The End of the Road, For Now

Posted by  Daniël Cronk   in       12 years ago     298 Views     Comments Off on The End of the Road, For Now  

The journey has been quite arduous and although I say I will never do anything like this again, the truth is, I've done it before so I am likely to do it again.

The route was overnight bus to Palenque, which the ruins are spectacular. Although not as grand or large of a complex as say, Tikal, they are beautiful and in excellent state of preservation.

From Palenque I took a 3-hour microbus to the border of Guatemala and Mexico where I  boarded a little wooden boat which sped myself and a group of 4 French (my archnemesissies) to the ruins of Yaxchilan. This city lies at a horseshoe bend of the Usumacinta River on the Mexican side of the border. I was so close I could have spit on Guatemala. Without ever going there. The river ride was excellent. I saw many monkeys and iguanas and some crocodiles as well.

Roof Comb of Temple 33 at Yachilan, Mexico


A Lintel / Stelae at Yaxchilan


From Yaxchilan I was supposed to go to Bonampak and then overnight before continuing on to Guatemala. However, there was not much to do in that area (actually, nothing) so I skipped Bonampak and headed for Guatemala that same day. I arrived in Flores, Guatemala at 7:30 pm.

The next morning I was whisked off to the ancient Mayan capital of Tikal. There is nothing that compares to the scale and grandeur of this mayan city. What began in the pre-classic time period and continued thru the classic. Some scholars believe that Tikal had formed an alliance with many neighboring "city states", including the city of Tulum. I could spend days at Tikal just wandering around. To give you an idea of the scale (distances, to walk from the main entrance to the Temple I or Temple of the Jaguar it takes 20 minutes. To walk from the Temple of the Jaguar to Temple IV it takes about 20 minutes. It takes 40 minutes to go from Temple IV back around thru the jungle to temple I, going through Temple V and the Lost World area.  I climbed every single pyramid that is there, which stand approximately 100 to 130 feet high. The only one you cannot climb is temple I. UNESCO has been doing a great deal of work since I was there in 2003. I was quite impressed.

Sunrise over Temple I


Looking out over the Great Plaza and Temple I


A New Friend


Yesterday I left Flores on a bus back to Mexico. The bus traveled from Flores, via Belize City to Chetumal. However, I was destined never to make it to Chetumal (MX), as at the border town I found another bus going directly to Tulum, so that's where I am now. Tomorrow morning I was take the bus from Tulum to Cancun and then to the airport. So sadly I say my time here has come to a close. Definitely not one of my longest trips and not the shortest either, however I have covered too much territory for one trip. I have met a lot of great people along the way,  including several hundred Israelis. The Americas are a big destination for them. They are a great bunch of people and always glad to know them. Especially Guy and Roi from Tel Aviv, very nice to spend time with. Someday I will have to go visit them in Israel.

Temple at Tulum


The weather, however, has been horribly hot. My health is beginning to decline, I think. I have not eaten since Friday and have been so dehydrated I used the toilet only once. I have drunk so much water yet still dehydration sets in. I have lost about 10 lbs on this trip. Nothing like the lose-weight-quick plan....to make matters worse I can't get my pants to stay up so I had to go and buy a rope to tie around the waist. . .


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I am very passionate about traveling. My goal is to visit as many places and experience as many things as I can during my short journey on this earth.