Mayan ruins #1

Copan Travel Blog

 › entry 15 of 32 › view all entries

Had breakfast at 8.30 at a nice restaurant called Via Via, where we will also be heading for dinner. Then headed to the Copan Ruins, where once tens of thousands of people lived. It was ruled by 14 kings over a period of 400 years, and they ended it all with a revolution before leaving to head to the cities. 400 years later the Spanish arrived but by then the jungle had overtaken it so that they didn't even notice it was there! It was only discovered in the last century and as a result is largely untouched, and the only damage done to it is from the environment, such as tree roots growing down into the huge temples and causing the stones to tumble down over one another. Our guide was very knowledgeable and had worked as an archaeologist both here and at Tikal.

He explained to us they use to play a ball game in a stadium like plaza they had, where the ball was made out of the gum from a rubber tree, weighed 3kg, and they could only hit it with their shoulders, chest and knees. They played it only once a year at the start of winter in April, and the craziest thing was that the captain of the winning team was sacrificed at the end of the game, which was apparently a great honour! We also saw lots of statues of the different kings-king 18 Rabbit being the most illustrious king, and the only one to not have died naturally-and also of their gods, such as the god for wind, which was a monkey, and the god for dancing, which was a jaguar.

Wandered back into town afterwards and had lunch before browsing the souvenir stores. Sammy is very patriotic and has told us everything is cheaper and better in Guatemala, his home country, at the Chichicastenango market, so none of us have bought very much yet!

Tonight we are having free salsa lessons and tomorrow we head for Antigua, in Guatemala, where all but 3 of the group will leave us and we will be joined by 2 Irish girls. We have all made jokes about being Sheik Sammy's Harem since he could pass for an Arabic man and he will be accompanied by 6 women at all times! Hehe.

skippyed says:
Sounds wonderful :D
Posted on: Jan 10, 2008
Chelsea says:
lol, that sounds like a pretty crazy game. The ruins sound cool, by the way you've described them they remind me of Angkor!
Posted on: Jan 09, 2008
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
The ball court. They had to hit th…
The ball court. They had to hit t…
Sammy and Row
Sammy and Row
photo by: Vlindeke