Day 5 – Copan, Honduras

20 Mar

Long lie this morning – alarm set for 6:20am. No breakfast in the hotel so, wandered down to reception and met Bitte, Vicky and Tracey. We walked across the square and towards the restaurant from last night. At the front, the girls were accosted by a woman sweeping the streets, but they didn’t understand what she said. As out turned out she was wanting us to visit the cafe we were heading for, but we had to sheepishly walk back after walking past it. She had a big smile on her face!

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Breakfast was different. I went for the house special with a glass of cold milk. It turned out to be tortillas with cheese inside covered in a large fried egg / omlete, smothered in a slightly spicy sauce.

We had to rush back, as it took a while to arrive and then settle the bill. Still no local currency.

I seemed to be rushing about like a headless chicken – I forgot my hat, then the bug spray, then to lock my bag. Eventually made it out the door and Lou walked us for about 20 minutes to the site of the Copan Mayan ruins, stopping occasionally to admire the long eared cows.

Marvin was our guide, and we assembled to wait for him. He gave a description of the trees that we passed, including the avocado tree – “aguacate” in the local language. This means “testicle tree”. Knew I didn’t like avocados for a reason.

Entering the mayan site was amazing. We walked through all the main areas, although I limited my photos to a couple hundred!

It started off nice and cool, but we didn’t finish until after 11:30am, when it was very hot.

They were still restoring a lot of the different areas and need more money to finish it. They replace a lot of the originals with concrete replicas and move the originals to the museum on site. A lot of the archaeology its now taking place underground, as the buildings were built on top of each other.

Interesting ball “game” was played in which the winner was sometimes sacrificed. Not exactly an incentive if you ask me.

Some of the statues were of the kings, our animals such as the jaguar. Some were defined as gok, explained by Marvin as “God Only Knows”. With lots of birders on the trip pointing their binoculars at the wildlife, he also stated that the only birds he knew anything about were chickens.

After the tour we had time to do what we wanted, and I visited the museum on site (included in price of entry). At the middle of the day, it was cool and covered – ideal.

Then it was on to the souvenir shop – where I got a flag, fridge magnet and also a few postcards. Walked back to the hotel with Vicky and met a man who had sore knees and insisted on telling me and demonstrating! I managed to get over that I had a sore back, but then sped ahead of him (I don’t think he believed me!)

Back in the hotel, I took a Nurofen for the back and had a nice refreshing shower. Sat under the room fan to keep cool and polished off some of the huge bag of food I seem to have accumulated over the recent journeys.

In the afternoon we had all chosen the same optional activity of a visit to Macaw Mountain to see some rescue birds of the parrot variety.

Fitting 19 people into tuk tuks was a squeeze, and the cobbled roads didn’t help. Still not sure which side of the road they drive on in Honduras. It seems to be the one with the least number of potholes.

Got through the 2.5 km journey with Louise, Pedro (Peter) and Jose driving in one piece.

Thankfully Macaw Mountain was a cool, covered experience and the guide, Dulce, took time to explain about the place and each bird, which are rescued from mistreatment. Also had a chance to hold some of the birds for a photo opportunity.

The obligatory coffee shop and souvenir shop was avoided, for a discussion about the best place to send postcards. The suggestion that they would make it back before me was laughed at, so delaying for the post office experience in Nicaragua was agreed.

Another tuk tuk ride back to the hotel where I was encouraging Jose to go faster and be first, resulted in a measly third place, but a very exciting ride. “Vamos, vamos, me gusto primero.”

Had another quick conversation with the hotel receptionist, to try and locate the recommended restaurants. In the end, agreed to go for a meal with Lynsey, David and Tim. Had a walk around the main square first,.which was supposed to have a “fair” on. Counted two cans, ball, net games (knock down the cans with the football type), and one hoopla (for the normal tombola type “stuff”). One man was also selling windmills on sticks. Overall a very poor UK church type fair.

Headed for a drink with David and Tim, and tried a local beer. For done chilled glasses with it.

Random moment of the day had to be a tuk tuk passing the door of the bar with a uniformed police officer driving, and another one in the back with a shotgun pointing up and resting on his knee, together with a second man in camouflage uniform the other side with the mirror image pose. Considering that they all normally drive around in 4×4 pickups, this was like a UK policeman on a scooter.

Headed back to change for dinner and watched some CNN. Piers Morgan – NO! Ads every 5 seconds, and making up the most complete and utter tosh all the time. No other English channel though.

Dinner was just around the corner and we met Lou. Werner also strolled in later as well. Had nice medallions of beef with french fries for half the price of the previous nights group meal.

Decided to try some local drinks at the posh hotel across the street. Asked for a local drink, but got something else. Rum, crushed lime and sugar on ice. Very sweet but nice. Second drink was Kahlua – also nice.

Cowboy time arrived, so we headed back to our hotel with plans to meet for breakfast. Packed for the morning and tried to update the last couple of blogs for uploading later.

Off to El Salvador tomorrow with three countries in one day – multiple border crossings with the aim of getting to El Salvador for lunch.

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