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Copan Ruinas

Local taxi in the narrow streets of Copas Ruinas.

A brilliant ride through the highlands on good roads

About 50% of the population live below poverty level, an easy going, friendly people.

Colourful markets on the road side, weaving is an important craft.

No not the restaurant we went to, a roadside kitchen.

Housing on the slopes of Tegucigalpa

Good to pass by Tegucigalpa on the ring road.

Back into the mountains

Dwellings on the edge of the road are a constant reminder of the standard of living here.

Next page will take you on to Nicaragua.

Honduras

20/10/04

10km inside Honduras is Copan Ruinas (map –1), site of some of the best preserved Mayan Hieroglyphics and remarkably detailed stone carvings. Dianne enjoyed a bumpy taxi ride in a three wheeler down the cobbled streets and 1 km out of town to the ruins where she had enough time to appreciate the creative genius of those ancient mayan people.

Stayed at an inexpensive and very clean hotel $12.00 for the night. The town of Copan Ruinas, nestled in the mountains has a great character, streets are clean and the people are friendly.

 

21/10/04

A brilliant ride today with good roads, winding up and down the mountains as we made our way towards Tegucigalpa, the capital city of Honduras. Very little traffic too.

This truck had just rolled off the road.

The Honduran's seem less impatient than the Guatemalans and certainly use their horns less, but today we saw more 'near death' driving manoeuvres than on the whole of our trip so far. Buses overtaking trucks on blind corners and on one occasion I could see there was a car coming but the bus just plowed past me and the truck I was following. Somehow the three vehicles (and us) got past each other on these narrow roads!

Enjoying the local town centre square, the people are Mestiza, a mixture of Spanish and indigena.

Lately we've been skipping lunch or if we do get something it's usually at a small local cafe. About 1.00pm we entered this town and there was a large buffet restaurant. Since we were in Honduras and everything is supposed to be cheap we decided to check it out. Well, it was like xmas for us. Spotlessly clean bathrooms and a huge delicious buffet. We had an excellent meal for $4.00 each!! This place also had an armed guard to watch over customer's vehicles and our guard was so pleased to have a Harley to guard. Some of the other guards were curious about the bike but if they came over to have a look he would chase them away. Pity we can't take him with us.

Feeling buoyed we continued on to Tegucigalpa again passing through stunning scenery as we wound our way up and over several mountain passes. We had been tipped off in Copan about a recently completed ring road around Tegucigalpa. Most maps don't show it and our's didn't, but as we entered the city we managed to get on it and winged our way around to the exit we wanted - Valley of the Angles (map –2).

Spent the evening in a quaint restaurant here that used to be the home of an ex president. An enjoyable meal of local tucker and an engaging conversation with a fellow traveler who knows this continent well. Got some good info and tips for our future travels.

22/10/04

Woke up to the call of the local parrot. Hola, Hola. Seems everybody and everything here speaks Spanish, strange that!

Today we enter Nicaragua on a route recommended by our friend in the restaurant last night. As we said, he knows this area well and we followed his suggested route up and over more mountains towards the coast on excellent roads. Three hours later we were in Choluteca back at sea level it was hot and steamy again, but instead of entering Nicaragua at El Triunto as most travelers do, our new best friend had suggested we head east back up into the mountains and cross the boarder at El Espino. Great scenery but the main reason is that the road on the Nicaraguan side from this crossing is excellent as opposed to the rough road at the other border crossing.

Spot the customs office! It is there somewhere?

At the small border crossing point we were approached by a young man who offered to 'guide' us through the formalities. We accepted his offer and he whisked us from official to official. Without his assistance we would have had a tough time as the officials are working out of cafes and non government looking buildings. We ended up paying $20.00 in 'bribes' but were through in around 20 minutes and paid our helper $5.00.

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©Haydn and Dianne Durnell 200