Tag Archives: Guatemala

In which your two girls commit crimes (but not cards) against humanity – Tikal, Guatemala

It will come as no surprise to you, that we had quite a nice lie in until about 10am and missed the last bus to Tikal, so decided to have a wander around Flores and get some breakfast and hopefully happen upon some kind of tour company that could get us there that day. We walked along the lakeside and the only place we could find with a breakfast menu was the unimaginatively named “Bill’s Place”. We ordered traditional breakfast (Jill getting very excited about the accompanying Guatemalan tortillas, freshly made and kept warm in a basket wrapped in hot tea towels, bringing back fond mammories of her previous adventures in these parts) and a couple of Gallos. Bill himself, a domineering but friendly American ex-pat, came and introduced himself (breaking the ice by scrounging our cigarettes as he was supposed to have quit), poured himself a breakfast scotch and joined us on our table. We mentioned we’d just come from Caye Caulker and he told us that he’d wanted to open a bar there, but they’d wanted a million US dollars for a tiny tumbledown hut on the beach and he was having none of it, so opted for Flores instead. He’d ran bars all over the shop, in Jamaica, Cuba, and Belmopan in Belize, which was quite an impressive feat, especially since he spoke NO SPANISH. He came across as quite ignorant in this respect, barking his requests to the Guatemalan girls behind the bar in English but they were obviously quite used to this and usually laughed at him before going about their business.Conveniently, the bar lead through into a tour office that opened onto the main street, that was also owned by Bill, and after hearing of our plan to visit Tikal he shouted through to the lady to come through and talk to us and within 10 minutes we’d got ourselves booked on a shuttle to Tikal and back, entry to the ruins and tickets for our planned night bus to Rio Hondo (from where we would continue on to El Salvador). We were a bit reluctant to resort to a tour company sorting our stuff out, but it was a weight off our minds to know that our onward journey was all booked and taken care of, so we could enjoy Tikal without the stress of worrying about having to sort it all out once we got back. So we happily supped on a few cold beers and Susan got to touch a really cute dag.
Put the rest of this in your face

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Our own bodies turn against us, so fo course we head to the jungle! – Flores, Guatemala.

We woke up the next day fuzzy headed, with skin like pork crackling from the sun, and immediately wrote off the original plan of catching the 9am water taxi to Belize City. We had to pay the hostel bill and had spent all our money the previous, so staggered to the ATM (via a shop for breakfast mender beers) in the roasting sun, covered from head to toe in loose fitting clothes and sunblock and looking like typical middle aged British women abroad (Susan: “I think this is the first time I’ve EVER dressed my age!”). The ATM was in one of those little rooms where you have to swipe your card to get in, and once we got inside we realised that it was AIR CONDITIONED which felt amazing on our poor sunburned bodies, so decided to hang around in there enjoying the cool air, chatting and enjoying our beers, occasionally having to step out to let people in to use the cash point.

Once we felt sufficiently chilled, we headed back to the hostel to pay the bill, and the little Swedish girl kindly offered to give us a lift to the boat landing on her little golf buggy (the island was too small to have cars and these were the only transport). We got there just as the boat was leaving, so as the next one wasn’t for another hour the obvious course of action was to find a bar on the beach with wifi, have a few beers and check the times of the shuttle from Belize City to Flores while we waited for the next one. We told this to the bloke on the table next to us (who had broken the ice by telling us that we should come back later in the year for the Lobster festival, as Susan (being the pinker of the two of us) could be “the Lobster Queen”), to which he responded “Why are you rushing around girls! Go slow! Enjoy our island!”. “Go Slow” is indeed the motto on Caye Caulker and it obviously rubbed off on us sat in the beach bar, as the next boat came and went, and the next one…until we finally got on the 2pm one.
Put the rest of this in your face