Monday, December 1, 2008

Bus to Tikal

Antigua, Guatemala
This evening we leave for Tikal which is north along the Beliz border in the Petén Basin. The bus leaves from Guatemala City at 10 pm. It's an 8 hour trip to the Island of Flores, jumping off place for the area. Can't say I'm looking forward to that but that is less than half the time it took going one way to Nicaragua so no problema. I could do it standing on my head. And this time I bought Dramamine. We're traveling on Auto Bus de Norte. It's considered a "luxury line", this in comparison to travel by chicken bus. I don't expect it to be luxurious, any more than the King Quality bus from hell, but "luxury" buses are safer in general and that is an issue.

When we hiked Cerro Negro in Nicaragua our guide, an American kid from LA, told us that the previous week he'd said good-bye to a friend of his, a young Dutch fellow and fellow volunteer at Quetzal Trekkers, who left for Guatemala on a chicken bus. Unfortunately for everyone involved, a gang of drug dealers hijacked the bus when it got to Guatemala, killed all 21 people on board, including his friend, beheaded one of the victims, drove the bus in a rival gang's territory and torched it. Chalk up another tragedy to the bullshit US "War on Drugs". Prohibition does not work. We should have learned that in the 20's during the alcohol prohibition. It's not a moral issue. It's the goddamn Bottom Line. Astronomical profit. How else are these gang members going to make millions? Not selling jewelery to the tourists. All drug prohibition does is feed the mafia and leave heartbreaking wreckage in its wake. Ok.

Enjoy your day. Hasta luego.

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