Reaching Guatemala, Flores was the perfect place to relax and explore for a few days! Checking into the Los Amigos hostel, I thought I misunderdtood when the reception clerk said in Spanish that our private room had four double beds… But turns out that was correct! Another well set up hostel which even included a sound proof night bar upstairs, home of beer pong and giant jenga (its okay if you cheat and stablise the tower, apparently…no names mentioned)! After a little coercing from Annika, I was talked into challenging her to her first ever beer pong game, and after a difficult two in one shot, I succumbed to her superior skill.
Me and ten of my closest backpacking friends chartered a private tour to explore the Ruins of the ancient city of Tikal ruins (it is so large this took all day), stopping to eat our picnic lunch on top of one of the temples.
Our guide coaxed a female tarantula out of her nest in the ground, and some of us (me included) took turns to hold the spider in our hands – thankfully Mikey went first to show us all how it was done!
The tour guide thought we were born yesterday and tried to swindle an exta 100Q per person to stay and watch the sunset, we later found out that this was only 20Q extra payable to the guard to stay up on the ruins – an option we chose not to take as the day was cloudy and most of the group were not keen to stay on – majority rules! If you are game enough, people stay overnight on the ruins, paying off the guards if they are found…it may be freezing cold but I heard that the sunrise is worth it!
On hearing of a rope swing and diving board somewehere across the lake, a quick call was made and then the next thing you know the owner turns up at the hostel to show us to his boat. “You sure it will fit seven” we say, as we walk over to a small fishing bat that would only comfortably hold four. Lives flashing before our own eyes, Alex, Ben and I decided it was easier to pay a local fisherman 70Q for our own ride and we were on our way. We spent the afternoon relaxing over on the dock, however when I say “relax” I mean I spent some time drinking beer and recovering from an unfortunate accident involving climbing up a rope swing… Note to self, next time release prior to leting go to drop down into the water! A few metres of rope burn directly on the money button. At least it was funny for everyone else!
We wished we had discovered the local street food market a little earlier than out last night – our first taste of local Guatemalan street food. Yes, it was good, especially the chocolate cake which came in a giant serving! Food coma for sure.
If you have time and motivation, Flores is also an excellent base for the six day hike to the hidden city La Mirador – not for the feint hearted!