Friday, 20 January 2012

Getting Started and Copan Ruinás!

Well, it was December the 5th and we awoke very early in the morning, very excited so we would be able to reach the ferry port in time for the 7am ferry. Our journey started, having to climb over the school gates with our bags, and being attacked by some dogs on the walk down the road. A bit of a dodgy start, not gonna lie ... but hopefully things could only get better right?? Oh Hells Yeah!!
This whole day was spent on busses, waiting for busses and buying coffee to keep us going. After the ferry we had to get a bus to San Pedro Sula (one of many stops here on our travels!) which took about 5 hours, grabbed some lunch before then taking a bus to Copan Ruinás, another 7ish hours due to the very bumby and windy roads through the mountains, which meant, we didn’t really get to Copan until about 7 o’clock at night, where we managed to bargain down the price of a private room as the man had promised us some dorms beds, but all of the dorm rooms were full! Go us, so our first stop of the holiday was spent in relative luxury for a traveller in one of the most gorgeous towns ever!
Copan Ruinás is a very quaint little town, filled with cobbled streets and little cafes surrounding a beautiful central square. The next few days were amazing, spent time visiting Macaw Mountain, a great little bird sanctuary in a coffee plantation, where they had macaws and parrots and all sorts of other birds, some of which you could even hold, which of course we did (Macaws are actually pretty heavy, and when you had three on you at once, with your arms out, can get a bit tiresome ... i’m not weak! ... I promise!). We also of course visited the famous ruins, and had the pleasure of having a great guide who claimed to have discovered half of the ruins himself, and even claimed to have about 5 different degrees in everything ranging from Anthropology to Mayanology (????), anyway, he was very funny and we had a great tour around the site, which was amazing! Everything was spectacular, these structures were huge and just looked like something built out of Alien Vs. Predator ... kind of got a bit scared when I saw the sacrificial room full of slimy eggs ... just kidding!!
Some of the nights in Copan where definitely enjoyable, always walking around trying to find somewhere to eat for the night, we stumbled across some great places. Places that had back packer specials ($8 for a 3 course dinner), some great ‘tipico’ or ‘asada’ (traditional or typical food, and grilled meat respectively), but one of the best places we came across (well, Ally came across really) was when we were approached by a local women on the street asking us if we had heard about the german restaurant in town, and saying that she could take us there, However, myself and Mageli (a girl we had met and spent the past couple of days with, and who had become a very good friend) needed to head back to the hotel to drop off some shopping or something, so Ally subtly passed me his remaining money and camera, for fear of being accosted by this women and came back from his venture raving about this place, and saying that it had its own brewery and that the man who ran in, Thomas, was pretty much a mad scientist, inventing all of these different flavoured beers every night to sell to his customers. Anywho, we all agreed to head back there later for a meal and we were lucky to have some great traditional german food and were surrounded by some great company, people from all over the world, there was even a BRIT!! A girl from bristol who I became immediate friends with due to the connection of us being from the same country. The evening continued as we had more and more of this mad scientist’s home brewed beer (not actually that bad!) and eventually we were both quite drunk as we stumbled back into our hotel room and crashed!
Copan was just amazing and I really don’t want to bore you with everything we did, will save that for when I return, but I will just say that one of the weirdest moments was while eating breakfast in their central market, an old local man came and sat next to us and started to talk to us about Sophocles’ philosophies (in spanish I might add), of course, we were both quite startled and didn’t really know how to reply, apart from the classic nod of the head whilst saying ‘Sí, Sí’. 
If anyone gets the opportunity to visit this place ... DO!! Some honestly great food, surrounded by fantastic scenery and some very nice shopping to be had, only slight down turn is that there is of course a lot of ‘gringos’ there, due to it being Honduras’ second biggest tourist attraction, which also means it is a little expensive for a travellers budget, but you can really overlook that fact when surrounded by such a beautiful place and such friendly people!

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