Sunday, February 28, 2010

The packing list.

C
ountdown to when I leave for a trip always begin for me with putting together the packing list. By this time, all research and planning has been done and I have a good idea of what I need to bring with me. I'm a bit obsessive about planning so the packing list is usually in the works at least two to three weeks before I leave. I know, it's obsessive but that's me :-)
Over all my trips, I've learned what I really need to bring with me. I now have a tried and true list of items. Even then, I do need to put together list as some of the items do have to change to reflect the travel, weather and health conditions of the place I'm going to.


Sunday, February 14, 2010

Tikal.

Deep in the heart of the lush Guatemalan jungle, lies the ruins of one of the greatest cities of Mayan civilization, Tikal.

Lore has it that Tikal was discovered in 1848 by Ambrosio Tut and Modesto Mendez, who were respectively, the Commissioner and the Governor of the Petén department which is the *province* that Tikal is located in. On a return visit to the site, they brought along an artist who recorded some of the carvings at Tikal. Their findings were published by the Berlin Academy of Sciences in 1853. It was only a matter of a few years before curious scholars started traveling from the corners of the world to see for themselves what they had discovered. Flash forward to the 20th century. From 1956 through 1970, major archaeological excavations were carried out by the University of Pennsylvania Tikal Project. They mapped much of the site and excavated and restored many of the structures. The Tikal Project recorded over 200 monuments at the site. In 1979, the Guatemalan government began a further archeological project at Tikal, which continued through to 1984.  The site was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1979.