Copan ruins and hot springs

Trip Start Apr 19, 2014
Trip End May 19, 2014

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Flag of Honduras  , Copan,
Tuesday, April 22, 2014

It was a fairly early wake up this morning in order to head to the Copan ruins before the heat of the day and the blazing sun. We opted to have a Clif Bar for breakfast which looking back at it now was probably not the smartest of ideas as we were hungry early into our tour and all of the walking was pretty draining on the system. That combined with a fairly poor sleep the night before as our room backed on to one of the main roads through town with a decent hill on it. Every diesel truck that drove by and downshifted in the night sounded like it was going through our room waking is up. Our local guide met us at our hotel and walked to the ruins which were about 2km away. Copan was once a major Mayan city for about 400 years and it was abandoned when the resources in the area ran out. It was a really fascinating place with parts still being dug out by archeologists while other parts have been restored. Our visit started with some info on the jungle around the area. Apparently the translation for avocado is testicle tree and ancient Mayans used to wipe themselves with corn cobs. Both of these foods will never be the same for me. Our guide Marvin took us through the site which was really cool. Most of our group had already seen many Mayan sites as they started in Mexico but for us it was the first and only site that we will see on this trip. As the morning went on it got hotter and hotter with little shade at the site. The main highlights of Copan were the hieroglyphic staircase and the ball court as well as the many carved alters, some of which used for human sacrifice. We finished out tour around noon and by then we were all hungry and drained from the heat.

For lunch we found a small local restaurant near the main square. We tried some of the local specialties including pupusas. A pupusa is like a quesadilla except the filling is cooked right into the tortilla. We also tried baleadras which are like a burrito with filling cooked into a thin folded over tortilla instead of being rolled. Both were quite good with some hot sauce on top. After lunch we refilled our water supply and prepared to go to the hot springs. Prior to making the drive we also needed to refill our beer supply as it was BYOB. The drive took about 1.5h even though the map shows that it was only 23km away from Copan. We took a pickup truck along the bumpy road including one bump that blew the lid off the cooler and smashed some of the glass bottles a few of the others brought. Gina and I had cans so the bumpy road was less of a concern to us. The hot springs were a beautiful place tucked into a valley in the jungle. There were many different pools of varying temperature so you could find one that suited your tolerance. There was also one where you could take a mud bath that Gina took advantage of. My favourite was the hottest pool that was around 46 degrees. Right next to it was a cold pool so you could alternate between the two. It was also conveniently next to the beer cooler. We spent 2.5 hours at the hot springs and it was dark by the time we were finished.

After getting changed we met up for supper at one of the group areas at the hot-springs. As part of the package our local guide hired the chef from one of the local restaurants to cook for us. We had the equivalent of kabobs with chicken, beef and vegetables grilled on an open flame. There was black beans and fresh pico de gallo on the side as well as tortillas and garlic bread. It was so good and really filled you up. Full and ready for a nap we piled back into the box of the pickup for the 1.5 hour drive back to Copan. There was no sleep to be had on the bumpy road back no matter how hard you tried. The stars were out and you would every so often see the reflection of lightning in the distance. We arrived back at the hotel at around 22:00 and ready for bed. Between the heat of the morning at the ruins and the hot and cold of the hot springs, it was pretty tiring. We made it an early night as we have to be up early tomorrow to catch our bus to Roatan.
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Leslie on

Enjoy the heat. Snow and rain here! :)

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