"They'd driven here from the US in their mini-van."
"Putting aside my fear of nasties in lakes and rivers..."
One of the Intricately Carved Stelae at Copan
Cliff Diving San Salvador, El Salvador
Monday March 10, 2003
The Copan ruins were a nice way to end my trip through the Mayan world. Every ruin site I went to was a little different. The sculpture at Copan is what makes it unique. Intricately carved stelae, stairways and entire walls are everywhere and tell stories of the city's 14 dynasties I only vaguely understand.
It's also the most expensive of all the ruins in the Ruta Maya. Chichen Itza was $8. Uxmal $3. Palenque was free because I went on a Sunday. I don't remember what Tikal cost, but it was definitely less than the $10 to get into Copan. But I don't begrudge them. It's Honduras's biggest tourist attraction I suppose and we foreigners can afford it. The thing is, though, the $10 only gets you into the park. There's a further $6 to go to the museum (more on that in a moment) and $10 more to enter the two tunnels that have been excavated to reveal parts of temples that were covered by new construction.
More Copan Sculpture
You could easily spend $26 on entry fees alone.
"It's being done to get you to pay to enter the museum." But about that museum. It seems they keep removing sculpture pieces from the ruins and moving them to the museum. So many that you begin to suspect it's being done to get you to pay to enter the museum. They're replaced by pretty good replicas outdoors, but there's always a sign that says you can see he original in the museum. I expected another sign that said the tourists I'd met there were in fact replicas and I could talk with the originals in the museum.
I met a couple from Boston who'd driven here from the US in their mini-van. I walked through most of the ruins with Rick and Teresa... at one point sitting next to the famous "Altar Q" and talking about Mt. Everest. Kind of odd. They were kind enough to let me hitch a ride with them the following morning.
"It's two Honduran army guys." I left the Bostonians as we were leaving the park so I could walk through a nature trail that runs a mile or so through the forest surrounding the ruins. About halfway through there's a ruined structure in a clearing and i decided to lay in the sun for a while.
My Honduran Army Friends
After a half hour or so I hear someone approach and whistle at me. It's two Honduran army guys. We talk for a bit till my Spanish runs out and they tell me there's a river nearby where I can go swim if I want. I take off in that direction and they later meet me there and take me farther downriver to a spot where a dozen or so local kids are playing and diving from a fairly high rock cliff. Putting aside my intense fear of nasty things in lakes and rivers, I got in and even jumped off the cliff a few times. It was a fantastic way to spend an afternoon.
After leaving Rick and Teresa the next day I took a series of buses through a couple of towns, getting to San Salvador yesterday afternoon. I'll stay another day or two. I need to get permission to enter one of the national parks, which can only be done here. And I'm trying to meet someone who lives here and found this website. That would be cool.
I'm not entirely sure where I'm headed from here. Ultimately back into a different part of Honduras and on to Nicaragua in fairly short order.