Tikal

Jul. 25th, 2012 11:17 am
pamelonian: (Default)
[personal profile] pamelonian
By now we were in Guatemala to visit the famous ruins of Tikal.

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This is a representative image of what the structures here look like. We are still in the middle of the jungle. We arranged a "sunrise tour" so had to get up at 4:00, hike 45 minutes and climb Temple IV for a magnificent view of the city. Then we waited.




This was our "camp site" just outside the gates of the city.  The tents had large air mattresses inside.  Mine was the green one in the back.

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It was too cloudy or foggy to see a good sunrise, but we did get to see the jungle waking up. Toucans were playing, howler monkeys were howling, and a falcon caught and had a bat for breakfast. That reminded me that we left before breakfast and all I really had to eat was a banana and a cereal bar.

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This was Temple IV, at least what could be seen of it through the trees. It's the tallest pyramid in Tikal.

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No way we would be using THOSE stairs to ascend or descend. STEEP! They had built a wooden staircase next to the temple for safer climbing.

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Here are some photos of the rest of the city.

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For this being a UNESCO World Heritage Site, I was surprised at how much was NOT excavated.

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This is new excavation. There was a photo display of how difficult it is to remove the vegetation and try to reconstruct the buildings. The roots grow into the walls, and removing them causes further damage than leaving them.

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Temple V. I don't know why they didn't bother naming the buildings like they have in all the other sites. This shows that even once the buildings are uncovered vegetation quickly begins to grow over them again.

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Nope, won't be climbing THAT staircase, either!

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The tour guide offered to take my picture, and I let him. I didn't have the heart to ask him to try again since it came out so dark.

me and temple V

Temple I. This is the image I usually associate with Tikal.

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The complex of dwellings in the main plaza. Only very rich Mayans would have lived here.

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Temple II, appropriately across from Temple I.

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A turkey!

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A lovely mask of the rain god Chaac. He was about my height.

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More of the main plaza dwellings.

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Look! A pyramid!

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A photo I particularly like.

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Leaving the site to go to breakfast, I took this pic of the back of Temple I because it was the only building where they actually uncovered the back.

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Even though we didn't see a sunrise, it was great to see and hear the jungle come alive in the morning. Plus, there were only 2 tour groups there at the time. It was the best way to beat the crowds! Tikal is heavily visited. We spent the afternoon in a much less visited city, our last one on this trip.
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