A few days ago I mentioned, in reference to my recent visit to Belize, an earlier visit to Tikal in Guatemala. In the photo above, taken in 1999, three future La Paz Group contributors (Seth Inman, me, and Milo Inman from left to right) were getting our “om” on in preparation to climb the stairs in the background.
Amie Inman, who took that photo, reminds me that she and I had been to Tikal earlier, without our two sons. On both occasions we had the kind of mystical experiences for which this location is known. We had climbed the temple in advance of sunrise, as recommended (no photos from that with us currently, so credit for the photo below goes to a fellow wordpress blogger; click the photo for attribution).
What we all remember about our visits to Tikal, and on a separate journey to Copan in Honduras we had the same sense, was how the archeologists and the relevant authorities in these particular national parks had done just the right amount of excavation. Some things were left to the imagination. Seth and Milo, in a conversation we overheard, said that Tikal was much better than Disney World, because it was real – it was like being Indian Jones. Our understanding of “real” was “unspoiled” in the sense that one could see plenty of uncovered evidence of Mayan culture, and also see that these artifacts of that culture eventually were swallowed by the jungle. Continue reading