To Flores by Bus
Bus to Flores
Baby Beez stowed and Beez all settled, packed and ready, it was time to go on the road trip Bear had planned for us. Rhum and Alex gave us a lift us on the marina launch, a short walk to the bus stop and chicken pieces bought for lunch, we settled to wait for the 11:30. We had been told this was the best bus for comfort - we could have jumped on the eleven o’clock but it was heaving with many standing in the aisle. We sat and waited, our bus came twenty minutes late but as we were chatting to Bilatrix (last met in Trinidad) the time had passed without us noticing. It was about half full and we soon settled next to a sleeping beauty. No chance to take photos as the double glazing had a milky film between the layers. Half way we had an unique experience, we had to get out at a fruit border. We were entering a protected area for the national bird, the quetzal. Certain fruits were banned and boxes were set out beside the bus for people to put them in. The guards didn’t look in bags or the luggage hold but after a quick once round in the bus they got off with two bags of apples. On we all piled and off once more. The heavens opened and every time the bus cornered it rained on the seat next to us. Off the bus in Flores, into a taxi to cross the causeway and dropped at our hotel. I was just about to congratulate Bear on a smooth start when the receptionist announced “Full”. Oh. No problem I just give our sister hotel a call – yes you are booked in there. We followed an employee down the road and were soon nestled in.
An iguana welcomed us to our room. Bear went straight out onto the balcony, banged his head, came in and said I’ll have to go down for some towels. What do you think he is then. Oh. His eyes are bottle caps said I as I too went out onto the balcony and banged my head. I fully expected a three inch gash and plenty of red stuff, but no, just spots in front of my eyes and a sore neck where I had twanged it. Numpty.
The first picture from the balcony - pre head injury - was OK as it turns out. The second, supposed to be better, can stay at a jaunty angle - wallop went the head - it made me need to blow my nose, pretty toilet roll adjustment.
Nothing for it but to take our sore heads to the bar opposite. The sky looked laden and soon enough a really heavy downpour complete with fantastic lightning and really loud thunder.
Not feeling up to wandering around in the rain, we chose to eat in. We loved the fact that “All this main dishes include soap and dessert”. Mmm the soap perhaps was a little bit as described, but add my spag bol and cake with cream, all for around three pounds, I couldn’t grumble. Bear went mad and had chicken in pesto sauce and his three courses came to the princely sum of four pounds. We went to bed with much partying going on up and down the street, the locals were in full swing, midnight fireworks to welcome Independence Day celebrations. The partying finally stopped at just after four.
Next morning we took our heads to breakfast. I had eggs and fruit but guess who just had to frijoles with his......then broke his chair. No comment.
Bear on the patio, our room is the one below the blue towel
Lake Peten from the hotel. The little wooden jetty to sunbath and swim in the warm lake water.
The hotel pool was to say the least cold. Sadly the Jacuzzi was defunct but Bear insisted on using the facilities. It took me half an hour inch by inch to get totally in. When everything was numb, I had to slip out into the sun to thaw out.
Bear being a tourist. We had a bimble down the road, found the ice cream shop and spent the rest of the afternoon watching the world go by from the wooden pier and swimming to cool off, this time in the lake.
Flores is the capital of the Petén department, the seat of the municipality of Flores and OK by me as soon as we spotted a bug. The population was 13,700 in 2003, now nearly double that number. The old part of the city is located on an island on Lake Peten Itza, connected to the mainland by a short causeway. On the mainland is the suburb Santa Elena and, to the West, a contiguous municipality San Benito. In Pre-Columbian times, Flores was the Maya city of Nojpetén. The Itzaes were expelled from Chichen Itza on Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula region in the 13th century or 15th century and built the city later known as Tayasal as their capital. They called it Noh (Nohoch) Petén, literally "City Island". It was also called Tah Itzá, or Place of the Itzá.
In 1525, en route to Honduras, Hernán Cortés came to the island and paid a peaceful visit to King Canek of Tayasal. He left behind a lame horse that the Itzaes nursed feeding it turkey stew and flowers. It died and by the time a couple of Spanish friars visited in 1618, was being worshipped as a manifestation of the rain god Chac. On the island of Flores the last independent Maya state held out against the Spanish conquerors who finally conquered in 1697, when they marched in, attacked via boats and destroyed it. Those who could flee did so, and many Itzá people hid in the jungle for years. From the ruins of Noh Petén arose the modern city of Flores.
Its tricky to take someone seriously when they have no idea they look like Hiawatha
ALL IN ALL A PRETTY LITTLE PLACE