Jim has so many travel stories. This is one of my favorite stories and I never get tired of hearing him tell it. That is not rain, buddy!
I’ll let him tell you the rest! – Lillian
“You should really go to Tikal, everyone in Guatemala goes to Tikal.” said the Australian guy.
I replied, “I know, I just don’t want the 15 hour bus ride on a bad road.”
“You can always ride on top of the bus; the view is better, you get fresh air, it smells better. You have to work though.” the Australian responded.
“Work?” I asked.
“Putting people’s stuff up there; baggage, packages, bundles of corn, pigs…”
“Pigs?” I interrupted.
“They usually crate them.” he answered.
The next day found me lugging my backpack to Tikal. You have to get off in the town of Flores, spend the night and then get another bus to Tikal the next day. It takes a few hours on the bus to get there.
I arrived in Tikal in the evening, hungry and tired, to begin what would be a familiar routine, in the week I was there, at the only Comedor (small restaurant). It went something like this:
Me: ¿Tiene el pollo? (Do you have chicken?)
Cook: No hay.
Me: Huevos? (eggs?)
Cook: No hay.
Me: Arroz y frijoles? (rice and beans?)
Cook: Si hay.
I had been there a couple of days when I went to the top of the Jaguan Temple (the tallest temple) to watch the full moon rise over the jungle. With Howler monkeys and thousands of buzzing insects as the soundtrack, we watched the moon light up the main square of the city; an amazing sight!
It rained almost every day I was there, but if you were off the trail by mid afternoon, you usually stayed dry. I met a lot of travelers because there was only a couple of small, cheap hostels at Tikal. I was with a couple from Sri Lanka and a Kiwi when we took a short detour to the ruins through the jungle.
“It’s raining a little early today,” I said.
“Raining; it’s not raining!” said one of my companions.
I looked up to see a Howler Monkey looking down at me. He almost looked like he was smiling.
“Ha, ha, ha!” they all laughed, “He peed on you!”
I think he just wanted to say hello – jungle style.