and we didn’t experience any problems. A bus-ride of a couple of hours later, we arrived in Flores. Flores is the main tourist town for a trip to Tikal.
Neil, the son-in-law of the owner of the hostel we stayed in took pity on us as we were passing time playing Bananagrams in the shaded common area to avoid the hottest time of day. With temperature over 35 degrees Celcius it was pretty hard-going and sweaty. He owns another hostel Chal Tun Ha Lodge a short boat ride away with a swimming pool and asked us if we wanted to spend some time there. Yes, please!! So we spent the rest of the afternoon in the swimming pool with a fantastic view of the island, Flores. We watched the sun go down before he dropped us back in his boat.
The next day we visited Tikal. It is one of the largest archaeological sites and urban centres of the pre-Columbian Maya civilization. It is located in the archaeological region of the Petén Basin in what is now northern Guatemala. Situated in the department of El Petén, the site is part of Guatemala’s Tikal National Park and in 1979 it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The tour was pretty amazing and the children enjoyed it too.
On Tuesday evening, we took the night bush from Flores to Guatemala City. It left at 8.30pm and arrived at 5.30am. The kids were fine, they had a great night sleep but John and I hardly slept a wink and it was so, so cold. What is it with bus drivers cranking up the air conditioner up to arctic temperatures? At 6am we were picked up for another bus ride to Antigua, our next stop. We have now checked into a hostel for the night and hoping to settle in an apartment tomorrow and will stay there until the end of May. Spanish course is the next goal. First impressions of Antigua are great, it is small enough for it to be easy accessible by foot but big enough to not get bored straight away. It also has an enormous market with lots of fresh foods so I can’t wait to get into the apartment and cook some decent meals as we’ve had too many snacks and junk foods lately. Eating healthy on the road is sometimes a bit of a challenge.
But best of all, after sweating in unbearable temperatures of 36 – 38 degrees Celcius the last few days it is great to be higher up in the mountains and find ourselves here in a comfortable 25 degrees. We will need jumpers in the evenings and mornings. Now that is going to be a novelty.