Bus adventures,Maya ruins and a leftover hurricane
Trip Start Aug 01, 2007
20Trip End Oct 04, 2007
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Finally it was time to get on the bus. We got in line for the security check, in which they look through your hand luggage and then for some unknown reason, snap a picture of you with a digital camera. It was very difficult to resist the temptation to make funny faces at the very serious security guy taking the pictures
you will get off the bus.¨ Now this really pissed us off, and both Ido and I switched into argumentitive Israeli mode and explained to them that we had been some of the first people there and we weren´t about to get off the bus, and that they were being ridiculous. The bus company people went off to think some more, and then one
of the Swiss girls came up from the back row and suggested that since the seats were so huge anyway and we were all in the last row together, that we should all just squish together a little and sit down and then the bus could go
After switching buses in San Pedro Sula we finally got to the charming little town of Copan Ruinas around 5:30 PM, only to discover that our umbrella had not made it onto the bus somehow, even though it had been securely strapped to We met a nice couple from San Francisco, who we ended up going out to dinner and beers with at a Californian-owned place called the Red Frog. While we were there, it started to rain, and rain, and rain. We saw some amazing lighting bolts from our table upstairs. But eventually it was time to go back to the hotel, and no end to the rain in sight. We tried in vain to flag down a tuk-tuk (moto taxi). In the end we had no choice but to take off our flip flops and run in the rain all the way back to the hotel. The hot shower back in our room was definitely the best one of the entire trip so far....
The next day we headed off to Copan, the ancient Maya city famed for its well-preserved carvings and stellae
In the site itself we had a great tour with explanations about the Maya people and the priest-rulers, who apparently were a bunch of pierced, tattooed, pot-belled stoners who spent most of their time in a trance high on peyote, mescal, and hot chocolate with chiles (an aphrodesiac). Somehow despite this state, they managed to work out a very accurate calendar, which predicted the end of the long count on December 21, 2012, implying some kind of catastrophe. In times of trouble, they would hold ball games in the ball court. In their game, the players could touch the ball with everything except hands and feet, and the object was to keep it off the ground and hit the macaw head markers on the sides of the court. The best player (or worst, depending on who you ask) had the honor of being sacrificed to the gods after the game. We saw the stone altar upon which his head would be placed, with a channel for the blood to run down and be collected to burn as an offering to the gods
The guide was very knowlegable, and pointed out to us the special features of Copan, including the hieroglyphic staircase, a series of steps made up of 3000 glyphs telling the entire story of the place and its 16 rulers, the only one of its kind found in the Maya world. Juan also told us that the Maya people originally came from Mongolia, and that they inherited the swastika symbol and the yin-yang from Asia . . . because you know, once all the continents had been together as one, like Atlantis. . .
When we reached the gate on the way out of Copan, the macaws were a bit more active than they had been in the morning. We wanted to feed them something, and then realized that Phoenix had brought an apple for breakfast. She gave up the apple as a sacrifice to the macaws, and they thoroughly enjoyed it. At one point she was surrounded on all sides by huge, brightly colored birds with half-ton pressure beaks, all clamoring for another bite of apple, and even pulling gently on her clothes to get her attention. A little scary, but also really fun.
Our last stop in Copan was the museum, which has many of the original sculptures as well as a life size reconstruction of one of the grandest temples of the city, painted bright red, as the whole city had been back in the day. It was really impressive.
We didn´t really do much more in Copan. Ido had a bit of a cold so we took it easy for the rest of the day.
The next day, we headed off towards Guatemala.