One Day - Three Countries

Trip Start Feb 01, 2012
Trip End Feb 21, 2012

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Where I stayed
Hotel Posada Copan
What I did
La Palma
Plaza el Mirador
David's Birthday

Flag of Honduras  ,
Monday, February 13, 2012

We were up before the alarm again.  Actually, more than a half hour before the alarm and we got ready faster than I expected so we went off to the restaurant only to find that almost everyone else was already there even though it wasn't scheduled to open until 7:30.  We left Suchitoto at 8 am and I managed to get a few photos of the almond trees for which the hotel was named.

We drove through the mountains of El Salvador towards the Honduras border.  There were beautiful landscapes of mountains with wisps of clouds around their peaks.  Only it was very hard to get a decent shot of them from the window of the moving bus through all the trees and shrubs lining the highway.  Kerry and I did try, though. 

We stopped at the village of La Palma in the area of El Salvador that is being promoted for tourism.  There was a village festival with tables of candy and other sweet things.  There were also some carnival rides.  Lou told us where the artisan shops were and mentioned the very nice naive paintings and said she had some.  I was looking forward to finding an interesting gift souvenir.  I followed Clare and David and some others up the indicated street and only found one shop and wasn't so interested in what they had.  Kerry and I walked to the turn off for the other main street and walked down that without finding anything more.  We crossed over through the local market tables and I went back up the original street to where Kay had said she found something in a small shop.  I found some boxes that I liked there and bought two.  I tried bargaining but not too successfully, but then again, I didn't want to rip anyone off, did I?

Then I looked at my phone and realized I needed to head for the bus, especially since I didn't know where it was.  When I saw our group standing on a corner, I took a photo of David and Clare across the street in front of a row of artisan shops since I thought they were locals.  I had 5 minutes to check out the shops - enough time to regret not having found them sooner.  And then we were off. 

Shortly after La Palma, we crossed the border into Honduras.  Then we stopped for lunch.  We had about one-half hour, part of which I wasted choosing a place to eat.  We ended up at Freddie's Buffet, the most appealing option of three.  I had some chicken, sweet plantains and a cabbage salad with carrots and cilantro - a nice combination I thought.  We piled back into the bus and drove on. 

We only had 45 minutes or so in Honduras before we crossed into
Guatemala.  The computer wasn't up at the Guatemalan border so we got
stamps in our passports that said the computer was down.  I can't read
the Spanish that says that so I will have to trust it is true.  All my
stamps are on different places in my passport and one ended up on the
Chinese visa page.  I hope that is not a problem.  We had crossed over
into Guatemala because the roads are better - we saved 5 hrs of driving
by doing it.  There was the usual mixture of processes in all the
different border crossings but Lou handled most of them since it is
easier for her if we don't mess anything up.

At some point after crossing into Guatemala, we stopped at an overlook in the town with the big church where miracles were performed by the black Christ statue and where there is a huge pilgrimage.  On one occasion there were lots of motor bikes that people rode there and then the bikes were blessed.  At the overlook we saw a car decorated because it had been on pilgrimage and been blessed.

Not long before arriving in Copan Ruinas, we crossed back into Honduras.  About 5:30 we checked into our hotel - Hotel La Posada - near the central square - and went on a short walk to check out some souvenirs.  The post office was already closed.  Now I am writing this up and in a few minutes will start out for dinner.

We had a group dinner down the street to celebrate David's birthday.  He is very shy about celebrating his birthday so some of us tried to make him comfortable and others, like Roger and Charlie, didn't.  I can't remember the name of the restaurant now - something starting with Parmitas maybe, but it was an extra special place.  (Actually, Carnitas Nia Lola, described by Lonely Planet as very Americanized).  First of all, they had a happy hour and 2 for 1 cocktails and a $12 per bottle wine special.  Jane, Clare and I each ordered a different cocktail, drank one of our own, and passed the other on to whoever wanted it.  Then, the second special thing was that the waitresses carried everything on their heads - cocktails in glasses, beers in bottles, and meals on plates.  There was a grill where we could see a woman grilling meat.  I ordered a cheese and spinach enchilada appetizer and it was good, but a small serving, contrary to the ones I had been seeing, but I was satisfied.  It was a fun evening and then we went out to a bar where I had a ginger ale and a man from Midwestern US who was on a long vacation told us he was a poet-songwriter.  He passed around a copy of one of his songs.  We didn't stay out that long because we were pretty tired.

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