Guatemala Postcard

Jungle sleep a duplicity, the implications that one is cold are neither right nor quite wrong, roll over to tug a cover a chill shoulder only to realize in the fog that there is sweating. A morning of wishes and omens, sunny and hot.

Cross the border without event, one of the easiest I’ve seen and onto a sometimes paved sometimes not road for a flat chase of kilometers before evening and park gates close. Pass schools and churches, tortilla vende, livestock, dogs, carts, tiendas. Smiles thumbs up, A Dios.

Pass through the ticketing checkpoint late in the day so I’ll have the final 17k approach mostly to myself, bird indignation, dusky calm. Damp grip on the bars my sweat and a saturation of the air that the trees treat as irrefutable.

At the campground one of maybe four or five tents. Dark and firefly silent, a gnome of a man with a headlamp collects my fee and lets me choose a thatched roof over a concrete platform. Sweet and kind, we chat for a bit, promises to guard my bike tomorrow when I explore. Tent up, mosquitoes active, later will lay inside in perspiring darkness, but not before sitting with some park workers to dinner and a couple of Gallo beers.

Tikal. Like so many vortices of monument, the edges the surface parts the lockstep march battered by the infrastructure of tourism, but maybe like some where one can still find its animating emotion, the feelings that defied the reasons that explain its existence.

I now know that the next morning in the grey burnished to clear blue, I’ll be lifted as if climbing those steps, will be floated above jungle by the aspiring forward of the builders of this place.