That Time A Dinosaur Almost Ate Us In Guatemala

May 17, 2014


So there we were...exploring the area around our hostel in San Miguel, Guatemala (which is right across the lake from Flores). Matthew and I had decided to check it out because there are archaeological sites, a beach, a rope swing and the like all tucked away within the jungle, so away we went.

Now when I say we were exploring, I mean we were folliowing a hand drawn map through the freaking jungle along mainly dirt "roads" with small signs only every once in a while to let you know you were in fact not lost in the jungle. So yeah...we walked and we walked. We found the first site, which really was just a few indiscernible rocks with long-gone carvings but still neat.

But wait, there was supposed to be a lookout point around here with a 360° view of the lake, wasn't there? Where is that? Is it up that "road" to the left with no sign? Or is it up that small path that cut directly into the jungle with no sign? Clearly, being the intelligent young minds that we are, we took the "road" with no sign. We were walking along, enjoying the sites, noticing all the different plants and wildlife around. We came upon a banana plantation with sprawling open fields of banana trees set against the surrounding mountains...oh isn't that beautiful. All of a sudden we came up on a sign warning of imminent monetary fining for continuing any further on that road. Well that's alright, we clearly didn't find the lookout point this way so we will just go back and try to find it in the other direction.

So we turn, take one step, and hear what I could only assume was a demon dinosaur sent from hell to eat us and our souls. The sound was so gutteral and so terrifying, I was legitimately trying to remember what kinds of creatures they had living in these parts and if I thought maybe I could fight off a jaguar with my bare hands so that Matt could run to safety and tell the tale of my heroism for years to come. We clearly paused for second, looking at each other and quickly realized that neither of us knew what the hell we were hearing. We couldn't see anything down the "road" where we came from, so we crept ever so slowly and quietly towards the sound.

My fright was growing with every growl. It sounded like it was right on top of us. But where? Where was this thing of nightmares now? Obviously hiding in the trees to mess with us. I immediately thought of that scene in Jurrassic Park where you learn about those whatever the hell they were called dinosaurs that hunt in pairs so one can distract the prey while the other sneaks up from the side to attack. Our demise was inevitable. 

A brief discussion about whether we should keep going or flee for the land of monetary fines was had and we decided, dude, we're on a budget. It would be straight on into the inevitable horror that was our fate. We grabbed some sizable rocks that would undeniably allow us to beat the demon back (I also grabbed a stick for poking purposes because well, I'd rather be farther away...which Matthew laughed at me for because it was like a blatantly brittle and broken little thing of stick that wouldn't even pierce the skin of a peach, but still).

Matthew then mentioned, "I think we're fine. I remember that guy at the hostel saying that Howler monkeys sound like dinosaurs. I bet that's what it is." 

I would not be appeased.

Still we continued to creep, weapons in hand, and the growling grew louder and louder. We are brave though, so we kept our wits about us and our feet moving until finally we were back to the clearing of the archaeological site which meant we had made it! We had beaten the danger!

Then we turn our heads to the left towards the now defeaning roar...



And there is some tourist standing there by himself, unphased, staring up at a howling Howler monkey in the tree above him. 


We dropped our rocks (and my stick) nonchalantly on the ground and with a quiet agreement of "let's never speak of this to anyone", we walk over to say hi, actually scaring the monkey back into the depths of the jungle. 

Totally true story. The end.


Imagine this but SO much louder... 




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