14.12.2011 - 14.12.2011
Imagine sitting on top of the highest temple in the mystical Mayan city of Tikal, watching the fog part and the sun rise above the jungle revealing the tips of the other Mayan temples, and all this while listening to the morning jungle chorus. It's a sight very few people get to see but this is what we wanted to experience when we made our mad rush to get to Temple IV in Tikal.
The problem is that in order to get to Tikal early enough to see the sun rise you have to leave Flores at 4:30am. Hence we got up really early at 3:30am after spending the previous day preparing our breakfast and lunch. We ate breakfast on the bus to Tikal and asked the driver to drop us off at the entrance instead of taking us to a restaurant first like he did with the rest of the people. Since he gets a commission if you end up eating there we were worried we might have a fight on our hands, but as it turned out he was very nice about it and even got someone to walk us to the path into the ruins. We were informed by our awesome host Alfred from Hostel Yaxha that we should head straight to Temple IV passing all the other ruins if we wanted to have any chance to see the fog part and the sun rise. The jungle chorus on our way was truly awe inspiring.
As you probably noticed from the video there is another reason why very few people ever get to see the Temple IV dawn. The majority of mornings the jungle fog is simply too thick to see the other temples and in our case unfortunately the fog did not part until much later in the day. We did eventually get to see the view from Temple IV in all it's glory, but it was much later in the afternoon: