Guaterider posted at noon that in Tikal you can get a permit to ride up to the ruins at Uaxactun (Wa-shock-tune). So I asked the guard at the gate to Tikal and he pointed me to this yellow building over the way:
and here is the nice Guatemalan fellow writing up my free vehicle permit to ride north of Tikal past the barrier:
It only took a few minutes. Name, license plate number, drivers license number that sort of thing. They just want to make sure you make it back out. You show the permit to the guards and they raise the gate and you ride up past Tikal weaving through all the tourists and hit this cutoff:
What could be easier? The guard said the road was poco despacio (a little crappy). Now when a Guatemalan says that, you know you're in for some fun. It turns out that they just laid down a couple inchs of clay. And it rained hard last night. Now this would be a piece of cake on a dry day and you could rip down the way through the ruts:
and hopefully by the time you ride down here it will be the dry season and this road will be packed and dry. There was nobody out here. It really felt like I was riding into a lost world. These guys who were fixing a washed out culvert were the only people I ran into:
I squeaked by on the right. I don't know if you've ever ridden on slick clay, but it means a very light and steady throttle and virtually no braking. This was the worst hill. I stopped to see if the guy who slid sideways into the ditch was okay:
It was Francoise's car. The Quebecois I went to dinner with last night in Flores. Small world. He was nowhere around. He had mentioned something about a rainbow gathering of the tribes he needed to go to . Something about them averting the Mayan apocalypse I think. Anyway, it didn't look like he averted the apocalypse on this road.
I normally am 5'10''. By the time I walked back to the bike I was 6'2'.:
Okay, I'm exaggerating. Here is the Sherpa getting Washocktuned:
Eventually I came to a sign for the ruins pointing down a jeep trail:
the road split into three and I took the center path:
It went down a steep hill and through a mud pit. I took the left track. A wide bike wouldn't have made it I don't think:
It turned to muddy single track. I followed it for a few kilometers even though I knew this probably was the wrong way. Nothing better than single track through the jungle out in the middle of nowhere in my book:
The trail kept going and eventually I turned around in a wide spot and doubled back. Took the right hand path this time and it led through the jungle on a single track eventually that led to this ruin. Really lost Mayan world feeling out here. I didn't see any observatory that Julio had mentioned so I wandered around. Seemed like a big flat area that used to be a city square of some kind:
more pics loading. Stand by….