Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Trip to Tikal National Park

We have spent the last month since Peru working on boat projects, doing a lot of socializing, and working on SSCA projects.  Harry has spent a lot of time growing a very ugly beard which he loves and I hate.  He finally decided to trim it with his new trimmer that he has used once only to find out it is broken.  I am now threatening that my kitchen scissors will be attacking him soon.  There is a barber in town so that may be his lifesaver.

Peru did a great number on sucking up our dollars so we have been pinching the pennies.  But we did do one more extravagant thing and that is to go with 2 other couples to the Tikal National Park in the north part of Guatemala.  Wow, what an experience.  It  was one of those “must go before leaving Guatemala” trips.  We took a 4 hour bus trip up and stayed at a very nice hotel in the park.  The next day we took an archeological tour for 4 hours through all the ruins and temples and then we walked miles on our own seeing the rest.  So what is Tikal.  It is a Mayan city built back in 600 AD all of limestone.  There are 6 temples, an actual city complex and many smaller complexes they used for ceremonies.  This entire city was underground including all the temples until 1848 when PK Wrigley (yes, same one we know) (chewing gum and Wrigley Field in Chicago) and his expedition founded this area.  They have spent almost 200 years uncovering these limestone temples and other monuments.  At this point only 25% of what’s there has actually been uncovered.  The rest is still buried in dirt and moss and trees waiting to be discovered, although there is a law saying only 50% of it will be allowed to be exposed.   It became a UNESCO World Heritage in 1979. I am attaching a link of pictures for you to see all these temples and wild life.
My pictures are included here but really don’t do the park judges
The 6 of us headed for Tikal.  Bruce is taking the picture.  We are at the bus station

Beautiful pool area at our hotel

Harry playing the xylophone in the lobby of our hotel

Temple #1.  We were only allowed to climb temple #2 and 5

Ruins that were once a city

Another one of the temples the Mayan's  used for ceremonies

We were at the top of Temple #5 overlooking the entire park, which once was just rich farming land where they grew corn and other produce

We were exhausted after walking 9am to 5pm in the park.  Needed refreshments and a pool

Our bonus was all the wildlife we were able to see along the way including spider and howler monkeys, a tarantula, coati, tucans, and capybaras.  We would love to have seen a jaguar or puma as long as they didn’t see us but that didn’t happen.
Harry holding a tarantula

Beautiful bird with bright red breast

Howler monkeys starring down at us

One of many toucans we saw in the park

This little guy is called a coati and they are all over the park

Capybaras all around our hotel

Wild turkeys with beautiful feathers fly in to our hotel area each morning
Yesterday, Harry and I and Vicky and Bob on FoxSea  sponsored an SSCA Gam at our marina.  We had 44 cruisers there for lunch and afternoon round table discussions.  It was a lot of fun and I think people really looked some new things.
Now that the Gam is over, I am working our bright work and waiting for this infamous pool to be put in that was promised to us Sept 8th.   We are told it will be Thursday, this week.  Bets are being placed!!!

Pool area where our pool is suppose to go

Our pool which has not found its home yet

The launch area where they are suppose to bring the pool and move it into place.  Good luck
So using the law of physics, that pool you see in the picture is to be floated in that ramp over to the pool area and hoisted up and placed in the hole.  Needless to say we will all have our cameras and videos ready for this adventure on Thursday.  If it happens.

Well it did happen and it took 7 hours to watch a Guatemalan adventure in pool installation.  Here are the pictures of them hauling this pool around.  It was quite interesting and of course took up our whole day.  We spent 7 hours with a group of cruisers watching, supervising with beer in hand.  It took precedence over all over work projects

Moving the pool on a boat trailer about 200 yds from where it was built to the launch area where 2 flat barges were there for loading

All the men trying to get this huge pool into a narrow launch area onto the barges.

Front end of the pool is finally on the barges

They had to tilt the boat to get it through, losing 2 trees and a piling during the process.  Harry's back in the picture, watching.  the guy in the black shirt is Bruce on Celtic Rover, he was trying to supervise

They had to float the pool around the marina to the far side where the pool area is.  It is being pulled by a lauche

Here is comes up to the pool deck area

It took 2 hours to figure out how to get it level with the deck and then pulled it on to the deck with a tractor and pulley system.  Of course, Bruce is still "supervising"

Finally got it secured on deck but needed to get it in the hole before dark.

Finally at 6pm as dark was arriving it was actually pushed into the hole and is now floating.  They still have to hook up the pump and filter system so at least another week, Guatemalan time.
Thanksgiving is tomorrow and I am very sad not to be with our daughters and family but the marinas here help us celebrate with a turkey dinner.  We will see how it compares to good old home thanksgiving.  Our friends on Celtic Rover really wanted leftover turkey for sandwiches etc so we bought a 10 lb turkey that would fit in my oven and will cook it and split it.  then between the two boats we will have plenty of leftovers.  Hope everyone has a wonderful and healthy Thanksgiving.

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