After three weeks in Guatemala City it was was finally time to ride to Tikal National Park. This was a two day ride.
It seemed a bit weird to be riding again for a few reasons. The last time I had crashed into a pothole. I now had to be concerned about the weather. It pretty much rains everyday now and I hate riding in the rain. And lastly, I was riding into the unknown and it was going to be more rustic than I have been experiencing.
Potholes and Construction
Due to my pothole crash, I was fixated on the road to make sure I didn’t crash into another one. Not only was I dodging and weaving around potholes, I was trying to avoid other vehicles coming into my lane who were doing the exact same thing.
Complicating matters even more was all the construction and repair work. They aren’t too concerned about making the detour routes around them too smooth. Just grate a pathway.
I was starting to get the hang of things though – snake your way around all the vehicles to the front of the line and wait with all the other motorcyclists.
Then when it was time to go, we would all race off.
Mar Marine Yacht Club Rio Dulce
My first stop was the Mar Marine Yacht Club in Rio Dulce where I had reserved a room. It wasn’t my first choice as it was quite a bit over my budget. But all the other cheaper places were sold out. Oh, there were dorms in the odd hostel still available, but I just don’t enjoy staying in a dorm room. Sometimes they are ok, but often not. At least for me.
The room at Mar Marine was very small and not that nice considering the price I was paying. On the other hand, the surroundings were spectacular.
I spent the afternoon relaxing on a couch at the outdoor bar.
The next day was my ride to Tikal National Park. It rained for a lot of my ride. Not enough to make it too miserable though.
At one point I stopped under a shelter by a gas station for a drink. As I was standing there, I saw one of those typical 125 CC motorcycles pull out of the gas station. Of course the male rider had a baby and a woman as a passenger. The baby was wrapped up in a blanket and the woman had a skirt on.
There were two layers of payment on the roadway. I guess they just paved over the existing road. So you had to go over a lip. As the motorcyclist did, the motorcycle stalled and toppled over. Everyone ended up on the gravel shoulder. To my amazement, the woman got up right away, checked the baby, and then smiled. Her legs were a bit muddy but that was it. She spent most of the next little while consoling the rider and laughing. They finally got the bike working again and road off.
I often wonder about how many people get injured riding bikes here. Like most countries around the world, they pack a lot of people on a bike and no one wears safety gear.
Tikal National Park
I finally reached the entrance to the Tikal National Park. It cost 150 Q or about $28 Cdn to enter. Once inside it was an amazing ride.
The road was really nice and it was lined by jungle. Sooooooo cool. I passed a lot of warning signs but one for sure caught my attention.
I didn’t realize it, but there are jaguars here!
I didn’t see any but did observe some long snouted animal.
I had decided to stay right in the Tikal National Park rather than outside. I thought it may be nicer to do so, but also the price was cheaper.
After a short ride through the park I arrived at the hotel.
My room 🙂
There wasn’t a lot to do around there except for visiting the ruins, and that was tomorrow’s activity. So I spent my time relaxing at the restaurant.
I did discover why the hotel is cheaper than those outside the park. There is only power for a few hours during the day. And the WiFi is very slow if you get it. It is kind of intermittent. But that was ok. The jungle surroundings made up for it.
Yes, the day I arrived was my birthday. I spent it in Tikal National Park in Guatemala surrounded by jungle. How nice is that?!
I did manage to message with my kids which was nice. My oldest son, Mike, suggested we try and video chat. I couldn’t get him on Skype, but Facetime seemed to work. Well, sort of. It was mostly a slide show rather than a video at my end. And the voices were pretty garbled. But it was still nice to talk to him, his wife Amy, and my two grandkids, Mia and Ben. Well, no really Ben. He doesn’t talk yet. But I think he was giving me a kiss ha ha ha
With that over it was time to it the bed and fall asleep to the jungle noises 🙂