A historical adventure in Guatemala

Posted in South America | July 27, 2010 | 0 Comments

The world keeps moving-on faster than I can digest. Move-on, move-on they say. I’d rather sit back and relax. Play-by-the-rules for sometime and then reclaim my life.  I don’t want to grow old before I begin exploring the world. If I wait till then, in all those years that passed-by, I would have learned to sit back and appreciate everything without the streak of adventure. I will have to be concerned about my arthritis, my diabetes and my blood pressure. Traveling for me is more that just seeing and believing! It is eating, dancing, hearing the myths and living by them… In my old age, I might not even have a memory to remember the marvels for more than a year!

The world entices me now and today.

I was first mesmerized by Guatemala when I heard of stories of them by a friend. It was over rounds of beer but nevertheless, I was interested in listening more… even if it was pure fantasy! Don’t fantasies also have their own charm!

After the beers were over and the hangovers were done with, she still continued with exciting episodes of a strange land with a different language. Then, I realized she lived there for almost four years with her family while her father was on a research fellowship! Wow! Getting paid to admire the marvels of nature! He collaborated with the Museum of Natural History while she learned salsa and merengue. That was when I had decided to embark on a Guatemalan adventure.

I reached Guatemala through Belize – another beautiful coast! I was stupid and yet, I thought it was worth to travel my road through Belize, Belmopan, Christo Rey and across the border. It felt like Che but I have a disability to enjoy cigars like him… so forgive me. And my diaries will not be written during a motorcycle escapade… I had to make do with trucks and buses.

When I finally reached Tikal, I was intimated by the enormous structure. The temple dedicated to the Sun-God. The green forests and the singing birds guided my path and here, I was with a civilization that tried to reach the Gods! Bow Down, mister! I spontaneously found myself on my knees. It was a moment for the scared and wherever he was, he commanded respect and I obliged.

My Lonely Planet reminded me that it was 41 feet of sheer beauty and hard-work. I agreed. Someone once commented that only Guatemala is comparable to itself… and here I knew why. I walked up the stairs and reached the epitome of the monument. As I counted each one of them, I could feel crowds surrounding me. There was a strange aura there that intimidated me… it felt like I was tracing the history and was about to perform a mystical ritual.

When I reached the top! I took my Lonely Planet… I was feeling lonely amidst a mysterious crowd not of men but of spirits. This was it! I read the history… the Mayan era, the Emperors and the decline. Sitting on the pedestal of an altar and feeling like an emperor and yet, a dementor seemed to be around. I can add now, after a few days, that I did enjoy the feeling just because it was a first.

The following days I spent in the National Reserve that protects the Ancient Mayan City of Tikal. Surrounded by the Rainforests, I didn’t want to see anything more. I enjoyed the dense vegetation and the birds and animals provided an orchestra par excellence. The more I hung on, the more I was mesmerized – the salt import, the water retention facilities, the people – the past and the present… all gave me enough myths to take back home…

Sometimes, we can live with myths also… they might not stifle us like superstitions but they can give our dreams wings to fly!

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