Journal, March 16, 1976 PM

We are in a 1.50 Quetzal / person place with toilets you have to sit sidewise on, in Flores, Guatemala. We had another day of ups & downs, and plan to head for Melchor de Mencos & the Belize border tomorrow. We are bypassing Tikal after having our fill of being around tourist types and their counterparts, the petty con artists, ever since we entered the country. It’s a shame to miss it, but with time & money short, we could only make a quick run around things, & it would have been grueling with all the bus travel.

After eating like flies for the last 3 days in Guatemala City, we ate an enormous meal tonight (fixed home-style by a wrinkled Mayan woman downstairs), and I have a stomach ache. I feel like after Thanksgiving dinner at home - like a balloon ready to burst.

We survived the Ides of March, though there was a tremor at 4:10 that morning and one at 4:30 this morning. The occurrence of these tremors in the wee hours of the morning, plus the fact that the February 4th earthquake here also took place in the "madrugada {wee hours of the morning}" (at 3 AM), led me to speculate that perhaps tremors are most likely to occur when the earth’s surface is coolest & thus contracted relative to the constant T {temperature} layer below it. This would cause an increased stress, which might lead to sliding of "plates" of the earth’s surface. I wonder at what times of day other big quakes have occurred.

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