. The other guy was only in Honduras for the weekend - kind of the opposite extreme to my big trip - he had used some air miles from work travel for a free flight and a nice weekend away (its only 3 hours flight to the USA). We went to a cool bar called Via Via and enjoyed some pretty good live music from a local guy playing guitar and singing some fairly mellow songs. On Saturday I got up early to go and see the famous Mayan ruins. Copan is something of a different experience to Tikal and Palenque for example but is still quite impressive in its own way. Copan is less about large majestic temples which you can climb up for jungle-setting views and more about the remarkable intricacy of the stelae carvings and hieroglyphics. Although I do find the approach at Copan a little odd in the sense that they are pulling the real stelae and other artefacts off from the main site and placing them in the museum for protection from the weather , whilst replacing them in the main ruins with replicas .... I understand the logic but if they carry on they will end up with a completely unoriginal site. There are a number of main areas of interest such as the main plaza with its many stelae , the ball court , the hieroglyphic staircase , the acropolis area which is kind of split into two sections and some other outlying ruins. So I spent a good few hours wandering around the ruins before the searing heat finally beat me (its really scorchingly hot here and feels significantly hotter than Guatemala) and I retired to the cool of a cafeteria for some lunch
. In the afternoon I went into the museum to see some more of the real stelae , altars and other artefacts from the site . The centrepiece of the museum is a huge full-size colourful replica of the Rosalila temple which is actually buried deep under one of the structures at the ruins and inaccessible to the public visitors. Then I hiked the little nature trail which has a few rather basic signs explaining how the mayans utilised nature - alas didnt see much animal life as it was still in the heat of the afternoon , rather more insect life unfortunately I am picking up a fair few bites in Copan. Saturday night in Copan was really great - lots of fun and I admit a pretty drunken affair by the end. A crowd of us (3 Irish , 2 Americans and me flying the English flag) went for "a few beers" in the Red Frog bar which turned into a bit of a Cuba Libre (rum and coke) session well into the early hours at a cool place called Papa Changos where they have swings as bar stools. The party continued onwards back towards the hostel and by the time there was any notion of sleep it was I think knocking on towards 5am. The American guy who was only down here for the weekend had to pull a good old-fashioned all-nighter as he had a 5.45am bus to get to his flight out of San Pedro Sula , so he just staggered off to try and find the way to his bus whilst the rest of us finally crashed out. Got a few hours sleep before surfacing later on Sunday morning , rather hungover , to find some food an grab a couple of afternoon buses to the colonial town Santa Rosa de Copan , where I plan to have a quick look around & stop only one night before going on to another town called Gracias. I have loads of photos from my trip I want to upload here but its proving to be practically impossible with the internet connection speeds in Honduras internet cafes so I may have to wait until I get to a bit of a larger city such as San Pedro Sula and see if I can get enough bandwidth there.
Crossed the border at El Florido on Friday morning so I am now in Honduras ! Caught a microbus to Copan Ruinas the little colonial town near to the ruins. Found a really nice hostel the Blue Iguana and had a relatively relaxed Friday checking out the town , updating this blog (which I have rather neglected recently) and getting some much needed chores done like my laundry. My plan is to spend about a week touring the mainland in Honduras before hitting the Bay Islands next weekend with the aim of doing my PADI Open Water scuba diving course the week after next in either Roatan or Uutila - I know , it`s a hard life , but someone`s got to do it :) I realised that I`ve been exactly 12 weeks travelling today ... a remarkable and wonderful 3 months "on the road" since I arrived in Chihuahua , Mexico on 4th Jan .... took a little quiet time to reflect on just how enormously my life has changed this year ... and there`s still nine months and many more exciting new countries and experiences to come ... Happy Days ! :) Friday night I had dinner and a few beers with a couple of American guys staying at the same hostel - one of the guys said he recognised me from somewhere but I couldnt place him so we ran back through a few places we had been and it turned out we had spoken briefly at breakfast in a little comedor last week in Momostenango , Guatemela