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Wednesday 21 Dec 2005
Copan, Honduras

The wild west

Copan Ruinas in Honduras, was our final stop on the Mayan route. It was here they ended up after plundering the lands in Guatemala. The ruins themselves weren't as impressive as those of Tikal or Palanque. They were smaller and reflective of a civilisation in decline, but the stone engravings (stalae) and hyroglyphs were fantastic.

We arrived at our hostel in Copan in the morning after another border crossing and mamouth bus journey from Guatemala. We bumped in to our friend Jan, we'd met in Tikal, who looked at us blankly. 'Remember us?' we asked. He continued to stare blankly before snapping out of his trance. 'Did you see that?' he said 'What?' we replied. Apparently, we'd just missed a swarm of killer bees who'd terrorised the hostel only moments earlier and would explain his distraction. By the time we arrived, there were only a few stragglers dying on the floor.

The next day we got a pick-up with others from our hostel to some hot springs, hot enough to boil an egg. It wasn't the springs themselves that were so impressive but the journey there, stood up in the back of the pick-up. The scenery was spectacular, really unusual ancient volcanic landscape covered in lush jungle.

Copan Ruinas has a real wild west feel to it, all the men ride around on horses, wearing jeans and cowboy hats, maschetes slung around their waists. We went to the bank the following day and the guy in front took out his pistol from his jeans, handed it to the security guard who slung it in his belt, and strolled in. It was like watching an old western.

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