Belize Day 5
Today we visited Tikal in Guatemala via an all day tour. Our guide handled all of the border crossing details, and that was good because shotgun wielding militia are always intimidating. Generally, travel between Belize and Guatemala is a regular and uneventful affair. This was no always the case however. There was a time when Guatemala was poised on the advent of invasion only to be interrupted by an earthquake. Our guide was well versed in local history and filled our two hour ride to the site with such details.
The site itself is almost beyond description. The breadth of architectural, mathematical, and astrological knowledge needed to create this city is obvious. I would rank this up above Machu Pichu in raw implementation — although the impact of the latter is possibly better. I am again impressed with the level of access and lack of safety in these monuments compared with what would be required in the US. There were times when we literally climbed 120 foot ladders to four foot wide landings with no railings at the top of temples. The whole jungle is laid bare before you. I can only begin to imagine what it much have felt like for rulers of these vast civilizations to look out from these holy places with the beliefs that they were touching their gods.