The Great Plotnik

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

The End of the Road, The Start of the Road

Everybody who goes to Guatemala ends up at the Maya ruins of Tikal. The civilization hit its peak around 600AD. A hundred years after the site was abandoned, the jungle grew up around it and for close to 1,000 years only the howler monkeys knew.

Of the Mayan Grand Slam, Plotnik is standing at third. Chichen Itza seems to be the most spectacular, but Palenque isn't nearly as much fun now that you can't take the train there anymore. Those two are in Mexico. Tikal, in the northern Peten jungle of Guatemala, has the most wildlife and is the coolest. Copan, which lies across the border into Honduras, is the one the Plotniks have missed.

But the Maya site TGP wants to see most is Bonampak, where the best-preserved murals are. It too is in Mexico, on the Usumacinta River, and you can't get there except by some serious packing-in.

That's the thing about traveling. Like M&Ms, the more you eat the more you want.

Usually, P and D are already planning the next trip as they're returning from the last. They try to do it before they get home and realize how broke they are. But it's too late. The bills were waiting.

Still, maybe they'll use up the last of their frequent flyer miles to get as far South as they can -- Lima, Peru -- and head overland into Bolivia, Paraguay, Chile and eventually to Buenos Aires.

Maybe they'll head to Japan and see if Plottie can locate any of the 197 kanji he has learned so far, or the Tall, Beautiful T.A. who has abandoned Kanji Class this semester.

Some day both Plotnik and Ducknik would like to see Southern Italy and North Africa, but Europe will probably remain out of the budget as long as America's resources are being given to Dick Cheney, who eats live bats, and his family and friends, to whom 'travel' means 'Hamburger in Cancun.'

Returning to Africa is a distinct possibility...especially East Africa. And once you're there, why not Madagascar? And then the Maldives and Seychelles? That leads to India and Sri Lanka, and those take you overland to Ankgor Wat. Perth and the rest of Australia are a short hop from there.

But for now, for The Great Plotnik, it's back to writing about meaningless, stultifyingly phony phestivals like the upcoming and much-looked-forward-to Crab, Paella, Wine, Toe Cheese and Phlatulence Phestival at the Palace of Phine Pharts.


At 12:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Palace of Phine Pharts? No, no, no -- it's Alice of the Pine Farts . . .

Welcome back, Plotty!



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