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Published: November 4th 2011
31st October ’11 Antigua to Copan, Honduras
3.45 am and the alarm goes off and we staggered out to get the rucksacks loaded on to the top of the minibus. The seats are meant for two but only actually fit 1 ½! Add Howard’s Asda pillow in with us and needless to say we didn’t get much sleep!! We had a breakfast stop about 8ish and then carried on to the border. Again there were moneychangers there with their big wads of cash and we managed to change our last few quetzals for Hondurian lempira.
We got through the border crossing with no problems and now have a Honduras stamp in our passports to add to the collection! We then travelled into the Copan Valley, again with high mountains and hills, all very green and lush and then into the town of Copan. It is a very small town with the usual square in the centre and church at one end and town hall at the other. There are lots of cowboys here all wandering around with their Stetson style hats on and lots of small girls trying to sell the few tourists their little corn dolls – which
appear to be the traditional craft of this area. Intrepid strongly discourages you from buying from children as they feel it creates a culture of begging and not needing to go to school but as each family lives in poverty it is a really trick one. Apparently each member of the family has to make $1 a day in order for the family to be fed so it is easy to see why the kids try and sell things.
So once again Copan is built on a very steep hill side with little cobbled streets and of course our hotel was right at the top of one of these! When we arrived we were taken on a ‘leisurely’ walking tour of the town, which left me miles behind and unable to hear what was being said anyway. By the time they stopped for lunch I was so knackered and tired we left them to it and went back to the hotel for some kip and time out. For tea that night we just went to the closest local place and it was just us and lots of locals – what a refreshing change! 2 dogs parked themselves under our
table for the whole of our meal and only left when the waiter took our plates away. The food was all barbecued and really good and marimba music was playing the whole time. We then had an early night and sat in bed watching the film Perfume on the netbook!
1st Nov ’11 Copan Ruins
Rather than join the organised guided tour of the ruins we just woke up when we wanted, had a leisurely breakfast of pancakes and got a tuk tuk out to the ruins. Apart from meeting some of our group as they were leaving we hardly saw anyone.
The jungle had been pretty well cleared from the ruins and the surrounding area and the palace complex was really lovely – very big and spacious. The main features of this site are the carvings and stellae – large carved standing stone slabs, which are in very good condition and even have colour remaining in some places. They tell the history of the kings and the piece de resistance is the hieroglyphic stairway which is protected by a long canopy which stretches from the top to the bottom of a high temple and has glyphs on
each stone and several large statues down the centre of it. It truly is an amazing sight!
We spent several hours exploring this site and even saw a few huge brightly coloured macaws and a strange tail less pig type animal. We then tuk tuked back into the town and found a café with internet to while away a couple of hours in peace…… until 12 of the group turned up aswell….oh well.
2nd Nov ’11 Copan to Roatan
Another long day of travelling involving an early start 2 buses, taxi, ferry, bus and then a walk to the hotel! On the ferry a lovely Hondurian lady sat next to me she was travelling back to the island with her 3 year old son and her 2 month old baby girl. She told me how she was born on the island and lived there but her husband worked in the capital on the mainland and she had been visiting him for 2 ½ months and now had to go home as she started back at work the next day. They had been married for 5 years and she hoped that next year he would be able to move
out and live with her on the island!! She told me she had a very good job as she worked at the Dolphin Experience on Roatan. The 1 ½ hour boat trip passed pretty quickly as she was so sweet and spoke really good English, at one point we spotted wild dolphins who were leaping in the air and diving in and out of the water she explained that this meant something good was going to happen, let’s hope so!
When we docked we said our goodbyes and everyone collected their bags and we piled on to a minibus which was supposed to take us to the hotel. It was all going quite well until we got to a stretch of road which was blocked by diggers and had a giant hole in it, there was no way the bus could get past so we all collected our bags and staggered along in the pitch black trying to avoid the holes and giant puddles!
Tea that night was at the chicken rotisserie which fortunately for us is on our side of the dug up road! It was gorgeous, Howard made a total pig of himself and ate an
entire chicken much to everyone’s amusement!
3rd Nov ‘11
Roatan is the island that was hit by the hurricane a couple of weeks ago and it is still suffering from the after effects, the coast road is a mess and the repairs may take between 2 weeks to 2 months to be finished. This has really badly affected all the little bars and hotels at our end of the beach as most people do not bother to try and get down that far. It’s such a shame for them as tourism seems to be the only source of income. The beach on our side of the island is awash with seaweed and junk from the rainstorms and no one seems to be bothered with clearing it.
Today we just took it easy and walked along the town – via the beach as you couldn’t get past the guys digging up the road! Its just a ramshackle collection of a few small hotels, a few tiny shops and some restaurants. The prices however are astronomical!!!!! Everything is priced for the americans that come here on the cruise ships, they dock over the other side of the island and then
do tours around it, go diving and have dolphin experiences apparently, so where ever you are on the island the prices are sky high.
Nothing much else to report just a relaxing day with only a couple of short lived very heavy bouts of rain.
4th Nov ‘11
Today we decided to visit West Beach which apparently is one of the top 10 beaches in the world – now where they got that fact from I do not know! We wandered down to the jetty and waited for about 20 minutes with no sign of a water taxi so decided we would walk as it was supposed to take about 45 minutes along the coast.
Off we set and were soon walking over great matted stretches of seaweed and junk, then the beach area started to vanish and we were clambering around rocks and paddling through water channels, but by this point there was no point in turning back so we carried on. We walked past some massive houses and really posh hotels all of which were closed up and no doubt would be spectacular in high season but the effect was rather spoilt by the effects of
Anyway it took ages but we finally got to West Beach and it was lovely, with white sand, palm trees, blue water etc, so we spent a while there and then managed to get a water taxi back. All this time my ankle had held up pretty well but once we started walking back it just kind of gave way and so I limped the rest of the way back and am now resting up in our room.
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