29 November 2005

San Andres: Back to School

Days 63 to 67 - Monday 21st November 2005 to Friday 25th November 2005

I had signed up for a week of Spanish lessons with the Eco-Escuela in the village of San Andres on the Lake Peten Itza, and Monday was the start of the classes. Each morning from 8am I had 4 hours of one-on-one tuition, then I had the afternoon to myself to do with as I pleased. During the week I stayed with a Guatemalan family, who fed and watered me. I had chosen San Andres to study as it is a small village where there are very few people who speak English, hence I would have to speak Spanish for the majority of the time if I wanted to communicate with anyone.

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26 November 2005

Tikal: All Ruined Out

Day 62 - Sunday 20th November 2005

4am came around much too soon! That was the time my bus picked me up and drove me (on the bumpiest road ever) to the Mayan ruins of Tikal. As the bus jerked around violently due to craters in the road, I was unable to get any decent shut eye on the hour-long journey. That was ok however, as I fell asleep when we arrived at 05:15 and were told the gates would not be opened until 06:00.

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Flores: The Real Guatemala?

Day 61 - Saturday 19th November 2005

12 hours sleep sorted me out and I was ready to hit the streets & Guatemala had to offer. People who had travelled in the country had been raving about it when I had spoken to them so I wanted to see if it lived up to the hype. The town I had chosen to commence my quest was Flores, which is actually a small island connected to the mainland by a kilometre long causeway.

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Chetumal: Leaving Mexico

Days 59 & 60 - 17th November & 18th November 2005

I woke up on Thursday with the intention of sitting on the beach all day, then using the internet during the early part of the evening before catching an overnight bus to Chetumal, through Belize to Flores in Guatemala. The plan began well, I caught the 9am shuttle to the beach had a swim and sat down to read for a while.

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20 November 2005

Tulum: Golf Anyone?

Days 57 & 58 - Tuesday 15th & Wednesday 16th November 2005

After a surprisingly easy 15 hour journey from Palenque, James & I arrived at our destination of Tulum at around midday. Tulum is a town roughly 150km south of Cancun on the Yucatan Pennisular and is popular becaue of its sublime beaches and spectacularly located Mayan ruins.

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19 November 2005

Palenque: Agua Azul

Day 56 - Monday 14th November 2005

About two hours drive from Palenque are three natural water feaures. These are known as Agua Azul (Blue Water), Agua Clara (Clear Water) and Misol Ha (No idea). I joined a tour to visit all three in a day. Misol Ha was first stop. Apparently this waterfall was used as a backdrop in the film Predator but I couldn’t remember which bit. Perhaps someone could enlighten me.

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Palenque: They’re Ruined

Day 55 - Sunday 13th November 2005

As we were staying 400m from the entrance to Palenque it was a pretty easy decision when someone asked ‘what shall we do today?’.

Palenque is an ancient Mayan city & its ruins are considered by many to be the most important and impressive ruins in all of Mexico. This probably has something to do with their location in the middle of the jungle, at the very point where the hills rise out of the plains of the Gulf Coast.

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