Arriving to get the bus to Flores we awaited for the late bus and we were then shown before the locals so at least we got seats. Obviously I felt guilty for taking the seats of people who had waitged longer but I didn't want to stand for the supposed 5 hour journey. This time the journey took just over 3.5 hours after some very scary driving with the bus leaning at what felt like a perilous angle around some corners. I had travelled with the Swiss couple allowing us to share a taxi from Santa Elena to the island of Flores.
I checked into another good hostel - Los Amigos and had a relaxed afternoon after the rushing around of the previous 4 days. I did manage to have lunch, supper, catch up on the joys of wifi and book a sunset trip Tikal for the next day before going to bed.
The next morning I did some much needed laundry and bought snacks to last me on the trip to Tikal. The rain storm while driving to the site in the afternoon hinted that it might not be the best sunset I had ever seen.... Arriving at the site in the rain I was glad that I had brought the umbrella Rachel had recommended I bring with me as I was dry and not sweating like those who only have waterproof jackets or plastic ponchos!
Our guide for the trip, Nelson, was excellent - really good English and he seemed to know everything about Tikal and the Mayan world in general. The four hours before we were to climb Temple 4 for sunset went really quickly. Theruins are magnificent - set in thick jungle you spotted lots of wildlife (spider monkeys, pacas, wild turkeys, parakeets, coatis, the sound of howler monkeys) while you wandered through the partly excavated site. They now only work on the site three months every year so with about a 1000 buildings still to go it is a long process.
Some of the main temples (such as %) have only been partly cleared so you can see the before and after while others were just vegetation-covered-mounds in the jungle. After walking for 4 hours we headed up temple 5 for the classic view over the jungle (the second largest biosphere after the Amazon) and waited for the sunset and moon rose that we never actually saw due to the cloudds. However the view was still amazing and we got to observe a spider monkey and her baby up close in the wild - the best place to see them!
Making our way throught he darken jungle back to the bus we are concluded it had been an excellent trip and I fear all ruins after this will be an anticlimax.
The next day I had a stroll around the island of Flores - a place that looks a bit frozen in history with its cobbled streets and colourful houses with corrugated iron rooves and then spent the rest of the day doing admin and catching up with people in the comfort of the great hostel that is Los Amigos.
I also managed to book one of the last 2 seats on the bus that would take me to San Ignacio in Belize in the morning.