Thursday we left Caye Caulker for a long weekend, a little change of pace. Took the water taxi to Belize City, then caught a bus to Flores, Guatemala, a small town that covers an island in Lake Peten. The five hour bus ride, including a lengthy border crossing between Belize and Guatemala, was taxing, but Flores was beautiful and friendly and relaxed. The kind of place where you take a deep breath and feel all the tension slipping away.
We traveled with our Canadian neighbors, Chris and Wendy (think Red Snapper, think Lobster Tails, think all good things Caye Caulkian), and with two other Canadians, Grant and Michelle, and two Americans, Ron and Susie. A good group of people who have similar travel styles, probably the most important characteristic of travel partners. Went to a sweet lakeside restaurant for dinner. Ron, the American, had a birthday , and guess what–they do the same silly thing in Flores that they do in the U.S. They did the embarrassing Happy Birthday song. They even put a pink clown wig on Ron and wore masks to sing. Okay, well, whatever.
Friday, six of us went to Tikal, one of the biggest Mayan sites in Central America. You gotta love those places. Incredible temples, pyramids, courtyards, houses. Fascinating civilization. Easy to imagine Indiana Jones at the Temple of Doom and the priest pulling the guy’s heart out. There’s a slight problem with the movie, of course. The movie has the priest sacrificing some poor schmuck of a working class guy, while in Mayan culture, it was the royalty who got sacrificed. They were the only ones good enough for the gods. And there’s that whole thing about the Mayan soccer/basketball game where the winners are sacrificed, not the losers. So we were joking about just how obvious it might have been when a team was trying to throw the game.
And one more thing. I ate some live termites. Our guide showed us how. Poke a stick in the nest, pull it out and slurp them off. They taste like carrots, Really. So take that, Bob Gustavson. Termites on a stick.