A Travellerspoint blog

May 2013

Beach! Sea! Relaxing!!


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large_938978_13683587228131.jpgVamos!At around 11, we reached our final destination of tis trip. Playa del Carmen. We would stay here, able to relax for a few days, before we went back home.

It took everyone about 2 minutes to be utterly annoyed, thanks to the shopkeepers...we had 2 quiet weeks, now there were people that, no matter how often you walked by, asked the same thing over and over and over again. Now i know what i like about the less touristic sposts... Honestly, i just could kick some of them. But the beach was pretty white, the sea pretty blue, and once we got there everything was alright again :).

The 5a Avenida, or 5th Avenue, is the main shopping street. As a shopping street is intended to be, one street, many stores and restaurants. We also had a massage in those days, which was nice since one of my shoulders really needed it.large_938978_13683586108774.jpg

After two days it was time to go back home. At Cancún Airport we hald 2 hours delay though there was quite a bit of waiting at the airport, but after that it was all well again.

TIP: Do NOT do buy liquids at Cancún Airport!

Some people bought bottles of rum at Cancún airport. They bought it after check in... but at London Gatwick they could not take the bottles with them. The bag wasn't sealed as it apparently was supposed to be (the receipt and everything was still in the bag). But byebye rum bottles. The only way he could take them was to put them in the suitcase and check in again. Except that we didn't have suitcases as they were labeled for Amsterdam, and you're not going to buy a suitcase for two bottles and check them in if you have less then an hour untill the flight leaves...so they had an even less pleasant trip.

I was glad to finally be home again, home sweet home and such. Except for he rain...and 20 degrees celsius difference. So now...let's think about the next big trip :D

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Posted by Astreia 17:00 Archived in Mexico Comments (0)

Back to Mexico


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It would take quite some time before we would reach our next destination. First we needed to go the Belize, from there on to Mexico. So we started again early that day.

A nice breakfast at the hotel. It was very nice, except for the fact that it was like the third day we got omelets so it was just too much egg. Luckily there was fresh pineapple and watermelon slices, and toast.

Along the way we had our lunch in Belize, at a restaurant called Cheers. They have amazing hamburgers! Funny thing was the restaurant had a whole bunch of t-shirts hanging from the ceiling, mostly from sport clubs that had lunch there. But really...a lot. We didn't see much else of Belize.

And then...to Mexico! Again. Well that took a whole while. We got at the border and needed about two hours before we were through. A snail could keep up, really the line didn't get any shorter it seemed. Also the border patrols (who need to 'check' the visa form you need to fill in to be allowed in Mexico) were way busy watching a soccer game ;) So it didn't go that fast. But after two hours, we were allowed in, and we could go to our hotel.

It was also nearly dinner time so we went to a pizzarestaurant. With...huge...pizzas. I had a small one, 8 slices...and ate 6. Medium was even worse, and i only could imagine the large ones...The lemonada they served was very refreshing.

Posted by Astreia 17:00 Archived in Mexico Comments (0)

Flores


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large_938978_13683588009808.jpgWe stayed in Flores for the rest of the day, had a very nice lunch at La Luna, and walked around town. Flores is an island in Lake Petén Itzá...wel not actually as it is connected to the main land with a bridge... and you can walk around i in like 15 minutes as well. At night we had a nice dinner in a restaurant ovelooking the lake. There was a reasonably strong wind thoug, which was weird because during the day there was nearly none.

What's also nice is that at night, suddenly bbqs appear in front of most restaurants. There was music everywhere, sometimes very loud....more souvenir stalls and shops. Nice to make another walk before going to sleep. Next day it would be going to Chetumal, back to Mexico, through Belize as that was the shortest wat to get there.

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Posted by Astreia 17:00 Archived in Guatemala Comments (0)

Amazing Tikal...jungle time


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large_938978_13683547677883.jpgSo today we went to one of the most famous, and according to some most beautiful Maya cities, Tikal.

Tikal is still 'hidden' in the jungle. We had a walk with a guide through the jungle as well as seeing Tikal itself. We saw birds, ants, monkeys and even a tarantula. But the first thing you see when you enter is a very huge, very straight Ceiba tree.

Tikal is a big city, but as it is everwhere else most of it is still hidden. During our visit we saw a lot of hills, that hid temples underneath. This city has the higest temples known so far in Mayan history.

First we saw 'Complex Q'. It's a twin pyramid complex. Twin pyramid complexes had identical radial pyramids on the east and the west sides of a small plaza. This one is the east side pyramid, and the best renovated one.large_938978_13683547639695.jpgThe view! There are quite a few stelae in front of it, but all faded out.

We walked through the jungle to the famous Temple IV. This one is 70 metres high, the highest temple of Tikal, and also a fun fact, this one isn't fully excavated either. You can climb up by wooden stairs they placed next to it (lucky because using the original Mayan stairway would be too dangerous this high with this many people...) and looking down you still see the jungle covers most of it. The view from this one is amazing! You could see temples I and II in the distance, and a few others as well. You have a magnificent view over the jungle surrounding you.

After that we walked on, partly through small jungle paths, to the Lost world, El Mundo Perdido in spanish. This was a big ceremonial complex.large_938978_13683547717023.jpgTo the left, Temple of the Mask, to the right, Temple of the Great JaguarIt is build in a very interesting way. There is the big central temple/pyramid. Behind it the Maya build other temples as well, two big ones one each corner and one straigt behind.....to align them with the solstices and equinoxes. Everything that happened, the sun shore right behind one of the pyramids (depending on the time of year), and made a straight line with the central pyramid of the Lost World. So in that way we got an explantation how Mayan people used their knowledge of astronomy.

From there on we walked to the Plaza of the Seven Temples. This is one great plaza, flanked one the east side with seven nearly identical temples. And from there on to the Gran Plaza. Along the way we saw three spidermonkeys climbing the trees, so we stopped for a while to (try) making a few good pictures.large_938978_1368354768732.jpgComplex Q, east pyramid

At the gran plaza you can see Temples I and II, the temple of the Great Jaguar, and Temple of the Mask. On the sides of the temples are the palace (Central Acropolis) and a complex of temples, build on top and next to each other (North Acropolis). You couldn't climb the temples but you had a very nice view from atop both of the acropolis. You couldn't go to the very top, but high enough. They weren't that high but still for pictures, perfect. We also saw nosebears in the North Acropolis, and as long as you weren't coming to close they would stay where they were.

It was warm here as well, but not as hot as Copán was. After that it was time to go back to Flores. But they're right, Tikal is a very special and beautiful place to be!

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Posted by Astreia 17:00 Archived in Guatemala Comments (0)

By Boat to Livingston


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large_938978_13683106605184.jpgWe left at a reasonable time, 8.30 am. The trip by boat was a nice one. first we got a grand tour over the lake.

We saw different kinds of birds, herons, pelicans, even a vulture. We saw an old french fort, which now was government property and they turned the fort's grounds into a community park, also so they could keep the fort well preserved. the boat also took us along the houses on the shore, there were little shops as well. Some children tried to sell sea stars by coming to our boat in their canoes. We also saw the fishermen, a harbor with a lot of boats big and small. The tour took like 2 and a half hours before we actually arrived in Livingston.

Then we arrived at Livingston. The population originate for African slaves. And being so close to the caribbean it was supposed to have a different atmosphere compared to Mexico and Guatemala.large_938978_13683106607168.jpg Well except for the different origins of the people, the city isn't that different from anything else. Actually the town was like anything else. It had one street with shops we walked through, but it wasn't really that exciting to be there. The boat trip was more exciting then the town in my opnion. I did buy a hat there, but i mean people make a very big deal out of it, while it's not that very much. I mean if you want to go there, do so, but don't expect a completely different culture as they say there is...They have very nice drinks at the cafe overlooking the harbor.

After our visit we went back to Rio Dulce, which was another hour by boat. We had lunch, i had a tuna sandwich. Delicious tuna, really! And the fries were not too salty for a change :) After that it was on to Flores.

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Posted by Astreia 17:00 Archived in Guatemala Comments (0)