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Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Mundo Maya; the mystical world of a lost civilisation.

We had really had so much fun around Tela, but a move to a new place always brings yet more fun and new adventures! Our next move was Copan Ruinas, a small town only a kilometre away from Honduras´most famous Mayan site. A small little place, with cobblestone streets and adobe buildings, we wondered how much had actually changed over the last 5oo years!

The idea was to spend only a few days here, but in addition to it being so peaceful, tranquil and spiritual, we also met some amazing locals, and so it ended up rolling into a week. We kept saying, ¨Just one more day!¨. We stayed at a place called Hostal Rosalila, a place run by Senor Rafael Gonzalez and his family. We stayed in a beautiful high ceilinged room with big windows lending themselves to mountain views, and a big comfortable bed, actually the best we had slept on for ages. The family went out of their way to make us feel at home and Iris, one of the daughters, was always tempting us with some home made speciality she had cooked up...which was always good!

We rarely find a restaurant that is so cheap and with such great food that we keep going back, but we did here! Dona Martha at Cafe Allegro served up some great numbers. When I saw ¨vegetarian burrito¨on the menu, I almost passed out! Hey, it´s not over ´till the fat lady sings though.....so, I ordered one and out came this whopping burrito bursting with all types of veggies! I felt like I had found god! Needless to say, we went back there on several occasions. ¨La Casa de Todo¨ (The house of everything) down the road from the restaurant had the best coffee in town (trust us we also frequented this place with gusto) as well as internet cheap enough that I could catch up on all my blog writing.

The archaelogical site of Copan Ruins was a pleasant stroll only 10 minutes or so out of town. Between this site and another one called Las Sepulturas, a further one kilometre on, we spent two full days. The Mayan temples and carvings here stem from one of Honduras´earliest civilisations, settled in 1200 BC or earlier. The history is rich, and the energy overwhelming! So much mystery surrounds the Maya: Why did they suddenly disappear? Where did they go? Why did they build these ceremonial centres? How where these temples built and by whom? So many questions, yet with no definitive answers. As we walked through the ruins, I immagined what it must have been like in the times of the Maya. The best one can do is walk around and be enveloped by the energy! Trying to find answers only seems to aid in making one feel frustrated. It was definitely part of some greater plan!

One of our highlights was meeting Carlos, the architect. He is currently working on the design of a place called ¨Luna Jaguar Spa Resort¨ www.lunajaguar.com (coming soon), a place with natural thermal waters about 45 minutes out of town. Please do not let the word resort throw you off! We would like to congratulate Carlos on an amazing job - he is working on thermal waters in a natural setting, that works with the environment instread of against it! This means small pools or jacuzzis made of stones , replicas of old Mayan statues, caves, and natural wooden bridges, all designed to blend into the landscape instead of stand out. This man has a vision very few in his continent have- he is thinking about the future impact and not just about tomorrow. In addition he treats the workers well, and is also helping them understand what it means to think about tomorrow too. It can be done. We spent an extremely relaxing day there with Carlos, Trevor ( a New Zealander.....who has been to over 100 countries...I´m jealous!) and Jose, the masseuse, and a good one at that. We later spent some more relaxing nights hanging out in the town together as well.

After a full and exciting week, we made our way to Santa Rosa de Copan. This trip jolted us out of peaceful mode and back into travel mode! Back on the chicken bus, which had so many passengers crammed into it, that all I could keep thinking was that if there was an accident we would all be instant minced meat for the local livestock! But, alas, we made it to Santa Rosa alive.

Santa Rosa is a tranquil town....actually so tranquil that we barely saw another tourist. Amongst the very few were Erika and Francesca from northern Italy. Great girls, who also spoke reasonable Spanish. Picture this: Erika and Francesca speaking Italian, Ombi also speaking Italian and making several mistakes (the girls helpfully correcting my Italian / Spanish medley), and Alex speaking in Spanish. And you know what? We all understood each other! At the moment, due to greater usage, my Spanish is much stronger than my Italian. Hopefully, our jaunt to Italy in a few months should help to polish it up. They say that if you don´t use it you lose it, which sadly is true.

Our Sunday with spent with some locals, and a Catholic priest and his family. We met Erik and Ana, the owners of Ten Napel Cafe (on another of my quests for good coffee!), and along with their daughter Pamela, we had a wonderful afternoon on the ¨finca¨or farm of Father Jesus and his sister. It was so lovely to be spontaneously invited. Although the farm was only seven or so minutes out of town, it was so peaceful and tranquil. We went for a couple of walks and with so many trees and foliage, it was like being much further than seven minutes out of town. The rest of the time was interspersed eating brilliant home made food with relaxing. When I saw a big plate of fresh-from-the-farm spring onions cooked in olive oil come out, again I thought I´d found food heaven.

Our Honduran adventure was coming to an end, and we were getting ourselves psyched for El Salvador, the least travelled Central American country. Do we need any other reason to go?

Ombi

Dedication: I would like to dedicate this blog to two people, the first is Carlos the architect from Copan Ruinas, and the other is Keylin, the super friendly young lady that served us coffee at Ten Napel Cafe in Santa Rosa de Copan.

Carlos - you are a wonderful person, with a wonderful heart, and your vision is exemplarary. We not only hope, but are sure that you will succeed in all you endeavour to do. You can count on our friendship.

Keylin - You said that you wanted to travel, and you will......if you really set your mind to it; despite the hardships, anything is possible. In Spanish they say ¨querer es poder¨! (If you want to do something you can). Keep following our blogs and igniting your dream.

Photos: 1.-Town of Copan Ruinas, trasportation. 2.- The archaelogical site at Copan Ruinas. 3.- Mayan Sculpture, Copan Ruins. 4.- At Luna Jaguar Spa, in the town of Agua Caliente.Lto R: Jose, Ombi, Trevor, Carlos and Susie infront5.- The Italian contingent, with Francesca on the left and Erika on the right. 6.- Sunday feast at Father Jesus´house at at Santa Rosa de Copan. 7.- Fresh lemons, no artificial flavours, chemicals or steroids. I am serious, they are natural!

3 comments:

  1. If I want to use one of your Copan pics (#1) for a travel magazine of which I'm the editor, to whom should I give the credits?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for considering my image for a Travel Magazine....Please let me
    know which magazine is or where could obtain one once published. If
    your consider use my image, of course.

    Credists to:

    Alex Benavides
    www.veryitchyfeet.blogspot.com


    (More Pics on) http://www.flickr.com/photos/veryitchyfeet/

    cheers
    Alex
    Happy New Year 2008

    ReplyDelete
  3. Our English-Spanish magazine is called "Come to Honduras" and it's by the largest magazine editorial house in Central America, Editorial Hablemos Claro. You can find this magazine (free of charge) in the top hotels of Honduras as well as in the major travel fairs around the world and in the Honduran consulates and embassies. Our next issue comes out February and I might use your first Copan photo.

    Before I forget, if you want an article on Honduras published, let me know as we can help you out on that.

    Thank you!

    ReplyDelete

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