The Astounding Travel Adventures of a Miraculous Fellow


Guatemala
June 4, 2008, 1:44 pm
Filed under: The Salvador

6/27/2005

Hola amigos.  My Spanish is coming along nicely.  Although I have no idea what “hola amigos” means, they seem to react favorably here when someone says it, so I pass it along to you all.

I am now at an internet cafe in Guatemala.  Strangely enough, Guatemala means “Land of the Internet Cafe” which was brilliant foresight on the part of the original settlers of this country.  I just got back from probably the most beautiful place on the face of the planet (Earth, that is), Tikal.  After coating myself in a heavy layer of Jaguar-repellant, I traipsed into the thick Guatemalan rainforest, only to arrive…I mean…discover, the lost ruins of Tikal.  Luckily for me, it was much easier to discover because, as luck would have it, there was a tour bus that stopped at the Tourist Center, near where I discovered the ruins.

Anywho, Tikal is a 2500 year old Mayan city located in the middle of the jungle in Northern Guatemala.  This place is incredible.  You walk 20 minutes through the jungle with spider monkeys gleefully swinging overhead in the trees, while, no doubt, joyously flinging their feces at each other.  As you walk through the jungle, suddenly out of nowhere, you come upon huge ruins towering over the rain forest.  It reminds me a lot of Jurassic Park, with the notable exception of man-eating dinosaurs.  But, in the dinosaurs’ place are the man-eating temples.  While I did not technically see any temples eat any men, I could tell they wanted to.  The best thing about the temples is that you can climb up to the top of most of them, and look at an unobstructed 360 degree view of jungle.

Tikal has over one thousand ruins, and five or six huge temples, so there’s a lot to do.  I was there for two days, so I got to see everything.  At one point during my wandering through the park, I heard a huge roaring coming from the jungle, which sounded like a jaguar rap competition.  After I asked someone, “Why don’t they turn off the microphone? Those jaguars can’t rap for shit!”  I was informed that they were in fact howler monkeys.  Those little scamps sure can make a big ruckus!  Howler monkeys, eh?  Boy oh boy, talk about a misnomer.  In my mind, a howl is something like “hooooooooot!” or possibly “aaaaahooooooooo!”  But these howlers were growling and roaring like lions.  They should be called “Roarer monkeys” or “not exactly howling monkeys.”

After hearing the roar of the howlers, I did what any dumb tourist armed with a camera would do – wander off into the jungle alone to catch a glimpse of them.  I found a slight trail and started off, at first in good sight of one of the pyramids.  After 100 feet, I turned around and couldn’t see anything but trees, which worried me a bit.  I could easily envision losing my way, and falling victim to an attempted mauling by your friendly neighborhood jaguar.

But, the howler’s roar called me further; so I did what any dumb tourist armed with a camera would do – keep on wandering blindly into the jungle.  After about 300 yards deep, with the growl right in front of me, abruptly the noise stopped and the trees started rustling.  Silence surrounded me.  Suddenly, out popped a ninja and we commenced to battle in the finest arts of kung fu for nine hours!

Wait, no, that’s a lie.

In reality, the howler monkeys were swinging through the canopy directly overhead.  No ninjas were present this day.  But, the howlers were still pretty cool.  I just stood there quietly, watching them swing from branch to branch, searching for a more comfortable place to scratch their asses.  I was inclined to climb up there and swing with them, but my parents had my prehensile tail removed at birth…sigh.  Alas, I just watched them frolic around for awhile.  Then, I started getting the heebie jeebies, because I realized I was standing in the middle of the jungle, where there are plenty of jaguars roaming freely, not to mention the omnipresent threat of attack by the dreaded Jungle Possum.  So, I decided to high tail it out of there before I was Possum lunch.

Next I climbed up a hundred yard ladder to the top of my favorite Temple, which was completely empty, to enjoy the beauty of the dense rainforest.  From there you can see for miles and miles of untouched jungle.  Then I sacrificed a virgin.  Although, technically speaking, heh heh, you probably couldn’t call her a virgin after I got done with her, wink wink.  Yikes.  But, hopefully the Gods were not paying attention to that.

And, I was able to capture one of the monkeys from the rainforest.  In return for food, he throws feces at passersby, to my utter delight.  Now he and I are the best of friends.  He’s a good monkey.  I named him Daniel.  

So, if anyone is in the vicinity of northern Guatemala this weekend, I suggest a brief jaunt to Tikal.  Quite worth it.  Definitely the most beautiful place I’ve seen in my life.  And I’ve spent countless hours in numerous strip clubs across this wide blue planet.

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