Sunday, March 21, 2010

El Mirador

130km in six days through the jungle! Machete swinging, fighting off Jaguars and playing with monkeys. We ate Tucans and snakes and played drinking games with scorpians.
That would have been cooler.
It was actually a pretty easy trail, because it really was a trail. At the begining it was wide enough for a car to pass. The more remote the smaller it got. Pretty level, we just had to hike for long periods of time. 2 days were eight hours and the rest were four to six.
We started at the end of the road, a small town called Carmalita. Dust and old, never before had I seen a porta potty turned into a shower. We took off from there, grateful to get out of the uncomfortable shuttle on the horrible road, headed for Tital (or something close to that spelling) the first of five ruins to be vistited. It took about 6 hours at a medium pace. My leg behind my knee cramped at the end, still fun though. Almost all the ruins on the trip wew still covered, we simply climbed the steps, simple peices of wood held in place with two stakes. When it got really steep at the top they put a rope, not always fasten to something trustworthy. The view from all were breathtaking. Jungle as far as the eye could see. After a marvolous senset, the jungle seemed to come alive. We were told though it was mainly a form of jungle chicken and possible monkeys (not howler). Never the less it was kick ass. As we stayed on the ruin, becoming a buffet for the insects, the stars slowly appeared. Not a single tree or trace of light to hamper the view.
More walking. Get in the zone and go. This is a long one, around 35km. Not much wildlife to see. You have to focus on not tripping up too much. We did see some nice birds though. We had a guide, a cook, and a muler to look after the mules who carried sustanace. On day two the cook was suppost to meet us with lunch ready. He didn´t show. Hunger took over and we ate the weakest hiker! Then the muler came up and we ate some watermelon and oranges for dessert. The guide and muler then realized that the cook could be lost, it was only his third trip after all. He showed up in time to cook us supper and blamed a lazy mule for his troubles. Flustered, he smoked a joint and comenced cooking while we set up the hammoks. We had arrived at El Mirador, said to be the first of the great Mayan cities. We had a day to check out the ruins there and have a nap. Alex the cook made an amazing vegetable soup for lunch. There were a couple of cool attractions there, my favorite was the Jaguar Temple. Said to be for the great ruler named Jaguar claws, or something like that. Also a cool stone carving was uncovered not to long ago, still perfect. It decorated the street, something nice for people to look at or a demonstration of power, either was it was nice.
Now it was time for the easy hike to Nakbe. The path leading to city, when close, actually made you feel like you close, approaching something spectacular. This made it easier for me to try and walk in with my minds eye over 2000 years behind, trying to see it in all it´s splender. We climed two temples and went another hour to a bog, where we could get water fot the mules. The bog was quite nice. It had sticks layed down on something and the reeds or whatever was growing in it were flatened so you walk on the water. The they cleared a hole so you could fill up jugs, The ruler they put in said it was three feet deep. No toilet here, watch out for snakes when your doing the duty. It rained that night, some thunder and lightning. The guide set my hammok up in the kitchen. I had the best spot that night. We want to sleep outside. Stupid rain.
Sadly there was a casualty at Nakbe. Left behind, but not forgoten. My gold rimed sun glasses. I now have new ones, but they are a sorry excuse for sun glasses, compared to the beloved gold rims. I´m happy that a man of the jungle will find them. I just hope he treats them right and gives them a nice spot to rest at night.
Another long day of hiking. I was at about 95% and feeling good. Often making the pace or speeding away for some solitude. The destination was La Florida. This camp was pimped. Thatched roof over a struture that can accomidate around 10 hammoks. Nice Kitchen set up, complete with shelves and enough seats for all. Next year all the camps will have that and admission will be charged. Lucky us, I liked the make shift set up. simple strutures with tarps pulled over.
We made it back to Carmalita easily and enjoyed a beer. A cold drink was nice even though the weather was nice to us pretty much the whole time. Not to hot.
Now I´m in Tulum, Mexico and went swiming in the ocean for the first time on my trip. It was nice but no sun. Now I´m hungery.


  1. Hello mi hijo!

    What a fabulous and funny read!! It sounds like you had a terrific time discovering the sights and sounds and....smells? haha....Mmmmm....veggie soup! Of course, being the mama bear, I'm so happy to know you're getting your all important vitamins and nutrients!
    I bet the scenery was amazing!
    (BTW: Did you have a porta-potty shower? Geeee.....I bet that hot water doesn't last too long!)

    I just saw another picture of you at one of the heights of your travels--WOW! You look great, and so very happy!! I'm liking the longer locks too!

    Can't wait to read about your next exciting adventure!

    Always "X's" and many many "O's!"
    Te Quiero!

  2. Wow Steve! What a trip this is turning out to be! Kelly and I are really happy for you! We are looking forward to a full report, with pics of course!
    Luv ya and stay safe!

  3. Hey sorry I didn't post earlier, I've been reading every entry. keep posting, I'm jealous. Turning out to be quite the adventure!