18 Rabbit Wuz Here

Trip Start Feb 03, 2006
Trip End Jun 20, 2006

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Flag of Honduras  ,
Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Before you read this entry, check out the photos we have posted for the previous entry.

We left Tela headed for the north-coast beach town of Omoa. Our miserable Lonely Planet guide described Roliīs place as "the best hostel in Honduras", and like the fools we are, we fell for it and three busses later (one air-conditioned!) we made it there. Unfortunately, since Lonely Planet visited, it seems that Roli has turned.....cranky and bitter. There are signs all over the hostel decrying the atrocities that backpackers have committed against Roli and his establishment. Namely, he was pissed about loud partying, people peeing on his mattresses, and one instance of somebody cutting out a support piece on one of his wooden chairs. That last one was titled "fucking incredible" in 72 point font. Apparently, these activities irritate Roli. His signs threatened to kick out anyone suspected of being drunk, no matter what the hour or if they had already paid. As an interesting sidenote, Roli also runs a lawnmower repair shop out of the hostel.

Our room there was sort of an elevated cabiņa, screened in but with no glass. It was actually kind of cool, except for the large dead bugs, and the signs warning of rats chewing through the screens if you had food in the room. At least the bugs were dead.

Omoa itself was sort of disappointing. The beach seemed okay, but what the hell was that smell on the walk there? Absolutely rank, persistent, and unidentifiable. Andrew speculated that it had something to do with sewage. Also, the restaurants in Omoa were all of the overpriced-and-mediocre seafood variety. We had fish sandwiches that made McDonalds fishwiches look gourmet. Yech. I shudder to think of them, even now. We paid over $3 USD for each of these sandwiches (total cost of meal and drinks was almost $12). (in comparison, we just ate lunch in Santa Rosa de Copan for less than $2.50 for BOTH of us including drinks, and the food was stellar)

That night in Omoa, a big rainstorm rolled in. Our room certainly couldīve used some glass on the windows. Andrew got up at 5:30 to use the bathroom, and he found one of the guys tenting it in the courtyard just standing in the rain soaking wet, staring at his tent and wet gear. At daybreak, the entire courtyard was covered in 3" of standing water.

There were still menacing gray clouds in the sky, so we decided to get the heck outta Omoa. We later learned that the same storm had flooded Tela--good timing on getting out of there!

Oh, and there was NO PLACE open for breakfast in Omoa.

Three busses later, (and excellent bus-station breakfast in San Pedro Sula) we made it to Copan Ruinas. Copan is a tourist destination, so there are lots of places to stay, and lots of places to eat. They even put dressing on salads there!

We spent three nights at the Classico Copan, with REAL hot water, not the death-showerhead. Overall, it was a great place to stay, both the hotel and the town, but there was one disturbing incident. Andrew was sitting on the balcony one night, reading, when someone up the street fired off a shot (drunken cowboys on a Sunday night). The bullet then ricocheted and passed fairly close to where he was sitting. He elected to sit in the courtyard instead.

We spent most of a day at the Copan ruins, which are really spectacular. The stellae (intricately carved stone monuments usually featuring kings/rulers) are amazing. Even over a thousand years later (most date between 600-700 AD) these things look great. There are even traces of paint and plaster still attached to them. There are also a couple of archaeological tunnels that you can go into. One features a previous temple, the Rosalia, that was so sacred that, when they built a new temple, they built it over Rosalia and left the older temple completely intact within the newer, larger temple. We almost didnīt go in the tunnels, as it cost $24 USD for both of us. However, when we were poking around, the tunnel "guard" offered to let us in for $11. Andrew reached for his wallet, and the guy quickly shook his head, and pointed to the tunnels. He took the money when we were out of sight of the other workers, and weīre sure it went straight to his pocket. Fine with us...he likely needed it. At least in Omoa, a weekly restaurant worker salary is 500 Lempira, about $26 USD for 6 days of work.

The only bummer about Copan was that the museum (which is supposed to be great) is closed for restorations. We may try to come back to see it after Semana Santa--Copan is only 12 km from the Guatemala border.

By the way, 18 Rabbit was one of the Copan kings, and one of the most profligate builders there (actually, he commissioned the work and slaves did it).

Now weīre off to El Salvador, land of pupusas and guns....
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