Las cruces and back to Palenque

So, after the quick visit to Guatemala is was time to head back home.
I slept the whole trip almost. In a veeery uncomfortable mini van and later tourist bus, both without headrests, but still, I managed to sleep. Francisco was surprised, me too. Haha. The trip back was quite quick, on our way here we left at 6am and arrived at 17, now we left at 5am and arrived at 14. Haha. But on our way here they made plenty of stops, sometimes without reason.. haha. No hurry at all!

It costs 265 quetzals to go to Palenque, but 350 pesos to go to Flores, haha, weird.
We had to pay 40 quetzals in the border again, but not the 295 pesos, that’s only for leaving mexico, so when I leave for Ecuador I’ll have to pay that.

Here are some pictures from a town called Las Cruces where we had a little break. Just after this town, the asphalt ends and the bumpy road starts. :)

Colectivo at Las Cruces, Guatemala

Colectivo at Las Cruces, Guatemala

Dog pooping. :) And the cute small moto-taxis. :)

Dog pooping. :) And the cute small moto-taxis. :)

Funny thing too, at the border, I had to act as a translator between spanish and english, it was funny because I helped a Polish guy at first, and then when I was filling in my forms outside the desk, the guy from the office went out to get me and asked me if I could come to the desk to translate some information into english. :)

They go down to the river to watch their clothes.

In the river between Guatemala and Mexico. They go down to the river to watch their clothes.

Back to Palenque I took Francisco and Esteban (I call him that but it was a polish name) to the tacos place, haha, third time I’m there! But it’s so good and so cheap and so many vegetarian options! :D Don’t miss this place out, it’s called El Caracol Del Jade, and it’s on the other side of the tourism office in the main square of Palenque.

At El Caracol de Jade.

At El Caracol de Jade, with my tascalate and huerfanitos :)

 

El caracol de Jade! Cheap good food in Palenque :)

El caracol de Jade! Cheap good food in Palenque :)

This time I had huerfanitos, and also 1 vegetarian taco, hehe. To drink I had Tascalate, it tastes exactly like polvoron, the typical spanish christmas candy.

At night, I hanged out some with Gino and Raul, had some dinner and helped him to put some pictures at his Facebook and couchsurfing profile.  At 23 I took the night bus to Merida, where I’m now sitting at a café having breakfast. :)

Tikal and Flores

Watching the sunrise in Tikal..

Watching the sunrise in Tikal..

So this morning we went on a sunrise-tour to Tikal. They picked us up at our hostal at 3 am and drove us to Tikal, about 64 km southwest from Flores. When we arrived it was all dark and closed, we wandered in the forest with our flash lights and had a guided tour of some stones, but we could only imagine where the pyramids where.  Our guide, Able, also called the monkey-man, can make some really cool noises very alike the monkeys, so he woke the whole forest up for us while walking there at night, and it truly sounded like we where in Jurassic park, very weird high monkey sounds from everywhere! Later, he took us to the highest pyramid where we could watch the sunrise over the other 3 big pyramids. But unfortunately this morning it was all cloudy, so we only saw the sky getting more clear and clear. Nothing special.

Also, this sunrise thing costs 100 quetzal more. The entrance fee to the park is 150 quetzal (around 150 SEK / 20 USD) but for sunrise there is yet another fee of 100 quetzal, but it’s not sure it’s going to be magical… for us, we could have come around 7 or 8 instead of 3 in the morning. We would have saved 100 quetzal and also we would have eaten breakfast and had some more sleep, because when it was around 9 in the morning, we were really hungry and tired.

Anyhow, Tikal is magic. It’s one of the biggest mayan archeological sites, and Tikal was also one of the most powerful kingdoms of the ancient Maya.
The city has been completely mapped and covered an area greater than 16 square kilometres that includes about 3000 structures! So the park is huge. I’m glad we had a guide showing us the places because we would have lost ourselves in that jungle. It’s soooo big, and there are temples a little bit everywhere, some bigger then others. And the wildlife is amazing!! You see monkeys, raccoons, lots of beautiful birds… and the fauna is beautiful to. :)

Lots of rakoons!

Lots of rakoons!

Walking in the jungle... so many roots!

Walking in the jungle… so many roots!

Beautiful "birds"!

Beautiful ”birds”!

Panorama tikal

Panorama tikal. You can se lot’s of great temples and pyramids here.

We went home to Flores for lunch and had some siesta, then walked around and ate lunch and bought some souvenirs. Then the rain started, so we walked around in our ponchos looking funny and getting wet :)

I ordered a potato and carrot soup, and they made it this beautiful! It was great too!

I ordered a potato and carrot soup, and they made it this beautiful! It was great too!

Flores is a town in Petén, it’s on an island on Lago Petén Itza. Very quiet and peaceful here, probably one of the safest places in the north. It’s very colonial, charmful cobblestone streets. The island is very small, it takes less than one hour to walk around the whole island. So we meet the same people we got to know on our way here from Palenque when we walk around.
I also met the two Scandinavians, Carina and Markus, here. We didn’t have the chance to say goodbye in Palenque, so it was fun to find them here since they left a couple of days ahead of me.  :)

Later we went out to eat dinner, I only had 12 quetzal left, but Francisco lended me some because my meal costed 20 quetzals. We ate at the cheapest place we could find, but it was good food! We are really broke, counting our quetzals, because since we aren’t traveling around more here in Guatemala we don’t want to take out any more money from the bank, we are leaving tomorrow..

Raining in Flores. A couple is going home with their canoe to the other island.

Raining in Flores. A couple is going home with their canoe to the other island.

Generally, Guatemala is much more expensive than Mexico. Everybody said it would be cheaper but no it’s not, I would say it costs the double. I mean, you can get tricked by that costs the same, like if  tacos costs 15 pesos in mexico, it costs 15 quetzals here, but, 15 quetzals are about 30 pesos, so it’s really the double.

Have to go now!!!

Visit to Guatemala

Hello!

So.. I just arrived at Flores in Guatemala. It’s quite close to Palenque, but not so cheap though. The agency sells you the ticket for 350 pesos, which is nothing, but at the border, you have to pay 295 pesos for leaving Mexico and 40 quetzals for entering Guatemala. Then you have to do the same route on the way back too, which sucks. Wish they could have told me before.. But nobody who where crossing knew that… Guess that’s why it’s so cheap and attracts people to go here.. Anyhow!

Lanchas to guatemala

Lanchas to guatemala

The driver of the boat in the lake between mexico and guatemala

The driver of the boat in the lake between mexico and guatemala

The first bus ride was in a mini-van, then we took a boat over the river for about 40 minutes, and later another bus to get to flores. The last bus was really bumpy, but since I went to sleep around 2.30 and woke up 5.20 to go to Guatemala, I slept like a baby. I woke up when we started to go on a good road, because everybody in the bus started applauding haha.

The bus we went with for 5 hours on the bumpy road...

The bus we went with for 5 hours on the bumpy road…

I met a guy from Chile, Francisco, on the way from Palenque, and we are both going the exact same route and amount of time to see Tikal. It’s always funny to travel solo because you meet other people who travel alone and you make your plans together. So we bought our tickets back to Palenque, and the ticket and the guide to Tikal tomorrow, we leave at 3 in the morning to see the sunrise over Tikal. We also share a room with separate beds at a hostal, because it’s cheaper if you are two, only 50 quetzals per person at night. We didn’t even talk about if we were going to share or not, it was like already understood because it was so much more expensive at the boarder then we already had thought and we talked about finding the cheapest hostal in Flores. This is ok standard, we have our own shower and bathroom in the room at least, haha.

Anyhow. Going to sleep now since it’s early morning tomorrow!