Suitcase and World: Tikal. Part 2.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Tikal. Part 2.

After my brother and Soon scaled down from Temple II, the gang headed off to the next site - Temple V.

We followed Aquilino, back along the stone paved causeways that link various parts of Tikal.  Quite amazing how the Mayans built what is essentially a system of roads to interconnect the sections of this ancient city.

It didn't take long to walk to Temple V.  First a photo op :-)

Front view of Temple V.

As with Temple II, you could climb up to the top for a birds eye view of Tikal. My brother and two of the other women in the group decided to head on up. I took one look at the steep, rickety ladder and decided to stay on the ground.

That's my brother on the bottom right.

Before we knew it, he had made it to the top!

Waving to  make sure we saw him.

According to my brother, there wasn't much of a ledge to stand on....there most certainly wasn't any sort of a wall or barrier to prevent you from tumbling over the edge and down a lot of stone! He did say the view was amazing and hopefully, that in itself was worth the climb up.

What comes up, must come down :-)

Back on the stone causeway. Our next destination....Temple IV which is the tallest of the five Tikal temples that are open to the public. Along the way, we passed as site simply called Seven Temples where there is a group of seven temples that arecheologists are currently excavating.

Continuing on our walk, we passed by another point where we got a closer view of Temple III.  Because it has not yet been fully excavated, this was as close as we were going to get.  Maybe the next time I come back to Tikal, I'll be able to scale it :-)

As we walked, we passed more ruins, including the only true *pyramid*. I don't know whether or not it's hollow inside or if it's used for the same purposes as Egyptian pyramids are. Anyway, we didn't linger to explore it....we kept moving on.

Then we reached this ruin.  For the life of me, I can't remember what the heck it is but obviously I should have paid more attention since Aquilino took the time to explain it. Seems like I was more interested in taking photos :-)

Ditto for this ruin.

Okay, so according to the sign, that was the Lost World we were in. Knowing that doesn't jog my memory....still have no clue what that those ruins were.

Past the Lost World, back on the causeway.

Through the trees, we caught a glimpse of Temple IV.

Through my camera zoom lens, I could see people sitting at the top. Another opportunity to scale a temple.

Would I do it this time around?

I sure would!

And this is what I saw when I got to the top....tops of temples peeking above the canopy.   I think it's Temples I, II and III but I can't remember for sure.

Valiant took video of the panoramic view we had of Tikal from high above.

Sitting on the steps at the top of Temple V, the guys decided to check out the map to see what we were looking out at.  I don't know if they ever figured it out or not.  All I know is that the guys checked the map a lot. Not sure it ever helped us any though :-)
The top of Temple IV was pretty crowded so the group did not linger up there for long. Well again, what goes up, must come down.
Back on ground level, we continued on.  This place is huge.  We passed by more ruins.  By now, it was all starting to blur for me.  We passed the Mayan Altar.  Valiant wanted to sacrifice me for having put him on the 9 hour bus ride to Tikal.  What a nice guy! Remind me why he's on this trip with me?? :-)
Nice to see the sign pointing the way to the Grand Plaza when you're on your way out. :-)
By now, little growling sounds were coming from my stomach. Luckily, we were minutes from relief. Did someone say lunch?? Yeah!

The food was nothing really memorable but the company made it up for it. Lots of good talk and laughter.

After lunch, we made our way back to the van. For some, it was back to the airport and for us, Flores.

On the ride back, I had a chance to reflect back on our visit to this amazing place. Putting it all in perspective, what we saw was phenomenal -an utterly enormous complex of stone buildings, interconnected by long stone causeways, all nestled in the Guatemalan jungle, and built by human hands centuries ago. I could only imagine what it must have been like fully populated. Truly, truly a remarkable place!!