Day 354
 
Day 354: Tiko Tikal Guatemala: Tikal to Flores Distance: 65 km Time on board: 5 hours 29 mins Average speed: 11.8kmh Cumulative distance: 14,230 km What makes Tikal stands out from other Mayan ruins in Mexico and elsewhere is that you can climb on top of specific pyramids for panoramic view over the vast city. Plus, most structures are well preserved. Woke up real early yesterday on day 353 to meet Hsien for the sunrise view in Tikal. The spectacular view of the orange sun partially covered by the misty clouds alluded the golden rays on the horizons. We climbed on the top of temple 4 for the viewing and indeed, it was a spectacular show of nature. There, I met 2 German couple with bicycle panniers and chatted with them. Like me, they are on their way south to Argentina. More company on the road. Spent the entire day exploring the vast Tikal temples enveloped by the jungle, as it was left untouched over the centuries. After exploring the ruins, i sat on the top of Temple 2, admiring the plaza down below, imagining what is like to live during Mayan era. Probably, same like us, work , play and chilling. Experimented using a pee bottle last night so that I don't have to leave my bivy tent to pee. This is so that I wont have insects creeping into my tent during the night. It works. Just remind myself not to drink from that bottle. Woke up early 6.15 am upon sunrise to start the day. Have to make a quick dash to the toilet, but it was locked. Another few hundred metres sprint to the nearest toilet while trying to hold my poo in. Small amount of poo managed to escape before I reach to the toilet. Enough of the shitty talk. Back to business. Had a light breakfast with two packets of snacks. Should have bought more food before camping in Tikal as the place is purely a tourist area. No locals stay there therefore there isn't any grocery store to buy food. I skated back the 35 km, the same way I did to Tikal. I am well aware of road conditions and elevation profile now. That terrified me, knowing I will encounter rough patches with rolling hills and super steep downhill at the last section. I fared slightly faster on today return journey, averaging 11 kmh. By 9 am, I reached at Tikal ticket checkpoint 17 km. The staffs were simply amazed from what I am doing. Continued on next 18 km, paused for short break, watching a school-organised football tournament for its students. Now come the moment of truth, the Outrageously steep downhill for 2 km. Recently, I replaced my old shoes retrofitted with footbraking soles with new sports shoes without any proper footbraking soles. Can't footbrake in these new shoes. The only reason I got them cos it is Green. Have to rely on my braking system on my pushcart. However, this downhill is too steep to solely brake on my pushcart. Back to walking down the hill once again, back to the old days where I have to walk downhill when I was carrying my backpack. Hopefully, this is not the trend to come in Central America. Once approaching the end of downhill, when it isn't so steep anymore. Back to skating once more. My stomach began growling since I only filled up with tiny portions of snacks. Had to stop at a store to replenish my empty stomach before riding down another 6 km for lunch. Settled in a bus stop and cooked my lunch. The bus stop is next to a school. Upon 12 noon, school ended, the school children picked up by parents rushed to the bus stop, only to watch me having my lunch. One of the parents handed me a bag of oranges. Another moment where everyone shares their love and kindness for each other. After everyone boarded the bus, it was back to just me. About to leave, then German couple came cycling. Been waiting for them the entire day. Finally they have caught up with me. They were heading to Flores today and have arranged for a Warmshower host. I haven't got internet access over the past weeks since Mexico, unable to check Warmshower spots. Anyway, I have already booked for a hostel tonight. We rode off together but the rolling hills proved to be too daunting for me to catch up with them on two wheels. So far, I haven't walked yet on uphill as I usually would. Probably due to new lightweight 1166 board that Martin made for me. Weight does really matter. Made one final stop at a small town for a break before pushing last 15 km to Flores. As Flores approached, the road observably turned smoother and flatter, thus accounts for faster pace. Flores is a town in Petén, Guatemala. The town proper is an island on Lago Petén Itzá, connected to land by a causeway. By 4pm, I checked into my hostel, Green World. A fitting name for hosting the famous World on Board. Evidently from its name, it was decorated in green paint. That is why I chose this hostel. Walked around the island, cobblestoned streets with houses lining along its side. The island is partially flooded along its banks during low tide. It is like the marriage of Cuba and Venice. Bumped into the German cyclists once more. Their Warmshower host is across another island. I will head to there tomorrow.