Thursday, 20 November 2008

... Central America: Paying Homage to Mah K'ina Yax K'uk' Mo'

... aka Great Sun Lord Quetzal Macaw!

As you can probably gather from that little mouthful we FINALLY got off the Island thanks to a chicken-chaser plane from Utila to La Ceiba. It seated 9 of us including the one person who got to sit next to the pilot. Once we actually got in the air it was actually pretty sweet! A little bit of a cross wind coming into La Ceiba but I have to say that the landing was the smoothest landing I have EVER had in any aircraft. I was happy to be on solid ground mind you. Unfortunately there were more than 9 of us who needed to fly and so it took two trips to get us all where we needed to be. This meant it took us around 4 hours to get off the Island. Still, way better than waiting Lord knows how many days for a ferry.....

I'm not sure how he spawned it but our group leader managed to do some 'wheeling & dealing, ducking & diving' and arrange a private mini van to take us all the way to Antigua! Score!  But we still had to get to Copán Ruinas first.... and that was still quite a way off. We trundled through the Honduran countryside yet again and struggled with several traffic jams. The Honduran National Football team were playing at the big stadium in San Pedro Sula... and we just happened to drive by it. The Hondurans are NUTS about their football. So much so that in 1969 there was a 'football war' between Honduras & El Salvador, although it is said that it actually wasn't started over a game of football.

We finally rolled into Copán Ruinas after 11pm last night thoroughly exhausted. So after a quick shower (yay for warm water again) I literally fell into bed.

I was up early this morning because we only had a few hours to spare before we were on the road again! Copán Ruinas is famous for the Copán archaeological site, where one of the most important of all Maya civilizations lived and then mysteriously crumbled. Even though Tikal (where I head to tomorrow) in Guatemala is supposed to be much grander, it is said that these ruins are well worth a look because the culture was so developed.

After a 1km tuk-tuk ride to the site it was soon very apparant that this was well worth a trip. Greeted by a bunch of wild macaws, we headed down through the forest and I for one wasn't sure about what I was going to discover.... then all of a sudden it opened into a clearing and there was a pyramid. I was awe-struck. The whole site was fascinating and the architecture unbelievable. I spent almost two hours there and still felt like it wasn't enough. Unfortunately I had to head back into town because we're back on the road very very shortly...

And this is where I must leave you for now. Antigua, Guatemala here I come!

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