Tikal Guatemala!

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We spent the last 2 days here in Tikal Guatemala. It’s a REAL jungle here. There are wild jaguars, crocodiles, and monkeys in the area. This place blows the ruins in Mexico out of the water. Here you can really imagine and see a whole Myan city. The pyramids are so tall and you can climb the stairs to the top of a lot of them. Our hotel is called the Tikal Inn and it’s so cute. Most guests get their own private hut with a grass roof. The inside is nice and clean with two beds and a bathroom. Each hut has its own porch which is nice. It only takes a few minutes to walk into the park with the ancient Myan city. The city is HUGE. You have to use your imagination to get an idea of what it would have looked like in its heyday. The jungle has completely taken over and covered the ruins. They say only 20% of the ruins have been excavated and the rest are still covered by trees and soil. It’s amazing that these trees have grown over stone. Their roots wind in and out of the ruins like veins. Every hill we see is a ruin that has yet to be excavated. It would be pretty amazing to see the whole thing if it ever gets completed. After spending a few days walking around looking at the temples I can see why it takes 6-10 years to excavate a single temple. Getting rid of the trees that have grown over the ruins probably takes half the time. As you walk through the jungle you just wonder what ruin you are walking over because every square inch of this place is part of the city. It’s a bit frustrating that we know so little about the Myan people. It’s hard to know what everything here REALLY was. Tom took a sunrise tour and we took a sunset tour together. On both tours you walk to the top of a temple and sit to watch the sun rise or set. There are so many ruins in the park. You could easily spend 2 days seeing everything. It would probably take 2 weeks if they had the whole city uncovered!

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On our way to the airport we stopped in Flores. Flores is a little city on a very small island. It’s a good place for tourists because it’s small and easy to walk around. There are plenty of shops and excursions you can book while on the island. Although it was cute, I am glad we decided to stay in Tikal. A lot of the reviews said to stay in Flores and I really don’t see why. We took a Tuk Tuk back to the airport. The Tuk Tuk was SO cute! I’ve used this form of transportation in other Asian countries before, but I’ve never seen them outside of Asia. Tom had seen them before too, but he had never ridden in one. He used to be a “tour group ONLY” type of traveler before we met. So I assume his traveling was pretty limited due to the nature of the typical “tour group”. I don’t like traveling in a regimented group because it takes away your freedom and the ability to discover the area you’re in. Plus you save a LOT of money when you find local transportation and book your own excursions. When we were in Scotland Tom was trying to book us on a tour group and it was going to cost over $1,000 per person for THREE days! I talked him into renting a car for $200 for two weeks and we got to see the whole country. We saved money and we got to see every bit of Scotland. We even got to stay in a castle!

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I can tell we are missing our monster baby Audrey because we keep copying her NO’s. Actually she says “NO” like “DOE” so it’s extra cute. She usually sticks her hand out while she yells “DOE”.  So anytime Tom and I have to say no we just say DOE! Even though we miss her so much it’s probably better she didn’t come this time. She’s a very busy baby. I think she would have had so much fun here, but the traveling would be excruciating for her……….and us. When she gets to a more travel friendly age she’ll come with us. Last year we took her to Nicaragua with us and that was nice. She wasn’t mobile yet so she was content to let us carry her the whole time. Now that she walks she doesn’t want anything to do with us! I know she’s having fun with her grandma. She’s getting spoiled that’s for sure!

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