Time is a really big theme on this trip so far. As in; I never knew so much of it existed in the world. When relationships are your focus, and punctuality, rushing through things, etc. are totally frowned upon, you realize how much superficial stuff you were filling your day with. Also, without television, a cell phone, or a computer in my house, I’m getting a heck of a lot more sleep and thinking in each day.

We´ve spent a week here in San Andres, and have decided to only spend one more week instead of the original two, and expect to be in Belize on Saturday! I’m excited and ready for a change. Or a toilet. Or a sink. Or a shower. I’m hoping they have those there. We take a bus this saturday morning to the Carib Coast.

katie reading menus by headlamp….

Speaking of Bob Marley, one of the many hilarious stereotypes we have encountered here is that the moment a Gringo walks into a Guatemalan establishment, they start playing what we´ve dubbed ¨the Gringo Mix,¨ a general jam of Marley tunes. We went to a restaurant last night, and they immediately put on the Marley. Then I asked the guy if we could listen to music in español. He said “sí,” and put on Nsync’s Spanish album, followed by Christina Aguilera. Hilarious.

We’ve met some other intesesting travelers here in Flores, which is weird because the town is this big, as in the size of my comma. I met Manuela, a tiny little German thing, who plays in a rock band and is doing archaeological work on Tikal. The band she’s in is playing some big festival called Oktoberfest, don’t know if you’ve heard of it, and she’s flying back to play!

I also met a Romanian-Canadian girl who asked me to translate “if your dog bites me i will burn down your house” for her. Not joking.

The dogs are a little aggresive here at night. You have to walk around with a rock to throw at them, and when they advance, say ¨¨CHU CHO!¨¨ so they go away. Be careful though, because if you just say ¨¨CHU¨¨ that means attack. and if you say ¨CHU CHU¨ that means boobies. Hahaha Guatemala is so funny.

Tikal at Sunrise

We went to Tikal this morning! And I mean morning! We left our houses at 3am to travel by chicken bus (I’m sorry Mom, i know i promised not to take one) to be at the Temple of the Sun by sunrise. Our driver woke up late, and seemed to be a little drunk, which was neat, so he was speeding and we almost killed a dog on the way there. It was four in the morning and men were out riding bikes to work and walking with horses in pitch black night fog. Only in Guate.

Our group ended up being the first people in, and we sped through with our guide by flashlight only. He suggested to watch out for the roots of trees, because thats where tarantulas like to hang out. It was funny because the path was COVERED WITH ROOTS. But we survived. The sunrise never really happened, it was super fogged in, but the scene was straight out of Star Wars Return of the Jedi! I WAS IN THE EWOK FOREST!!!!!!! I walked around the whole time doing my ewok impressions to myself.

This is my “I’m in a Mayan ruin!” face

Have you ever heard a howler monkey? For such a cute little monkey, they make sounds that make you think a hungry tiger is about to pounce on you. So fun. The Mayans were incredible. And natural parks outside of the US are awesome! No rules! No care for your safety! No security! We were scrambling up and down and all over these ancient ruins. We climbed up 100 plus steps of a vertical ladder to cling to the sides of a Queen´s sacred temple and take photos, and walked over ant highways (bugs are a huge theme on this trip) and paid like ten dollars for a Pepsi at eight in the morning.

My pictures are amazing. I felt so lucky to be there. It was really eerie. And they’ve only uncovered 15 percent of the total ruins there are to be excavated. I was tripping OUT. There are just mounds of earth every where that the jungle has grown over, and the guide is like “oh yeah thats a temple, thats a kiln, thats a this that and the other” but its covered with trees and hundreds of years of dirt. We need to get Indiana Jones on this STAT.

I´m so excited for Belize I can´t stand myself. I miss everyone! besitos to the billion


They used to throw bodies down these steps…
..lets totally climb up that temple!

198-GringaDiaries: Guate has bugs the size of your FACE! (racheldangerw.wordpress.com)

199 – GringaDiaries: Street Smart in Guatemala (racheldangerw.wordpress.com)

195 – I’m in Guatemala! (racheldangerw.wordpress.com)

196 – Gordita Loves Flores, Guatemala! (racheldangerw.wordpress.com)

197 – Gordita Loves Flores, Guatemala! (racheldangerw.wordpress.com)