Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Flores - Guatemala

Flores (9) We left the mountains of Mexico for the jungle of North Guatemala – or at least a pretty little town on a lake, near the jungle. We were struggling without our Spanish speaking guides, Ali and Ed, so stayed in Flores a while to take some lessons.

Flores (57) Our teacher Paqui, was great and did her best with the willing yet hapless estudiantes. At one point she looked up the English translation of her name ‘Paquita’, which turned out to be ‘Fanny’. She was very disappointed when we explained what her name meant in contemporary English – American or British.

 Flores (49) A school outing.

Flores (43)  Iain’s trying to point out the second biggest ball court of the Mayan empire. It’s so big it didn’t fit in the photo. It’s also still unexcavated so not much of a photo really.

Flores (45)  Iain quite chuffed to be holding a piece of Mayan pottery, about 2000 years old.

Flores (54) Sarah’s birthday cake. It was accompanied by a rendition of “Feliz Cumpleanos a ti” (Happy Birthday to You) by the school staff. They have a second verse “Queremos Pastel” that demands to have cake.

Flores (56) Our headmaster, archaeological guide, cake provider and general host, Dieter. Anyone visiting Flores should make sure they bump into him at some point, for at least a beer if not for one of his tours. Some German’s do have a sense of humour, it’s just not the same as anyone else.

Flores (58) Birthday margarita.

Flores (61) Food pic #27. Umm big burritos.

Flores (15)  Food Pic#28. Pescado Blanco, from the lake. (Also ‘Tasty fish found only in one lake in the world’ #2.)

Flores (84)  Lake activities.

  Flores (105) Most people visit Flores for just one day as a base to see the ruins at Tikal so we saved them for our last day. They’re really impressive, spread over a vast area of jungle with monkeys to keep you entertained between each ruin. We think we’ve seen enough ruins for a while now though, as like Buddhist temples and Colonial churches, it feels like ‘you’ve seen one Mayan ruin, you’ve seen them all’ (but don’t tell Dieter we said that – or any monks or priests for that matter).

Flores (97)

Flores (99)

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