I made a few adjustments to the bike in the morning. My tire pressure was low on both tires so I put some air in them. I had to reattach my mirror that had vibrated loose the day before. I also reattached my spare keys to their hiding place and also reattached $50 US to its hiding place. All set, we headed out for the 25 min trip to Tikal. We got to the park without any issues and parked the bikes near a vendor who we asked to keep an eye on the bikes. Just as we were about to leave the bikes, a Kiwi couple walks by and asks us if we are going to Panama by any chance. They think we may be the two guys looking for passage via boat to Columbia in late December. Turns out that these two are also riding down to Tierra del Fuego and have been traveling for 7 months already having started in Seattle. They were a nice couple and we chatted with them for a while. She was really short and was riding a small 250cc while the guy was also on a KLR. They are taking the boat crossing on Xmas day so Alex may run into them again.
Tikal turned out to be a really good Mayan site. I was getting a little bored of all the ruins but this one turned out to have some huge, tall temples and was really deep in the jungle. It was quite a bit different from the others and the history behind the site is quite interesting. Check out mu blogroll for more info. One of the amazing things is that supposedly the decline of this great city was precipitated by it being conquered by Teotihuacan in Mexico. Amazing to think that another city some 600-700 miles away could have conquered this place.
There were many howler monkeys around the site and Alex and I decided to do our best Conquistador impersonation and traipse through the mosquito infested jungle in a misguided attempt to get pictures. Considering that dense jungle is known for poisonous snakes, pumas, deadly spiders and the occasional giant ant, you would have thought we would have known better. We did not… and we didn’t get any pictures of the howler monkeys either! We got within 200 yards of their trees and they suddenly stopped howling and simply vanished without a sound. We did manage to record their howling… Check out the video and hear that screech that kept me awake all night camping in Palenque!
We left Tikal around 2pm and started to make our way south. We ended up staying the night at a little hotel in Poptun. Check out the wiring in the shower where Alex electrocuted himself trying to figure out how to turn the hot water on. What was that I said about his days can only get better? Our next major objective is the ruins at Copan in Honduras. From there we head to San Pedro Sula to find a place to store my bike for the two weeks I am in Florida. I fly out on Dec 13th.