Today was yet another long drive day, this time descending the mountains of Alta Verapaz into the Peten - Guatemala's northern jungle region.
It was a strenuous hike at 6:30 in the morning, once again on rutted jungle tracks, with all my luggage but at least in the light, back to the main road to get a shuttle to Lanquin town. Once in Lanquin, I head a meager breakfast a packet of cookies and a pair of tortillas before a confusing mass of minivans descended on a bunch of shops, and a hoard of backpackers, all bound for various destinations around Guatemala.
Luckily, I got on the right one, and after an Israeli unsuccessfully attempted to keep his luggage packed with photography equipment in the bus rather than on the roof, we were off on the twisting, barely functioning Guatemalan mountain highways.
Guatemalan roads make Bolivian roads look high quality, but the plus is the slower progess makes it easier to enjoy the awesome scenery. But gradually, the mountains became smaller and smaller as we descended into the jungle - or rather, 'ex-jungle'. Just like so much of Latin America and much of the world, most of the Peten is not rainforest, but cattle plantations.
It's been a pretty uneventful day, the Petenic scenery largely just cattle ranches, although we did get to cross a river on a raft! Am now in the touristic town of Flores which almost has more tourist agencies in it than restaurants. That maybe something to do with the fact the world's largest Mayan ruins are just one hour away...