It is now the second leg of our journey into the Mayan temples, only this time, since it’s no longer 5:00 am, everyone actually seems excited. This is nice considering we are covered in rain and mud and filth and sweat, coating Lilliana’s van in it as well. For about twenty minutes, she drives us to a village in Copa, passing lots of other little Mexican villages on the way.
In Copa, it’s clear that we won’t be running into any old Mexican medicine men, since the place is overrun by tourist shops and teenagers who barely speak English getting paid to drive tourists to the site via bike for about three dollars. Obviously, we walk (it’s about a mile on flat ground through the trees) although my dad gets on a bike with a beautiful Pollack named Anastasia in an attempt to woo her.
Reaching the Mayan temple, I’m glad to see that even though GETTING here is touristed-out, the temple itself is not. It features 120 tiny but steep steps, 120 of which I have to crawl on my hands and knees to get up. Thankfully, by this point the rain has stopped, because otherwise climbing these little stone steps would be even harder and I would be stopping a lot more often than every 20 or so to catch my breath (and then look down and lose it again). Besides seeing the ground looming under me, like I’m scaling a damn mountain, I can see my dad huffing and puffing his way up with Anastasia’s bag on his shoulders.
When I look down for the final time at the very top, however, it’s clear that this was definitely worth the short trip to the summit. I can easily see the top of every tree in this little jungle, and I kind of feel like a Wild Thornberry.