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The Gap Year Blog

Week 2: Sun, Sweat and Scenery

18 May 2018 16:40 PM

On Tuesday we visited Tikal, the grandest archeological site in Guatemala. Astounded by the magnificent citadel, which has stood the test of time and is a testament to its creators, we wandered amongst the structures hidden in the jungle. 

Climbing the steps to the top of the moon temple you wonder how many people have climbed the same steps before. We were able to gauge the huge importance that it had on Mayan culture as we stood in awe surrounded by the jungle canopy.

After Tikal we continued on to Lanquin – and here Mother Nature provided an activity for everyone to enjoy. The unusually wet weather did not dampen our spirits as we donned traditional Mayan ink (gathered from a fruit, which when cracked open is full of seeds which contain dark orange ink). We jumped into water falls, lounged in shallow pools and hiked up hills to get magnificent canyon views – these are just some of the things we have done this week.

By the end of the week we were in the cosy cobbled town of Antigua. From the amazing organic farmers’ market with live music to the endless sprawl of markets which housed any item your mind could think of, we visited and shopped in all of them. 

A short walk took us to a viewpoint overlooking the picturesque city in the shadow of a volcano. There was the occasional intense rumble which was followed by a massive plume of ash thrust into the air after each eruption. After hiking another of the active volcanos the morning before we could appreciate the immense power yet beauty it possessed. At the summit of the hike we had seen the earth that was decimated by previous magma flows. Yet out of the disaster there was light. A small shack called the lava shop used the ash and rubble ejected to create mesmerising pieces of jewellery. Anyone who entered would leave with lighter pockets. 

By Jacob Omondi - Frontier Volunteer | Central America Ethical Adventure Trail

Frontier runs terrestrial & marine conservation, community, teaching and adventure projects in over 50 countries - join us and explore the world!