December 2001 - big trip - diary - guatemala - december 2001




Friday 14 - Tuesday 18 December

We arrived in Uaxactun in darkness and found a big field to camp on which turned out to be a football pitch in the centre of the village. We were immediately surrounded by the local children who initially tried to sell us corn dolls and offered to guide us around the ruins the following day. They soon gave up when they saw the digital camera and demanded countless pictures before clamouring to see the results on the screen.

Uaxactun clamouring kids

Collecting water

Click to see some serious off road driving

After being woken up by noises of pigs and chickens we had a walk around the ruins which are scattered on all sides of the village and have the oldest complete Mayan astronomical complex so far discovered in the Peten.

Striking northwards towards Dos Lagunas, deep into the Peten Maya Biosphere, the track became very difficult as we began to recreate Camel trophy style jungle driving. Click here to see the full story and pictures.

Washing the landy at Lake Peten Itza

Click to see what was left over

Santa Elena market

Rubbish dump beside the main road to Guat City

T chokes his chicken

Ferry across the Rio Pasion

We arrived in Flores after cleaning the landy and ourselves in the lake, just in time for the disco which was uneventful as seems to be the affliction of the invisible-to-dorises travellers! More entertainment was provided by Fridge when it refused to start on Sunday morning. Diagnosis was a broken starter solenoid. We hung around the island of Flores and the main town of Santa Elena for another two days until the spare part arrived. Eager to get on, we set off in a southerly direction along smooth dirt roads towards El Ceibal, via an interesting ferry at Sayaxche.

One of the many excellently preserved stelae

The main temple

A campsite visitor

El Ceibal is at the end of a very muddy 8km track but is worth the drive as it contains some of the best preserved stelae in Guatemala and makes an ideal camp site in the jungle.

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