So the 3am coffee never happened but we all piled into the bus to Tikal anyway. The ruins are well-preserved and our enthusiastic guide, Boris, amused and amazed us with facts and fiction about the site. He mentioned that what he says is probably different to any other guide’s interpretation of the site – ‘my friend’, he often repeated, which is neither here nor there, really. He got so excited mid-presentation that he had to borrow a pen to illustrate his conversation on a piece of paper. He is also terribly proud of the fact that his tour guide licence expires on 21/12/2012 – the day the world and our tour ends. He says it will be utter chaos on 21 December when lots of Guatemalans descend on the ruins. He was outraged, ‘can you please imagine my friends’, that some days before hippies had gatecrashed the ruins and were dancing around it barefoot, with dogs and…bicycles…bicycles at the ruins! He was visibly distraught. We kept quiet and stared at our feet.
Our early start meant that is was nice and cool when we arrived at the ruins about 4h30am. We silently hiked through the dark to temple 4 where we were expecting to watch the sun crawl mysteriously over the ruins peeking out from the tree canopies. And we waited and we waited. Some of us slept in the upright emergency sleeping position, others like Dr Boom Boom, Sarah Butler, adopted a new age meditative posture to mask her nap. Henry Gold found it the ideal time for a stretch. Eventually the howler monkeys started crying out somewhere deep in the green belly of the forest far below us. Some parrots joined in and soon it was a cacophony of echoing cries, whoops, calls and rumbles. The sun eventually appeared to rise through a very dense fog and we waited for ages to see if the ruins will appear. Nada. So we went on a tour of the ruins with the enthusiastic Boris and eventually returned hours later for a front row seat of the spectacular sight. By 11 am we were all done and back on the bus where most riders slept as they sat.
A great day out.