Rope swings and pirating
24.12.2015 - 26.03.2016
The little island of Flores is most popular to tourists because of Tikal, the nearby Mayan City ruin sight. However, if you want to hear about this its best to ask someone else because this time around I did not go. I stayed out there a few years ago, sleeping in a hammock and fighting off scorpions, so I opted out as I couldn't imagine it had changed since. The rest of our little Rat Pack got up early and headed out on a sunrise tour to Tikal, hiking up the temples and listening to the Howler Monkeys. These little guys are aptly named, their call is what they used in Jurassic Park for the T-Rex and are apparently rated as the loudest land animal on earth.
Meanwhile, I spent a peaceful morning drinking coffee and lazing around in the hammocks on the roof of our hostel taking in the awesome views of the lake and this old town. On a high from their trip to Tikal, Tim and Cat went to the bar for coffee and came back with tequila shots before heading to the barber where Tim shaved off his long locks and came back with a buzz cut and a slightly shell shocked expression.
With nothing much else going on that afternoon, we decided to take a look at this rope swing we had heard so much about. Turns out you have to take a lancha (a small boat) across the lake, also turns out if you ask the skipper if its ok for you to drive, he will point you in the right direction, jump out and send you on your way. I know what your thinking, Cat and Mel worked on boats, they will be fine. It wasn't Cat or I who asked to drive, it was David (England) who had never operated a boat in his life that wanted to drive, both Cat and I were too far away to intervene so it was down to us to give him the most basic of directions on how to operate the outboard (including how to steer the bloody thing) and what followed was what felt like the slowest tender ride with Lisa yelling as she is doused in wave after wave over the bow due to how over loaded the little tinny was. Two inches of freeboard doesn't leave much room to play with.
We eventually made it safe and sound and were greeted on the dock by two little kids no older than 7 who proceeded to assist in the unloading of this mostly novice group of boaties. The family had realised the gold mine their home was sitting on a few years ago; with perfect views of the glassy lake, idyllic sunsets daily and deep waters surrounding their land, they have strung up four huge rope swings, crafted a rather terrifying diving board, built a little hut with table, chairs and hammocks as well as menu and bar service. We stayed until well after dark and Mary made the fail of the day by slipping off the diving board and landing with a world class bellyflop followed by some world class profanity.