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28.12.04

A Mayan Christmas

This morning at about 4:30 we awoke to the deep grunting and growling of howler monkeys. As the sun rose hummingbirds buzzed around us, as we ate a breakfast of fresh fruit and citrus, breads and coffee, overlooking Lake Peten Itza. I suggested to my daughter that she eat all her breakfast as her mother and I had decided to sacrifice her at the Mayan site of Tikal. It didn't go over well, and she went back to reading Paris Hilton's Confessions of an Heiress. Not to be deterred, we went to Tikal.

Mark Barry, Lake Peten Itza, 2004Tikal, Belize, 2004

Tikal is a massive Mayan site in a protected 16-square mile national preserve. I was told by our guide that 120,000 to 150,000 people inhabited the site at its peak. They were an impressive group. A modern functioning city with reservoirs for water, septic composting, and highways. The building techniques are simply amazing.

Tomorrow is hopefully a painting day. I found it difficult to work with the crowds and so much to see. More to come.

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