Crossed the border at El Florido on Friday morning so I am now in Honduras ! Caught a microbus to Copan Ruinas
the little colonial town near to the ruins. Found a really nice hostel the Blue Iguana and had a relatively relaxed Friday checking out the town,and getting some much needed chores done like my laundry. My plan is to spend about a week touring the mainland in Honduras before hitting the Bay Islands next weekend. I know , it`s a hard life , but someone's got to do it :) I took a little quiet time to reflect on just how enormously my life has changed this year ... and there's still many more exciting new countries and experiences to come .
.. Happy Days ! :) Friday night I had dinner and a few beers with a couple of American guys staying at the same hostel - one of the guys said he recognised me from somewhere but I couldn't place him so we ran back through a few places we had been and it turned out we had spoken briefly at breakfast in a little comedor last week in Momostenango , Guatemela. The other guy was only in Honduras for the weekend - kind of the opposite extreme to my big trip - he had used some air miles from work travel for a free flight and a nice weekend away (its only 3 hours flight to the USA). We went to a cool bar called Via Via and enjoyed some pretty good live music from a local guy playing guitar and singing some fairly mellow songs. On Saturday I got up early to go and see the famous Mayan ruins.
is something of a different experience to Tikal and Palenque for example but is still quite impressive in its own way. Copan is less about large majestic temples which you can climb up for jungle-setting views and more about the remarkable intricacy of the stelae carvings and hieroglyphics. Although I do find the approach at Copan a little odd in the sense that they are pulling the real stelae and other artifacts off from the main site and placing them in the museum for protection from the weather , whilst replacing them in the main ruins with replicas .... I understand the logic but if they carry on they will end up with a completely unoriginal site. There are a number of main areas of interest such as the main plaza with its many stelae , the ball court , the hieroglyphic staircase , the acropolis area which is kind of split into two sections and some other outlying ruins.
So I spent a good few hours wandering around the ruins before the searing heat finally beat me (its really scorchingly hot here and feels significantly hotter than Guatemala) and I retired to the cool of a cafeteria for some lunch. In the afternoon I went into the museum to see some more of the real stelae , altars and other artifacts from the site . The centerpiece of the museum is a huge full-size colourful replica of the Rosalila temple which is actually buried deep under one of the structures at the ruins and inaccessible to the public visitors. Then I hiked the little nature trail which has a few rather basic signs explaining how the mayans utilised nature - alas didnt see much animal life as it was still in the heat of the afternoon , rather more insect life unfortunately I am picking up a fair few bites in Copan.
Saturday night in Copan was really great - lots of fun and I admit a pretty drunken affair by the end. A crowd of us (3 Irish , 2 Americans and myself) went for "a few beers" in the Red Frog bar which turned into a bit of a Cuba Libre (rum and coke) session well into the early hours at a cool place called Papa Changos where they have swings as bar stools. The party continued onwards back towards the hostel and by the time there was any notion of sleep it was I think knocking on towards 5am. The American guy who was only down here for the weekend had to pull a good old-fashioned all-nighter as he had a 5:45am bus to get to his flight out of San Pedro Sula , so he just staggered off to try and find the way to his bus whilst the rest of us finally crashed out. I Got a few hours sleep before surfacing later on this (Sunday) morning , rather hungover , to find some food an grab a couple of afternoon buses to the colonial town Santa Rosa de Copan , where I plan to have a quick look around & stop only one night before going on to another town called Gracias. My next stop...........Santa Rosa and Gracias!!!