I Moved!


Happy Thursday everyone! I hope that you’re all doing well. It’s been several months since my last blog post and I’m here to update you on my life. I’m a college gal now!

I wanted to let you know that I am now a resident of the lovely city of Boston, Massachusetts, where I will be living, learning, studying, and exploring for the next four years. To celebrate the move, I decided to start an all-new WordPress blog, The Boston Belle. Sadly, it’s time to bid adieu to Danielle Loves New York, since I will only be in NYC for a small part of the year.

I hope you come along with me on my journey by following me at thebostonbelleblog.wordpress.com!

Ciao Bella!

-Danielle

Day 3 – Petén, Guatemala

image     Greetings my readers from Guatemala!

I am writing this message to you from the Villa Maya Ecolodges in the Petén jungle. Although the mosquitoes are eating me alive (I have ten bites on my right foot, all attacked within one hour), I am having a spectacular time! Petén is the northernmost department in Guatemala, and is largely primitive and untouched with regards to its environment. Sitting here and writing this in the middle of a dense, green jungle, I finally realize how Henry David Thoreau felt when he wrote “Walden.” Like him, I feel like I am one with nature. It’s just incredible and unusual to here all the parrots, frogs, and macaws creating a beautiful cacophony of noise in the middle of the night.

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Anyway, getting to Petén from Guatemala City was not so easy. I’m not sure if you can fly, but I would think so. My (former) guidebook states that in Petén, there is a serious deforestation problem as a result of the drug cartels. These dangerous cartels are cutting down massive parcels of land to make way for illegal airstrips to facilitate the transportation of cocaine. Our tour group drove 8 hours total from the capital to Petén, and we made two stops along the way to break up the tiresome journey.

The drive was scenic and provided for a panoramic view of the country. I was informed that there are over 19 climatological zones in Guatemala, even more so than the much bigger Mexico up above. Much of the country is made up of agricultural land.

While driving through Guatemala, I observed the lush, verdant mountains and hills. It was such a beautiful sight to see, much different from the flattish landscapes where I life in New York. Guatemala is quite small, and from the bus, we could view both Honduras to the south and Mexico to the north.

Our tour group stopped in Quirigua, which is a small and fabulously well-preserved archaeological site in Guatemala. It was so stunning and atypical. I also appreciated how there were virtually no crowds at this particular archaeological site. I was able to take fantastic photos of this former ancient Mayan city that I think came out really well.

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Quirigua was discovered maybe 70 years ago, and much of the ancient relics, which are more like stone carved statues were laying down on the ground. One of these stone pillars was damaged by the rain, but most are in perfect condition. Etched on the stone carvings is the face of a king, whose name I cannot recall at the moment! Each stone carving reflected how the king became older! It was extremely interesting.

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The layout of Quirigua was also sparse, and as a tourist, I was really able to explore and appreciate every aspect of the site. There is also an acropolis at the back of the site, where upon an empty field, spectators were able to watch ritual ball games. I recommend Quirigua to anyone who likes off-the-beaten-path type travel spots.

Lunch was served along the Rio Dulce River. Served was a bony but highly tasty local fish, along with rice, tortilla flats, and native squash.

 

Our ecolodge, the Villa Maya, is situated in a dense, dark rainforest. My mother and I are staying in a white bungalow overlooking the lake. The atmosphere here is balmy and highly tranquil. There is a serene lake located at the edge of the hotel, but swimming is prohibited, as there are vicious crocodiles hidden about. But luckily, there are 2 nice swimming pools available to visitors. The weather here is muggy and humid, and a dip in the pool provides a nice refresher.

Anyway, I’m exhausted and off to bed. Until tomorrow!

-Danielle