Travel Guilt

The first, last and only bus each day to be heading in our direction was in the early hours of the morning, not long after midnight. Whilst the timing was far from perfect, it was at least refreshing not to have to think too much about which bus to catch; for when there is but just the one, the itinerary sort of plans itself.
The longest journey so far, the trip to Palenque was just shy of 8 hours
To my pleasant surprise I managed to sleep for a good 6 hours and well enough that when we pulled into town I felt - for the shortest of whiles - almost refreshed.

We were in Palenque for less than 24 hours and the reason for our visit was simple. On the outskirts of the modern day town lies its Mayan predecessor, a 2,000 year old city which boasts what are perhaps some of the most impressive ruins in Central America. And so after checking in, dumping our bags and fuelling up on coffee, we set off out into the midday Sun and on the road up to the ruins on what I thought was a 4km trip, or maybe an hour's slow walk.

I was wrong. It was 8km and took us nearly 2 hours.
I had sweat so much I was able quite literally to wring out my shirt. Twice. 
By the time we arrived we were both exhausted.

Upon reaching the mighty central palace we collapsed onto the grass and sought the energy to be impressed at what lay right ahead.

And it was in that moment - sprawled out in this most tremendous of settings - I felt something I haven't felt in almost 5 years - travel guilt.

Palenque is a special place, a magnificent place and a place I've long wanted to visit. Places this special don't come along that often and when they do you want to arrive ready to make the most of them. You want to arrive ready to explore, ready to learn, and so much so that when you eventually come to leave, you do so feeling like you've done the place justice. When then - as is sometimes the case - you arrive at such a special place feeling tired, thirsty, hungry, hot, sweaty, mentally or physically exhausted, you find there is little room left to be bothered to learn or motivated to explore.

Looking back over the few photos I could be bothered to take I'm in awe at the place I had been and feel they perfectly capture the reason why I wanted to visit. However, my photos in no way go to represent the reality of my actual experience in Palenque and the difference between this expectation and reality is how I define my guilt.
Travel Guilt = Experience (Expectation) - Experience (Reality)