Our digs in El Remate were quite creative. This is a pic of the Hotel Sak Luk from the road. Our quarters were up about a half a billion stairs. The whole place looked like something out of a Dr. Seuss book.

The hotel had an outstanding view of the lake too.

On Monday we took a side trip from El Remate to Tikal, one of Guatemala’s most celebrated ancient Mayan cities. We had an excellent guide and learned a lot about the Mayan culture. Unlike Chichen Itza, these ruins are located deep in the forest/jungle with paths connecting the major buildings. The site is more remote and not quite as touristy as CI. I liked the atmosphere much better, in part because of the fantastic wildlife. Here are a bunch of pics of the animals and ruins (great photo day!).

View of Tikal from the top of pyramid IV. Apparently this shot was used in the end of the original Star Wars movie (now Episode 4).

The stairs we had to climb to get that view. And, no, I didn’t give Mike a piggy-back ride despite his desperate pleas. (They don’t let people climb the pyramid stairs on this tower because a) they’re currently restoring the structure and b) a couple people die every year climbing something in Tikal. In fact some girl died just last week. Slippery stones and high heels are not a good idea. I’m surprised more people don’t bite it on the stairs though…)

Here’s Mike on that same pyramid. A woman mistook him for a lion when we were down in the jungle and nearly crapped her pants.

A pic of me wandering between some structures. My tan looks much more drastic when you can see my white bum, but I’ll spare you that photo.

Here’s a nice photo of the two of us.

We finally saw some monkeys in Tikal. This is a howler monkey; he tried to throw poop at Mike but missed. Maybe next time. There were a bunch of them, babies and all. We also saw some spider monkeys but didn’t catch them with the camera.

I swear this hasn’t been Photoshopped!

A Tikal turkey, actually named the ocellated turkey. Prettier feathers than your typical turkey, but I’m worried about the growths on its head.

Woody Woodpecker!

We don’t have pics, but we also saw a grey fox, a toucan, coatimundis (like cute raccoons with long tails), and gibnuts (These are large rodents, roughly the size of your average house cat. They don’t have tails like rats though, just stubby nubs, and their bodies have a shape more similar to those of small pigs. Our tour guide referred to the gibnuts as “romantic rats” because they mate for life. They also have a cute nickname in Belize. There they’re called the “royal rat” because the Queen of England ate one on a previous trip to the country.)

Since our visit to Tikal we have biked to Flores, which is a nice little island town on the other side of the large lake that borders El Remate. We are staying at a pleasant hostel with cheap Internet and interesting beds. Tomorrow we will head south.

Before I leave you with this new post, however, I have a challenge for you. I am posting one more picture, and I would like your guesses as to what is featured in the photo. Some magazine I used to get as a kid had a similar game. C’mon, it’ll be fun! Just reply to this post with your guesses, and I’ll post the answer in a week or so. Okay, here’s the picture:


8 Responses to “Tikal”
  1. Anonymous says:

    Hi Jackie and Mike,Great pictures Mike – you have a real talent there. My favorite part of this last post is that some lady thought Mike was a lion and almost crapped her pants – very funny. The Mayan ruins look very interesting — it would be interesting to contrast with CI as you are able to do.Dad

  2. Karen Brady says:

    Mike, your pictures are amazing! Must have been fun exploring the ruins. The monkey picture really does look like he is waving at you. Jackie, I’m glad you didn’t bring along any high-heel shoes! I’m curious – what exactly is an “interesting” bed??Okay, my guess for the picture is some kind of fruit or plant growth (even though it looks like sheep testicles – but they probably are not really wooly like that!)Love, Ma

  3. Dr_Omega says:

    Hi you 2! It is such fun taking this trip with you & also D&D’s trip! I get to see & hear about all of it with no sweat,bruises,rodents,crazy stairs or wild dogs!I like the ruins but especially love the colorful houses & animal pics. I love the lion story too.You sure do need a haircut Mike!Hope you plan to get 1 before the wedding in Oct.Speaking of weddings Dan Kaspar is engaged.Also the newest member of the fam. will be born tomorrow when Sharon K has the baby.Details to follow.Our trip was fun but not nearly as exciting as yours. I think the mystery pic. is fossilized eggs. Does the winner get a prize Jax? Have fun & stay safe! Mom Z

  4. FloresTikal says:

    Hey, think you guys left your padlock at our place. Rumor has it you’re headed to Coban – would you like us to give it to a traveler headed your way – perhaps they can leave it at another hostel along the way?< HREF="http://www.FloresTikal.com" REL="nofollow">Flores Tikal Hostel<>BACKPACKER Bed & BreakfastFlores Guatemala

  5. Bettye Pallesen says:

    Well, I finally got to see a picture of you two! The first think I thought of, Mike, was the cowardly lion in the W of Oz–but, you ARE better looking–and certainly not cowardly! I don’t know how you 2 do such adventurous things takes lots of guts, and bravery! 50 some years ago when I was your age- I was scared to do anything out of the norm–still am–especially when it involves spiders, and other creatures! Pray for your safety every night and do envy your wonderful adventures! Love ya, Gma Pittypat

  6. Dr_Omega says:

    Nice pics. Do all the buildings get painted in wild colours? Mike looks like he could swing with the critters. It’s fun seeing where you’ve been. D

  7. jenn says:

    i laughed for a while about mike’s commment (the lion)…maybe if he keeps growing the hair, he will turn into an animal…wow…it would have been cool to see some of the cave pics…but i know how heavy and combersome (sp?) mikes camera is…maybe you could get a disposible one for excursions like that…for me…no job yet, but i have been helping josh out with some jewelry, while he goes on his climbing trip…i actually went climbing last week and realized how much i miss it…im trying to get amber to go with me…keep the pics coming…i miss you guys…i hope you can stop in az on your way from iowa to peru…jennn26

  8. Deb says:

    Our vote for the photo — jackfruit. If the monkey hits Mike with shit next time, get a photo…. Dan loves poop stories. tee hee.

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