21 - HONDURAS
27/02/04 - 02/03/04
Leaving Guatemala was no problem, just a couple of dollars to get our passports stamped. We then crossed in to Honduras to a line of wooden shack's which were immigration, customs and police. We parked up and R went off to find out what to do. I stood with the bike as he went in and out of all the little buildings about a hundred times.
A coach arrived full of French types, they all piled out and mooched around. I smiled and said hello a lot, got little or no reaction. Really weird. They were all curious about the bike and I ended up encircled by people not speaking to me!
I kept smiling and saying Hi, trying not to look to scary to speak to but it didn't work.
Eventually as they were all drifting away one old guy saw the Canadian flag on the back of the bike. "Canada?" he said. I dragged up my small amount of French from underneath all the Spanish and said " Non je suis Anglais". "Uh Engleesh" he said and walked off!
What did I do?
By this time R was almost done with no problems. It had taken about an hour and $35. We went through the barrier and off to a new country.
The road was gorgeous, twisting through the mountains and down to Copan. We arrived in the town square and were immediately swamped by overly friendly guys wanting us to follow them to hotels. We managed to break away but finding somewhere with ok parking was a bit tricky. R stayed with the bike whilst I zipped in & out of a few places. In the end I got hijacked by a guy I thought was showing me where to park the bike. He ended up showing me to a completely different place, but was perfect. Just shows you should go with the local way of things in the first place.
The town of Copan is a great little place. It would be easy to lurk there for a while. Immensely friendly people.
The ruins are cool too. They are unusual for Mayan ruins as they have many more inscriptions and an amazing underground temple. There's a really good museum and the Mayan kings there had the best names ever. 18 Rabbit, Moon Jaguar and my favourite, Smoke Monkey.
When we were in the underground tunnel, looking at the Rosalia Temple Richard was reading out the information, thinking we were on our own down there. A girl we hadn't seen then appeared and told him he had a lovely story telling voice. We are not sure exactly how he replied. He meant to say no-one had told him that, but we both think it came out more like " I've never heard that one before". Like she was trying to chat him up. He then got very embarrassed, and it was really easy to wind him up all day, hehe.
So that was it for Mayan ruins, good job too we were getting a bit blasť about them to be honest. Next stuff will be the Inca's in Peru.
Next day we landed at Lake Yojoja. Took a turning we thought was for a hotel and ended up down at the lake edge with the road disappearing to a grassy track. Got ourselves back to the main road and about 20 ft past the turning was the hotel. Massive, with views right across the lake, don't quite know how we missed it. We had ridden along the side of the lake past loads of little restaurants selling fried fish, smelled fantastic but is apparently toxic. Loads of heavy metals polluting the lake! It was a Sunday and the hotel pool was packed with Honduran families having a day out.
Next day we had to negotiate Tegucigalpa, the capital. This has to be the best organized road system in Central America. It has a brand new ring road and actual road signs. We found our way through with no problem and climbed in to the mountains to Valle de Angels to stay the night. Next day we made for the border through some amazingly beautiful mountain scenery - apparently. The cloud was as thick as you like and we couldn't see a thing, hay-ho. We had really stuck to the main track through Honduras but everywhere had seemed really well ordered, the agricultural land really neat, the roads beautiful, not what we'd expected at all, very different from Guatemala.
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