´Cause we can´t get enough of those Mayan ruins

Trip Start Nov 15, 2006
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Honduras  ,
Saturday, January 20, 2007

You guessed it...another long bus trip and we arrive in fair condition at the small and beautiful colonial town of Copan Ruinas, one of Hondura´s top tourist draw-cards. We are right near the Guatemala border again and it would be kind of tempting to go back to our so-far favourite country.

But we are on a mission...to visit our third lot of Mayan ruins.

We are assured they are all unique and equally important, so even ´though we have seen Palenque and Tikal, we´re ready to climb those pyramids again, but not until after a good dinner and huge sleep. Before that, we forget our tiredness and fit in a visit to a butterfly farm where Ed recalls his lepidopterist childhood with fondness. The butterflies were fantastic and it was an experience to actually feel the weight of a butterfly on your head which is larger than your outstretched hand.

The next day we awake to a beautiful hot and sunny day - this pretty little tourist town enjoys a beautiful climate. We leave early and walk to the site to avoid the crowds and a taxi fare. The ruins are situated in a park-type environment rather than the jungle of the two previous Mayan sites. For some reason there is a large number of Scarlet macaws at the entrance, screeching and shrieking.

We have the museum all to ourselves and it is very professional with a model of one of the Mayan temples which was discovered in all of its colourful glory (see photo) - a good reminder that the piles of grey stones you see today area not what the Mayans built. They were a pretty flamboyant bunch judging from the reconstucted temple.

The site itself is beautifully maintained with manicured grass between buildings and well.established old trees. We are too cheap to pay for a guide, so read about the site as we walk and snatch a sneaky listen to other people´s guides as we wander. An enthusiastic group of geriatric Americans really impress us with the way they scale the temple heights in the direct sun and the heat.

All in all, the site is beautiful due to the ruins, gardens, views down to the valley and the superb weather. The ruins at Copan are famed for their stelae (stone totem-pole type things) of which there are many of exquisite detail. We also viewed the stone carvings at risk of decay fom environmental conditions in the museum - very distinctive art work.

We grab the bags again and head for Santa Rosa de Copan, unfortunately arrive late and are at the mercy of a fast food joint for dinner. A nice guy runs it, but even he couldn´t make up fo the worst meal to date - a chicken burger composed of crumbed chicken (we think) from the freezer to the fryer, the type of white bread which collects behind your front teeth when you bite it, limp lettuce and a garnish of frankly terrifying pink sauce .
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