La Danta is the largest pyramid in the Americas, and today we climbed it. This monumental achievement took exactly: 15 minutes.
A trail of jungle ants crossed the path to the pyramid. Ancient Mayan spirits, perhaps?
Reconstructed steps guided our way. If you’ve seen Mel Gibson’s Apocolypto, you’ll easily imagine the severed heads of defeated combatants tumbling down these.
The top of el Dante. This is the most uncovered rock that we saw the entire trip. All the other ruins just look like hills, and you take the guide’s word that there’s actually something underneath them.
Just near the top, Jim and I ran into a pack of wild boar-like pigs with black mohawks. They took one look at us and bolted. Later, the campground guard told us that a jaguar had killed the leader of their pack, and thus they didn’t know where to forage and were venturing ever-closer to tourist-land.
The view from the top. More jungla, what do you know! To spice it up I experimented with color isolation settings.
Our group with Walfre.
On the way back from the ruins we scoped out trees for climbing and found another huge Strangler Fig. Jim wanted to sleep on El Dante, so Julie, Vince and I set up our Strangler Fig hotel without him. Julie climbed up what happened to become the most important branch, and she did most of the work of tying the hammocks. She didn’t mind.
We got tuna sandwiches delivered to us for dinner. Vincey loves his atún con vegetales.
I read the Sherril Tree catalog and gawked at all the fancy devices that might have saved us time (like a $600 single-attachment tree portaledge) so we wouldn’t be rigging complicated tree hammocks at night.
But in the end I was happy to just be sleeping in a tree.
On a final note: permethrin (the anti-mosquito chemical) is a joke. Five mosquitos bit right through my permethrin-soaked socks while I climbed.