Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Flores, Guatemala

The traditional Tuc-Tuc can be found here to get around on this island

There are unexpected surprises in every trip we take.  We don't expect a place to be just as amazing as the end result, but it turns out to be as satisfying as the place we were planning to visit.  I've been to 4 of the Central American countries now....Panama, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and of course our featured country Guatemala.  While all of these countries offer amazing things, Guatemala took my breath away the minute we landed on that falling apart airstrip in the nasty capital.  It is a world unlike any other you've visited.  Today's trip led us to the magical town of Flores which is located on an island connected to the mainland by a long bridge. There is an uglier town on the end of that bridge known as Santa Elena.  Unfortuneatly we had to go there and take out money from the ATM machines.  Flores is an old colonial village situated on the Flores lake in the Peten region.  We had to stay in this town for a couple nights because it led us to the magical pyramids of Tikal.  Click on the link to read more about this beautiful park.  It's definitely a must see in Guatemala.

Now I have to admit.  It is hot and humid here and our accomodations were a bit rough.  In fact, I don't think we slept at all.  My sister's face is proof that it was uncomfortable.  However, I will say that the ambience was amazing and so were the group of people staying here.  Most people stop in Flores to stay the night and get up early for a visit to Tikal.  If I did this trip again, I would probably stay an extra night just to enjoy the fun nightlife or walk the old cobblestone streets again.  During the day after our Tikal trip, we walked around the island and watched the locals do their business.  I love watching people.  What is so fascinating about any of it?  I think maybe it makes me pause and reflect on my own life.  I think sometimes this blog doesn't convey that my life is actually quite routine and that I'm not always on the road(like I'd want to be).  Lack of money and a regular job will do that to a person:)
Of course, it's not the destination but the journey that counts.  However, the destination is pretty damned amazing.  If it's not on your bucket list, it should be:)  More tomorrow.....


  1. I know a lot about hot and humid; I live in Manila, Philippines. I was in Central America in 1972 (yeah, I've got a few years of travel on ya {grin})... drove from Toronto to Panama and back, but we didn't visit Tikal. Looks wonderful.

  2. Wow!!! That must have been some trip. I've heard some of these stories about people taking road trips like this down to Central America. That must have been something....how was driving thru Mexico City? I can't imagine doing that today....that would be quite tricky.

  3. I suspect a lot has changed, including road conditions! Our family of seven, with me the eldest of five kids, did it in a Ford station wagon, plus hauling a little motor boat (an insane idea of my father's), which got left somewhere in El Salvador when it got too much for the bumpy roads of CA. I don't remember much of Mexico City, so I suspect we barreled through it on the way back. On the way down we drove the eastern coast, which was delightful until my youngest brother, 4 at the time, got bit by a dog. :-)


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