Wednesday, January 27, 2010

A Visit to the Mayan Pyramids at Tikal

Tikal is an old complex of Mayan pyramids and temples. They started building them about 2300 years ago. The rainforest has reclaimed most of this place, but what is visible of the pyramids is amazing. Tikal is inside a huge national park in Guatemala where all the plants and animals are protected.

We walked a long way before we ever saw a pyramid. On our way, we saw many birds like the crested quan, motmots and ruby araucaria (small toucans) as well as noisy howler monkeys. Then we saw a giant amazing superb ceiba tree. The Maya thought about the ceiba tree as being an axle of the Earth and that it was a very sacred tree. I can see why because of its super size and jutting buttress like roots. The rainforest canopy felt like a giant green tree tent because there were so many leaves and trees.

Think of walking through a deep deep leafy rainforest and boom, all of a sudden, a giant grey and mossy green limestone pyramid appeared almost out of the air. We were then in a big grassy field called the Grand Plaza which was surrounded by gi-normous pyramids. Some of the pyramids were the size of 20 story buildings. Oscillated turkeys and coatimundi played in the grass around us. One coatimundi had even toppled over a garbage can which we turned back over. But the coatimundi soon toppled it over again and our good deed was quickly undone.

As we climbed the huge pyramid steps we felt very small, just like the leaf cutter ants that also played in the plaza. It took a lot of energy and time to climb them. Each step came up to my thighs so it was like climbing a big limestone mountain block by block. I had to take a lot of breaks because it was so steep. We finally made it to the top the giant pyramid. There was a room and an incredible view of the surrounding pyramids and rainforest. We climbed lots of pyramids in this way. This made me feel like I was on the tippy top of the world. I’m sure that’s what the Mayan’s felt too. The Mayans must have been great architects to have built those giants. They didn’t have cranes, bull dozers, or any of the modern technology that we have today. So if you have the chance, go there.

1 comment:

  1. Hi,
    i just ''skyped''sophie in beleze today(2/9/2010) .I think it is soooo cool that she is liveing in beleze. she was so nice to ''skype'' with today. i was learning about the history of the Mayan culture in social studies.i have seen a LOT of pictures of the pyramid she has seen. It is so amazing that the steps were as long as here thyes!!!!!!!! I wonder how tall she is? 'Cause if she is 5 feet the step is huge. But if she is 3.6 feet tall the step wouldn't be that huge. Do you agree?