I woke up the next day to explore what I came here for: the ruins.
Located about 15-20 minutes by foot from the town, the Copan ruins are the best in Honduras. I’m no anthropologist nor historian so I defer to Wikipedia for the history of the ruins. You enter through a visitor center and then it’s a short walk through a forested area to the ticket checkpoint. All of the visitors are funneled through here to make sure you paid the $15 to get in. Although no Machu Picchu or Angkor Wat, they were still pretty impressive. The complex consisted of numerous temples, statues and a ball court. Residential areas were in the back and there’s also a museum (which I skipped).
After freezing my ass off for several months in a San Franciscan “summer”, it was very refreshing to be in a hot climate. I landed in San Pedro around 11am and the next bus to leave for Copan was at 1pm. My ticket with Casasola Express cost 110 lempiras (or about $5.82) and entailed a 3.5 – 4 hour ride. Not a bad deal, but still slightly more expensive than the $1/hr standard that I had grown accustomed to in South America. I walked out to the bus platform and saw that the Casasola bus was an older, slightly beat-down touring bus. In the hierarchy of buses, this represented a step above the chicken buses but still several rungs below the nice coaches we’re used to here in the states.
As I looked out of my window on the final approach into San Pedro Sula, Honduras, all I saw was a sea of green. A canopy of trees covered the rolling hills that stretched to the mountains on the horizon. Here and there, small silver reflections of roofs dotted the landscape. The lower we got, the foggier the windows became from the impending heat and humidity. After landing, I passed through customs, grabbed some lempiras from an ATM and jumped into a cab with an American working in Tegucigalpa.
As we careened and raced down the dusty, sign-less road towards San Pedro’s bus terminal, I couldn’t help but notice a wide grin slowly forming across my face.
Back in San Francisco. Expect Honduras recaps soon.
As of right now, I’ll be boarding my flight to Honduras in approximately 44 hours. I’m really looking forward to the trip as it’ll be my first time out of the country in over a year. It was a bit sad to see that a layer of dust had formed on my passport, but like seeing an old friend, it was great to be reunited.
Remember back in the day when we used to go knock on our friends’ doors to see if they could play? Or when people agreed on meeting at a certain place and time, and then actually did it without calling each other every 3 minutes? I do and I kinda miss it. There was a simple charm to it, back when we weren’t so “connected”.
As I sit here typing this post, I’m logged in my work email, on gchat, Facebook and Digg. Both my work phone and cell phone are sitting inches away from me. If I wanted to, I could go sit on a toilet and let the world know what I’m doing through a Tweet. Stop and think about that for a second. Realize how ridiculously connected we are these days?
Imagine you’re barreling down a 10ft wide road at 20mph. The road, instead of smooth asphalt, is composed of loose gravel and rocks. On your right are sheer cliffs that go up several thousand feet. On your left, are sheer cliffs that go down several thousand feet. Some parts of the road are covered in water from trickling waterfalls. And every once in a while, after turning a blind corner, you’ll be fortunate enough to find yourself head-on with an oncoming truck. Oh yea, I forgot to mention, you’re riding a freaking bike.
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the infamous “Death Road”.