Published: March 9th 2012February 24th 2012
In honour of the King
A carving on one of the many stellas. Preserved history of a lost civilization.
Hola todo el mundo.
We found ourselves in a quaint little city called Copan Ruinas. And guess what? There were Mayan ruins called Copan Ruinas in the vicinity.
What makes Copan so special from the other ruins that we have seen so far is that many of the carving details have been well preserved. This means that the symbols on the stelae (standing stones) tell the full story of the past leaders or kings. Even some of the paint is still intact. There were some cool names like The Temple of the Underworld and The Cemetery. The Cemetery was not even a cemetery, the Spanish just called it that due to the fact that they found skeletons underneath the brick-walled homes. The Mayans actually buried their ancestors under their homes, you know, to keep them nice and close. This seems similar, yet different, than the Incas (see last year´s post from Peru) where the Incas mummified the bodies of their ancestors and brought them to celebrations and ceremonies, and keeping them at home otherwise. (Okay, everyone! Uncle-mummy-Joey wants to sit at the head of the table this year! Someone open a window! whew!) But we digress.... Copan was certainly
On a stella at the Copan Ruins
worth the trip to see.
On a different note... we always like to balance our ¨hey, this is fun and great!¨ experiences, with the reality of visiting a developing country. Time and time again, we are reminded of the trash on the roadsides as we travel through these awesome places. People do not understand the idea of putting the trash into the bin. (If a bin is even provided). So we forever bite our tongues on buses, as people just fling things out the window. Plastic bags, plastic bottles, etc., line the highway...
Now just when we think we´ve seen it all...
On the bus from Santa Rosa to Nueva Ocotepeque, we noticed a smell... A few minutes later, on the seat in front of us, a mother changes the nappy (diaper) of her baby then just throws the dirty one out the window, regardless of other road users, and of course, the undeniable beauty of the Honduran countyside and the environment. A new road sign should be made ¨caution, flying poopy diapers ahead¨ for drivers. Just imagine if you were driving behind this bus... okay, enough said...
After arriving in Nueva Ocotepeque... It did not
Depicting what Copan may have looked like in its hayday.
take long to figure out that Nueva Ocotepeque is the kind of place that most people, upon arrival, would promptly start planning their departure - a hot and dusty border town with a lot of sketchiness, sleaziness and skankiness! However, because of the time of day, we decided to spend the night there... First we tried to find a room, but most of the hotels were asking an obscene amount of money for mediocre rooms, with the exception of one hole-in-the-ground of a place that was dirt cheap... "Dirt" being the key word! The room, which cost little more than a bag of candy, was full of garbage, dirty and smelly and the bed looked as if someone had recently parked a bulldozer on it. There was bag of garbage on the floor in the courtyard where a young boy was beating it up with a broom, then broke the broom, making quite the mess. Needless to say we kept looking... "Um, no gracias." We eventually found an OK place. However, the town was out power for most of the day and so the room was hotter than the surface of the sun...
Oh, we forgot to mention Dave´s
feeble attempt to kick a boy´s ball in the park to engage him in a little soccer, but what Dave did not realize was that the ball was just as light as a balloon, and kicked it into the skanky unused fountain water full of garbage. Good thing he has long arms. haha.
And we also forgot to mention that Theresa´s feeble attempt to dance to some groovy music scared off a young boy who was also dancing. There was much laughter from his Grandmother though... I know, don´t quit my day job...
Now that we completely trashed Ocotepeque (It really wasn't too bad), there was one nice thing worth mentioning. When we asked directions from a local person, TWICE, we were actually given the right directions!! And we actually found the place we were looking for! Wow! Miracles do happen everywhere!
Hasta la pasta... D y T.
There are more photos below