Feb 27 – This morning we rose early to catch the pickup truck back to Lanquín. I managed to finagle myself into the cab seat next to the driver while Jim and eleven others stood in the back, but it was still a pretty thrilling ride. In Lanquín, we were separated by destination to board the mini-buses. Unfortunately , there were 32 people traveling to Flores, and only one 15 passenger bus going there. After much hand waving and histrionics, a second bus was obtained, and two extra seats were added to the aisle of our bus. It all worked out, but we got a late start and were packed cheek to jowl for the whole day. I sat with two girls from Israel, and Jim was sandwiched behind me between a young man from Stuttgart and an older woman from France.
It will take nine hours for the 97 mile ride to Flores. For such a small country, it sure takes a long time to cross it! Flores, in the department (province) of Petén, will be the northernmost part of our adventure, where we plan to visit the Mayan ruins at Tikal.
The driver stopped every three hours so we could eat and stretch our legs. It is now officially 🥵 hot. Then we got an extra, unexpected break. We pulled into a queue of cars, buses and trucks sitting idle. The driver indicated that we could get out and roam around, as we had to wait our turn for the ferry. It was only a little spit of water, but there was no bridge, so we waited for this ferry, powered by two outboard motors, that could take about six vehicles across at a time.
I felt badly for the trucks of cattle, squished together (so they wouldn’t fall over) in the hot sun. After half an hour’s wait, it was our turn.
We arrived by 6pm. All the kids headed off to the two hostels on Flores island. We are the only ones staying at Casa de Grethel, which is just across the water on the peninsula, and only accessible by boat. We knew to call our host, and he came and picked us up in his little skiff. He will ferry us back and forth for free as long as we are here.
A view of Flores island from our restaurant on the pier
Feb 28 – After a leisurely breakfast, we took the skiff over to explore Flores island. Here’s the view of our hotel from the water. They call the little pier “the beach” as you can jump in the water to swim there. This is on our list of things to do.
Flores island is itty bitty, filled with hotels, hostels, tourist agents and restaurants to serve the people who come to see the ruins at Tikal, which is a 90 minute drive from here.
In our walk around the island, we found pretty flowers:
Interestingly colorful painted buildings:
Some wall art:
Some wall art in progress:And a church!
We found the ATM, a place to eat lunch, and the panderia (bakery) for tomorrow’s breakfast. On our way back to the dock, we passed a masseuse with a cute mascot:
An altogether delightful day!