Copan Ruinas, Honduras
Feb 28, 2007
We’ve crossed two borders since the last blog update, so things are certainly moving right along. We didn’t get much out of our visit to Monteverde. We happened on some pretty fierce weather so decided to head for the beach. We scooted back to the Nicoya Peninsula for a visit with some friends and to pick up the care package they brought us from home. (Thanks, KK and Chris!) Then it was time to leave Vacationland, as I have come to think of Costa Rica.
We headed through the highlands of Nicaragua. But first, we spent two nights at Laguna de Apoya, a crater lake near Grenada. It was very pretty there, and the water was clean enough to swim in.
Heading through the highlands made for some very enjoyable riding. We were on small roads, sometimes paved, sometimes not. We got lots of smiles from the people and waves from the kids.
Crossing into Honduras, I was first surprised by all the pine forests. It was delightful riding. We skirted the edge of the capital, Tegucigalpa. That was enough to remind us why we avoid the big cities. But for a while, we were on the busiest road in the country, connecting the two biggest cities. When we stopped for the night, we revised our plan for the next day, and headed off into the hills on smaller roads. This was perfect dual-sport riding – twisty mountains roads, some paved well, some paved badly, some not paved, some just being created.
We arrived yesterday in Copan Ruinas, one of Honduras key tourist sites. We spent today touring the Mayan ruins. These are known for their sculptures, and we both enjoyed wandering around the ruins and the museum until it got too hot. Yesterday, the thermometer (the first one I have seen on the trip) said 96 degrees around 11 a.m. Today, it was an even 100 when we returned from our sightseeing.
Arriving in a tourist destination is a bit of a mixed bag. Prices are higher, and when we arrived yesterday, we were immediately accosted by touts from two different hotels, trying to convince us that we would be happy only if we stayed in their fine establishment. But once we shook them off, we found a quiet B&B a few blocks away, and we enjoyed a wonderful dinner last night with flavors (chicken curry) we haven’t experienced in quite a while.
The heat is difficult. We had thought about heading to some areas in Honduras and Guatemala with lower elevations, but after dealing with this heat at 2000 feet elevation, I think we will stick to higher ground. We could ride like the locals, in t-shirts and flip-flops, but that’s not going to happen any time soon. One thing about travelling in the land of little motorcycles is that other drivers do not see us as full-fledged vehicles, so they roar up behind us, passing us just because we are motorcycles (and should, therefore, be putting along the shoulder) only to realize that we can easily maintain their speed, and on the steep uphills, easily exceed it. Besides, in the mountains, many of these underpowered vehicles try to maintain all the momentum they can and thus, swing wide on corners. Definitely makes me glad I’m on a motorcycle; I’m not sure what they would do if we were a bus!
We are certainly heading north faster than we headed south. It’s not that we’ve seen all there is to see, not by a long shot, but we visited most of our “must see’s” on the way south. We are still open to exploring neat places as we head towards home, but home does have some appeal as well. My Spanish is coming along, but I still feel a great communication gap. As Tom has been working on photos for you to enjoy while I have been studying Spanish, I think he is feeling the communication gap even more. Central America is far more crowded than Mexico and points north, so we haven’t been camping. Everywhere seems to be in some farmer’s field. I think we both miss our nights out in the boonies with nothing but us, the stars, and some coyotes in the distance. We are still having a wonderful time and expect that to continue, but it is true, we are a bit tired. I’m sure touring Mayan ruins today in 100 degree has contributed to that!