The ninth morning of our trip we rejoined the rest of the group and returned to Yaxha, this time under the full light of a bright Guatemalan sun. We climbed the largest pyramid in the complex, along with several other smaller ones. The climbing is always equal parts fun and fear. Footholds can be unreliable and uneven and the sides of these structures are deceptively steep! Going up is the easiest part, but when you turn around to climb down you’re suddenly confronted with thoughts of tumbling to your death. Good stuff. Highly recommend.
At Yaxha we took a boat ride to the island of Topoxte where we saw several samller and much less impressive ruins. This was easily our least favorite part of the entire trip. The boats were very slow and it felt like an immense waste of time for very little payoff. We would have much rather spent those hours exploring Yaxha. There were a ton of monkeys, though, which was a definite highlight.
After lunch we returned to the hotel, the Camino Real Tikal, where dad and I swam in the warm water of Lake Petén Itzá, while other members of our group took a turtle spotting sunset cruise.
This was also the night of our group farewell dinner. Our Gate 1 guide Tony had gifts for each member of the group. He gave me a hand-carved and painted wooden owl keychain and a lovely pair of jade earrings.
After dinner, it was early to bed for me and Dad because we had a 2:30 a.m. wake-up call for another unplanned private excursion.