Tikal, Rio Dulce, Livingstone in Guatemala and swimming with sharks in Belize

Hi friends! Step by step I arrived in Belize, which according to the map of Travbuddy is the my 78th country visited. I’m however still at 37%. I don’t understand where is the bulk of the remaining 118 nations, but I’ll find them one by one, fear not.
I tell you from the last time. From Lanquin I arrived to Flores, a beautiful small town on an island in the middle of a lake, near the Mayan site of Tikal. Tikal is very large, was founded around 900 BC, and reached a population between 150,000 and 200,000 inhabitants. Today it is surrounded by forest, which makes it even more fascinating, both for the vegetation that covers and conceals its buildings, both for the many animals that hang out and scream all around. I saw monkeys, foxes, toucans, tarantulas and some mammals halfway between rats and teddy bears, of which I don’t know the name.

Then I went back on Rio Dulce, in a town that takes its name, idling for a couple of days in a hut on the river, inside the forest, and from there I crossed the lake with a speedboat arriving to Livingstone, by the sea, where the population is predominantly black, and there is a Caribbean mood, like Jamaica.
From there, literally flying over the waves for about an hour with a speedboat on rough sea, I arrived in Belize. I wasn’t sure if going because different travelers didn’t speak too well about it. One problem is that it costs more than the rest of Central America, but at the end the prices are still low, on the island of Caye Caulker I was in a hut in front of the sea for only $ 15.
Another problem is that the Belizean are lazy and everything moves slowly. But even here it doesn’t seem to me a big deal, not considering that also in the rest of Central America people don’t hasten back and forth frantically… but anyway we are on vacation, what’s the hurry, and even if we weren’t… who runs behind us… we are from Naples…. no stress.
Actually, the sea of Belize is fabulous. Caribbean, spotted and striped of green, blue, turquoise. Furthermore in the island Caye Caulker, where I stayed 3 days, I made one of the most fun experiences of my sad life: swimming among the sharks! It was incredible, but already before, while snorkeling on the coral reef (the largest in the world after Australia) a strange thing happened. A small shark, a type unknown even to the guide, liked me and was spinning around constantly, often swimming in sync with me under my belly! He looked out from a cartoon, dark gray, very small, with an exaggeratedly square head. I could even touch it.
Then we went to another sea area. The guide threw pieces of fish in water and after a while the boat was surrounded by sharks over 2 meters long, brown in color, who were fighting on the pieces. Then the guide told us to go in the water. In that moment I thought he was joking. But, becuse he insisted that there was no danger, I was convinced. Only thing, he said, don’t put your hands inside their mouths. Well, lucky us that there are the experts giving us these precious advises.
The water was crystal clear and shallow, I touched, and a part from sharks came a dozen of manta and some barracuda.
I could touch the sharks and the guide sometimes took them in his arms, belly up. They remained sluggish, almost as if hypnotized, and I could caress his belly. I also touched the manta, they have a slimy skin. However, once again, an extraordinary experience.
Now I’m in San Ignazio, a town in the forest, near the border with Guatemala.

And now let’s look the photos.

 

The most famous temple of Tikal. Until about ten years ago it was possible to go on the top, but is now prohibited due a couple of fatal accidents of tourists fallen off the stairs.

 

After being abandoned, the forest has swallowed Tikal, which was rediscovered only in the 1850s.

 

The central plaza of Tikal. In the background, the apartments where lived the most powerful people.
Ah, just to be totally sure, I checked again the hieroglyphics and texts and yes, I can confirm with absolute certainty that the world will end on December 23, 2012.

 

Tucan.

 

Tarantula.

 

Street of Rio Dulce.

 

The hut where I slept in Rio Dulce, practically over the water of the river, in the forest. Every night, between blinding lightings and roaring thunders, there was a biblical downpour.

 

A hot water waterfall near Rio Dulce. Climbing up, there is a natural hot pool, from where the water falls down. The place is called El paradise.

 

Men.

 

Abstract.

 

Parrot.

 

A street in Guatemala.

 

Woman and little girl in Livingstone, Guatemala.

 

Old man in Livingstone.

 

Vegetable.

 

Boys.

 

Punta Gorda in Belize.

 

A supermarket in Punta Gorda. For what I’ve seen so far, all the mini and supermarket in Belize are run by Chinese.

 

Night lights.

 

On the speedboat to Caye Caulker.

 

The pier of Caye Caulker. As you can see, there is a sea that is well worth a few dollars more.

 

House in the middle of the sea.

 

The iguana who hung around my bungalow in Caye Caulker. More than anything it was a kind of shaky palafitte. In the night downpours, it danced with the rain.

 

Bird.

Shortly after this picture, my camera died for two days. This occurred almost certainly for some of my stupid ironies about an Italian magician, “il mago d’Arcella” (Arcella’s wizard), which later I learned had died just the day before my post!
I’m not superstitious, nor I believe in the afterlife, but the facts speak for themselves: immediately after foolishly joking about the ability of divination of this magician, and his apparent ability to send jinx, my camera started working bad, until turning off completely.
In the exact moment in which I rectified (in the Italian version of this post) my camera started working again.
He was a Great Magician. And would have never sent anyone bad luck, even from beyond.

See u! :-)

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