Friday, March 26, 2010

Killing time in Flores.


If there was eve such a thing as a sleepy little town, on an island in the middle of a lake, Flores would be it. It's a s-l-e-e-p-y place.  I think we walked every street on the island and there were few people out and about.

After spending the morning touring Tikal, we had about 6 hours to kill before we had to get to the bus station in nearby Santa Elena to catch the bus back to Guatemala City.


So, what to do to pass the time?

We started with a walk around the island.  It's so small, I think it took us about 1/2 hour which included stops along the way to soak in the tranquil views of Lake Petén Itzá.


After we circumvented the lake, we walked uphill towards the center of town.













At the top of the hill, where the street dead ended, was a small park surrounding by a handful of shops and the town's church which for some reason, I initially thought as the police station. I think it was the wrought iron fence that gave me the impression.


















We entered the church. The interior was painted a cheerful yellow color and the pews beckoned us to sit and rest for a few minutes which we did. It was a welcome reprieve from the heat and humidity outside.








A few minutes rest and we were back outside to explore the rest of the little park. To no surprise, there was a Sarita stand there. Of course, we had indulge ourselves in a sweet treat with the excuse that we needed to try more exotic flavors of their luscious ice cream. Yes, us gluttons will come up with any excuse to eat :-)


We found a shady spot to sit and enjoy our ice cream concoctions and the enjoy the view of the lake from the highest point on the island.


After our refreshment break, we continued our walk through town and soon found ourselves on the streets where all the souvenir shops are located. The guys decided to do some shopping. I decided to find places to sit, people watch and rest my feet as by this time, I had been on them for nearly 9 hours!

As the sun set, we decided to catch an early dinner so we found a restaurant with an open air balcony that had lakeside views. We were in no rush so we took our time eating. We actually *dined* :-)

We headed back to the hotel around 7:30p thinking that was when we needed to back to catch our ride to the bus station but it turned out we were early. The bus didn't leave til 9p and the bus station was only about a 10 minute ride from the hotel so we decided to wait til past 8p before leaving. We passed the time chatting in the hotel lobby.

We arrived into the bus station at Santa Elena around 8:30p. Surprisingly, there were quite a few people there waiting for their buses to arrive as well. We checked in at the Linea Dorada counter and took a seat to wait.






The bus pulled into the bus station on time and all got on board after going through a quick security check of our backpacks. We settled into our seats and prepared ourselves, in our own separate ways, for the overnight journey back to Guatemala City. The Ang Bros passed their time watching a Mexican comedy that was streamed over TV screens hanging from the ceiling of the bus. I, too, started to watch the movie but fell asleep a few minutes into the movie. It had been a long day and I was tired.

It was a truly memorable visit to Tikal and the bus journey to and from was an adventure unto itself. We enjoyed ourselves these past two days but now we were all looking forward to returning to Antigua. Buenas noches Guatemala!