Yat's Big Trip travel blog

Map of major Mayan ruins in Central America

Overview of Copan Ruinas site

A scarlet macaw waits and greets us at the entrance

Rachel and David on the top of a pyramid...

...and checking out the photo when back on the bottom

My turn now!

...and coming down the steps

Looking for shade from the strong sun

Red-tinted Mayan sculpture...

...a butterfly explores the sculpture too

An archway through one of the central pyramids...

...David goes for a closer examination

...and the underside of the archway

Sign showing us the trail to walk around the ruins

Close up of more steps

Important central ceremonial stairways - still undergoing works and protected from weather

Trees growing on the ruins...

...this way!

...that's how people *forgot* about Copan being here!

Close up of national tree of Guatemala

Sculpture under protection


Must admit, left Antigua in a very stylish way. Partied until 3:30am, and had enough time to stagger home to stuff everything on the table into my daypack AND a last swig of rum from Gerd before waiting for the mini shuttle at 4am to take us across the border into Honduras. Felt very assured to leave Astrid in the care of my very capable newly adopted Brüderchen, who had the good sense of steering her back with some food after the After Party.

It was time to leave though... Much as I love the city, it was killing me through lack of sleep. Was always too tired to study, and could never seem to say "no" to social functions.

Apart from the fact that it was still dark outside, and that I was desperately catching up with some much needed sleep, I can not report on what the landscape was like as we hurtled six hours across mountains. Luckily was more or less awake for my very first border crossing, which wasn't as dramatic as I thought. Also had some fun changing money with one of the many hawkers haunting the immigration offices, and felt pretty smug that managed to get an extra limpera (about 5p) for free. Changed my mind when realised was given a 2 Honduran limperas to 1 Guatemalan Quetzal exchange rate, whereaas the locals haggled for a 2.25 limperas to 1Q.. Grrrrrr!!!

Thanks to David's previous consultation of my Lonely Planet guide, he successfully led his wife Rachel, Baden and I to our hostel. After dumping our bags, and taking a quick shower (me, much needed) we trooped off to Cafe Via Via for a spot of lunch. Finally got some Thai green curry in the stomach! Lovely! Oh, also got attacked by lots of mosquitos without protection from my bug spray - thought they wouldn't like drunken vegetarians?!?

The short walk to the Unesco world heritage archaeological site was pleasant... Realised haven't walked among trees and grass in the countryside for a while, and it was nice. Only took my camera with me (I'm so sorry 1981!!) and was slightly too zoombied to know exactly what all the stone Mayan pyramids and altar pieces stood for. Have taken some nice pictures nonetheless, and can recommend several shaded grassy spots for a quick nap. It's amazing what a quick 10 minutes power nap can do!

It did make me wonder what was more amazing.. the ancient Mayan to have masterplanned this city, which once had a population of 20,000 - with its sophisticated religious temples, ball courts, residential area and burial grounds; or the archaeological efforts in restoring it for the world to appreciate what this used to be; especially since it was reclaimed by the jungle after the Spanish conquest. You can see huge trees with branches as thick as the trunks growing solidly off the side of a tall stone pyramid - not sure whether it is a battle between nature and man?

Apart from the Ruins, there wasn't much to the town, I felt. Sure there were quite a few resturants, but they were particularly lively (including the dodgy karaoke bar we went into, closely competed by two locals). Which was just as well, because my mind was simply thinking "sleep, sleep, sleep".

Felt a lot more refreshed the next morning, but decided to leave Copan with the others and cross back into Guatemala as there weren't enough people interested in the Hot Springs (about an hour away) for me to go. Slightly disappointing, but it meant I could have the company of my lovely housemates for an extra hour or so....

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