|After my experience at Tikal, i went back to the eco-lodge and Cesar came back for a minute. Apparantly him and Niel and buddies. I was so wiped that I told Ceasar thanks for everything, gave him a tip that was much larger than the ones the other travelers gave him. I felt kinda bad becuase i saw how much everyone gave him. He passed his hat around afterwards for people to put money in, and I was the last one to get it. Out of ten or more people there couldnt have been more than 10 Q in there. Which means that everyone gave him only 1 Q. Kinda chep when you just spent 120 Q on the whole tour. Maybe thats why they didnt tip that well, b/c they spend so much on the tour ( only 15 dollars though) and that included that entrace fee to get in to the Tikal ruins. Not too shabby when you calculate in the fact that we had to get shuttle over an hour to get there, and that The Copan Ruins cost 15 dollars just to get in the gate, and then another 15 if you want to get into the museum. I felt bad so I gave him 5Q and the rest of my stash that I had since San Pedro, which wasnt much at all. But considering the hig quality of it, was worth a lot more to him than to me, becuase he said he doesnt come across stuff like that too often. He was very gracious and left me to lounge in my hammock still in awe from the morning.
I took it easy that night, and hung out with the travlers who came in that afternoon. Once they went to bed, which was pretty early for they were doing the sunrise the next day, I popped in the movie 23 and layed out on the couch. I made it maybe 30 minutes into it before Niel woke me up, and ushered me to my bed. The guy that was sharing the bugalow with me was not very considerate when he woke up to go on the sunrise tour. He was quite lound, and turned the light on and off a few times before he got his stuff together. the light swith was conviently located right above my head, which made it that much more noticable that he was turning it on and off. So is life in a hostel type situation, Im sure that I woke and pissed some people off coming in late in my travels. Karma, it all comes back. I feel that my journals are getting boring, or maybe its just that I really dont like to write this sort of stuff. So then I, blah blah blah. Im sure its mildy intersesting to you the reader, but to me the writer having these things already in my memory it is very fun to write. But on i go...The next day I was all packed up and ready to head down to the Rio Dulce. Niel said I could get a private shuttle, but I would spend much more money doing that and would have to wait another day becuase they only leave early in the morning, and I had enjoyed sleeping in and taking my time packing my stuff up. Chicken buses all the way has been my motto, ever since I saw it written on a wall at Casa Posada. So I went to the oppisite side of the lake to Santa Elena where the bus station was. Niel said that the buses left every hour and I would have any trouble getting on one. Well turns out that was wrong. Not too far off. I had four hours to kill before the bus left. Not the end of the world. I bought my ticket, threw my pack on my back and started walking with no destination in mind. I walked all around Santa Elena, down the side streets where the local market was. I could tell that not too many travlers made their way down this street from the looks I was getting. Not mean ones, just looks that said, "What are you doing here? Flores is that way----->" I enjoyed it, even though it got quite hot walking for a long distance in the central american sun. I made my way all the way back to flores where I sat down at a resturant that had a view of the lake. I ordered a beer and pollo frito, and watched the people as the walked by. I took a tuk tuk back to santa elana, I didnt have any desire to walk there just to walk. A tuk tuk is a three wheeled motorbuggy that works as a great metropolitan taxi. I still had an hour and a half to kill so I read, and played my harmonica sitting out on a bench by the buses. One guy was intrigued by the harmonica, and was asking me what kind of music that was, and where it came from. I said it Blues, from the states, originally New Orleans area. He said Ohhh, it reminds me of Texas, and told me to keep playing.
The bus ride was rather uneventful, and we made a few stops in little towns along the way, where I took the chance to smoke a cigarette. the Bus driver was doing the same thing, and must have wanted to practice his english so he started asking me random questions. This is how my conversations with locals tend to go. Either in broken english, or broken spanish : "Where are you from?"
"ahhh the states, what part?"
"ahhhh Charlotte is there right?"
For Some reason everyone and their brother knows where Charlotte is
"Yes, not too far away from where I live"
"What are you doing here?"
so on and so forth.
Coversations can be very dull when you are limited by the language barrier. Its a struggle to not feel awkward and keep the conversation going by asking another question. Before you run out, and realize....shit I dont know what else I can say.
Anyways, I made it to Livingston not too long after it go dark. When I got off the bus a guy came up to me and asked, "Donde Vas?" and started listing off names of places where i could stay. I told him I was going to Tortugal, and he led me to a dock and told me to wait here. A lancha came shortly and took my there. Im not sure how to deal with people like this, do I give them a tip??? or just say thanks. I've been doing the later, and no one has seemed to disappointed when I dont hand them some money. Its not like I couldnt have managed to find my way there with out his help, however it would have been a bit more difficult to get to tortugal becuase its only accesable by boat. A really cool place, a sailer hangout, marina, and a place to relax for travelers. A bit expensice compared to the places I had been staying, but still only like 7 dollars a night, for a bed on an open air loft with a mosquito net. I should have payed some more for a a bed that had a fan in the vacinity. Possibly one of the worst nights of sleep Ive ever had. The humid, hot, still air, combined with the mosquito net on my face and upperbody, which left my legs open to feasting did not prove to be prime sleeping conditions.
I lounged out the next day. Did some swimming, took advantage of the free internet and satelitte television. I watched two halfs of two different movies the night before. I also walked into town. The dock runs down, into the mangrove marshes for about a hundred yards unitl it hits real land. From there I walked down someones private property until I hit the main road that led into town. I had no reason to go, other than I wanted to walk and enjoy the scenery, which was very nice. I took the chance to go to the bank and break some of my 100Q bills into smaller notes. Trying to buy something with a larger bill can be an advernture sometimes. Not many people have change, or at least they say they dont becuase they need the little amount of change that have. I've had to walk all over town before when I was in San Pedro, asking ever little Tienda and shop if they had change for a 100. No one.. I walked into one tienda, and a guy asked what I wanted to buy hinting that if I bought something that he might change the bill. I said that I only wanted change, and he couldnt help me. I walked out into the street and turned left the tienda right next door. I walk in and pretend like Im looking a something to buy as I wait for a store clerk to come to the counter. It turns out that this tienda was connected to the other one, and was essentially the came shop. When the guy walked out of the back, we made eye contact and laughed as he say he didnt have change. I ended up flagged down a guy in a truck who luckily had a large mixture of fives and ones, enough to give me change.
After my stroll to town, I went back and got a BLT and arranged for a Lancha to come pick me up and take my down river to Livingston.