Saturday 26.12.09 – 6:30 am flight to Flores – plane didn’t ascend to any great height so good views of the mountains as we flew over. Met on arrival and straight away started our adventure. After about an hour on the road we transferred to a small motor boat on the Passion river. The trip to Ceibal Archaeological site was stunning. We were constantly amazed at the abundance of birdlife so close to our speeding, whooshing progress. We saw the prehistoric looking Great Blue Heron, numerous Cormorants, small Green Heron, Kingfishers, Vultures, Eagle Osprey, Egrets, Ibis, Crocodile and Turtles.
When we moored up we had a short steep walk up to a more level root ragged track to the Maya ruens. All around us was the sights, sounds and smells of the rain forest. Howler monkeys made throaty calls and barks while spider monkeys chattered and warned when the Vultures were overhead threatening their young. Great spines of vibrant ferns arched across the track and long trailing vines dripped from the branches of a range of trees, the most mighty looking for us being the Ceiba tree (no wonder its the national tree of the country!). The site itself was fascinating with the stelae giving insight to the classic period life of the rulers. Our guide, Melvin, told us these stelae are called stone books and it is easy to see why.
When we left the site it was back along the river to Chiminos Lodge. This is a dreamy jungle preserve on the lagoon Petexbatun and our bungalow No. 2 was on its own with a balcony overlooking the lagoon. We would happily have moved in and stayed!