El Zotz and a jungle road

GuatemalaPosted by Malin Sat, March 19, 2011 14:44:12

After breakfast the next morning we went to look for the El Zotz ruins. This site is still unexcavated, and all the ruins are in the jungle just as they were when they were found. Here we could actually climb to the top of the ruins by the help of lianas. Fascinating! From the top of the highest ruin we could see the highest pyramid of the Tikal ruins 25 kilometers away (in a straight line).

Back in camp we were discussing what could have had happened to Jack as he never showed up the last evening. We concluded that something had come up, and that he never left Carmelita. And IF he had tried to drive in to the ruins, he would definitely have come across the mud holes, and turned around. After all he didn’t have 4x4 on his pick-up truck…

We packed up and decided that we should take a look at the road continuing further into the jungle. This morning we had talked to a guy that told us that there was some kind of a road, but he thought it only would be passable on a motorbike. Seeing is believing...

The first few kilometers weren’t as bad as we had been told. Only smaller trees across the road, and the mud holes were passable. The Land Rover was in front as it would be a lot harder for him to pass a mud hole after us (with 37s), not to mention that we are about 1000 kilograms heavier to pull out if we would get stuck.

Some smaller trees and brush to get through, but most stops took only a couple of minutes. We were about 20 kilometers in when we had our first little setback. A huge tree across the road, and it was just about to get dark. We had different info on how far this drive should be, ranging from 20 to 35 kilometers. We were of course hoping for the first, so potentially it could be as little as a couple of kilometers left. However, we had some very inaccurate maps on our GPS, and they indicated at least 10 Ks more.

After assessing the situation we saw that it could be possible to clear some smaller trees and moving a big log to get under the big fallen tree on the “higher side”. After some sawing and axing, we attached the winch to the log on the ground, and pulled the whole thing away from our path by the help of a pulley anchored to another big tree some 10 meters past the obstacle. When the road was cleared after about an hour work, we could just pass under the fallen tree. And if you come the same way later this season, you can get through if your vehicle is not higher than 2 meters 54 cm. NOT 2 meters 56!

By now it was pitch black (camp pic above is from next morning), and we continued driving for another kilometer or so before we ran into the next tree across the road. This wasn’t very big, but we were too tired and too hungry to start on that one. We camped in the middle of the “road” being pretty sure nobody would come driving through this night (as nobody had been driving through here for quite some time..). After dinner we popped the roof top tents and climbed in for a good nights sleep.


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