Heading to Palenque I find myself back on the road alone again, but this time not feeling so alone. I pass numerous bikes on the road, and the towns are filled with English speaking tourists. A far cry from the few westerners I met in the north of the country.
Google maps decided to send me on a diversion instead of the well made well used road between Palenque and san Cristobel I went exploring the hills of san Cristobel, the small towns and untimely the dead ends that Google decided to send me on. At times not having a GPS and a good mapping system can lead to some adventures. Getting into my campground, not the 2 .5 hours after Google told me, but 6 or so hours later right on dark was a little disconcerting.
While exploring the ruined temples of Palenque, I stopped for a tired moment to rest in the sun against a wall. Suddenly like I was woken from a dream, the wall started to rock. In my sleepy state I thought the people behind me were pushing the foot thick stones. I looked around but no-one seemed perturbed, or even to notice. Five minutes later a guard came up to tell us in Spanish to move from the top of the temple, as there had been an earth tremor.
Sadly this turned out to be a big earthquake in southern Guatemala. But I was not to know this for a while...
As we moved off the temple I met with a little boy who asked if I was Australian. It turned out he and his mother were Tasmanian as well, their roots based in Cygnet, just down from Hobart. We spent a lovely morning exploring the ruins and the museum together. Seeing the world through the curious eyes of a very well travelled four year old was refreshing. It was also inspiring to hear his mother confirm the real possibility of travelling the third world with a young child, their adventures spanning from when he was 8 months old to across south east Asia, India, China, Morocco and Europe. His intelligence and memory for the places he had seen and his recollection and inquisitiveness of the details of the stories he had been told, and the cultures he had been introduced to was inspiring. Very much reducing my fear that extensive travel with children was incredibly difficult and in some way out of the realm of possibility.