We join the tour in front of the hotel at 4:30am. With headlamps on, we play follow-the-leader through twisting, uneven trails through the dark, silent forest.
Temple IV comes into view and we trudge the many flights of wooden stairs up to the top. I am not comfortable with high places. I’ll go, but not very happily. It’s when we get where we’re going that I’ll appreciate the surroundings. So, ’til then, I avoid looking straight down and feeling rising waves of panic.
If you come to see the sun rise in Tikal, prepare to be disappointed. Yesterday was the perfect morning! People told us it was one of just two sunrises in the past two months. Not today. And I don’t know if it’s because it’s January, but we need jackets against the chilly winds.
We ask why restorations are so obvious. This is so there is no question that there has been a repair. You can see the original work and know where it had to be reinforced and still maintain the authenticity of the original structure.
Temple III is the only temple in the city made of volcanic stone that is only found in North and East Peten. They had to travel far to bring the stone here and no one knows why.
We walk to the front of the park and visit the two museos, a laboratory and the vendors.
I love how there’s a post office in the park! It’s a breeze buying postcards and plopping them down on the counter for that “special” Tikal postage stamp. One of my very favorite souvenirs is a woven purse I bargain for in the vendors’ stalls across from the main souvenir building. It’s zippered, with the same scene woven in slightly different colors on each side.
Happy with the day, we walk back, munching ice cream bars from Jungle Lodge.