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Smoking at Tikal in Guatemala


I decided to tell a story for my 420th post about being young and adventurous. It was the summer of 1976 and the country was in a Bi-Centennial celebrating mood. On July 4th some friends held the best party that ever was. A good time was had by all and as we were watching the tall ships coming into New York Harbor I got to thinking that a great way to celebrate our nations 200th birthday would be to leave the country.
A couple of months later I shocked my friends by selling everything I owned and bought an Ameri-Pass from Greyhound Bus. That gave me unlimited travel on Greyhound anywhere in the U.S. for two or three weeks, I can't remember the exact amount of time. Then I just took off without knowing where I was going or how long I would be gone.
The first decision I made was to go to Los Angeles. Well shit happens and I ended up in Las Vegas where I saw a billboard saying Ray Charles was playing the Aladdin Theater in a couple of days. So I hung around gambled a bit, saw some shows and partied a little then saw Ray Charles and the Raylettes.
I got back on the bus went over Hoover Dam and on to Williams, Arizona where I chartered a plane and flew through the Grand Canyon. A flight I highly recommend, especially when lubricated with our favorite herb.
I was so jacked with the flight through the canyon that I called my mother. Mom told me that my sister was in Orlando, Florida going through basic training for the Navy. I hadn't seen my sister for three or four years so I went to Orlando to surprise her. On the way I stopped in Houston, Texas and met an uncle I had never seen and that was the only time I ever saw him. He had just retired from his job at NASA where he did research on the effects of gamma rays.
I visited with my sister in Orlando and had made a few other stops along the way and my Amer-Pass was expired. If I kept going the same direction I would run out of country so I had to make a decision as to where the hell I was going. Remember, this a story about smoking in Guatemala. I found out that the Mexican Peso had just been devalued and the cost of shit in Mexico hadn't changed yet so why not go and see some Mayan ruins.
I bought tickets to Merida, Mexico then to Guatemala City, Guatemala and San Jose, Cost Rica and on to home. I spent a couple of months having fun visiting various ruin sites and getting lost in the jungle. Then when I went back to Merida I met the love of my life. She spoke no English but I went to college in Mexico a couple of years earlier and could get by in Spanish. We were hot and heavy for about a month and I almost didn't go to Guatemala when my flight was scheduled. She was short dark and beautiful I will never forget Vicky or was her name Veronica or Velma, something with a V I'm sure. No maybe it was Maria. I don't know but I knew I was in love, that is until I met Marta in Costa Rica.
When I got to Guatemala I wanted to get out of the city so I took the bus to a village called Panajachel by Lake Atitlan. I spent a few weeks in the village taking some short side trips and partying with other Americans in the village. They told me the way to buy pot in the village was to go to the local garage and stand around looking like a gringo. I figured I could do that and bought about a quarter pound of bud for five dollars. I'm getting closer to smoking at Tikal now.
When I went back to Guatemala City I thought that since I enjoyed the ruin sites in Mexico I might as well see Tikal. I bought tickets to fly to the ruin site and spent the night at the local village and took the bus to the site. These are the highest and steepest pyramids you will ever see. I was too chicken to clime the stairway almost 200 feet so I just smoked on the ground and looked up in awe. Finally I reached the part of this story where I smoked at Tikal. The adventure continued on into Costa Rica for a couple of months of fun and games but this is getting long.
I was 28 when I did this trip and a couple of years later I sold everything I owned again and took off for South American adventures.
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