Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Copin’ with Copan

Heat and lots of it. That’s what we woke up to. Well, that and cats in heat, loud roosters and cranky horses. But the heat was the major thing and something we’d have to get used to. I quick look at my handy thermometer-compass told me it was already 34 degrees and it was only 9am. It had been awhile since we’d been hot and even longer since we’d been woken up by farm animals. Yet, we didn’t mind because it meant we were in a new place.

Before we could go out exploring it was time to cope with our pile of laundry. There was an authentic laundry sink behind the hostle and armed with our bar of laundry soap and two bags of laundry I started scrubbing much to the amusement of one of the staff members. I noticed that every time I rubbed the soap directly on to the clothes she started giggling and shaking her head. Perhaps she had never seen such poor scrubbing technique before. But she didn’t stop when I tried a few different ways. So I told myself that she was obviously thinking “Laundry soap apply directly to the laundry” like that stupid “head on apply directly to the forehead” ad. Eventually, the heat became too much so I taught Adrian my bad technique and got let her laugh at him for a while.

With the laundry hanging on the line, we set out to explore the little town. It was still hilly in the daylight. But it was a lot easier to find things, including the cheap and tasty comedor the night watchman had told us about the night before. It was right next door to the expensive place, teehee oops. And after our splurge meal we really needed cheap and tasty. Funny that the Honduran breakfast was the same as the Guatemalan breakfast. And the Guatemalan breakfast was the same as the Belizean breakfast which was the same as the Mexican breakfast. Adrian assured me that it was most definitely not the same as an English breakfast. Oh joy.

Our first stop after brunch was the central park. Yup Honduran towns also have those. The more we travel the more things stay the same. Pretty square? Check. Church? Check. City hall? Check. Touts? Nope. Wow, that was surprising considering that because of the ruins Copan is a stop for not just backpackers but tourists with money. Not that I’m complaining just… surprised. There was also a completely empty museum of anthropology so we went to check it out and escape from the sun. It was small but had plenty of good stuff from the ruins, included some great examples of ancient Mayan dental work (which I'm pretty sure I saw being advertised by dentists the other day in Xela). It was a good primer for our visit out to the ruins tomorrow tomorrow. Adrian wanted to see the children’s museum but when we went looking for it in the market we discovered it had moved to the top of the biggest hill. So we trudged up the steep hill, often moving faster than the tuktuks trying to drive up. And we were rewarded with… a closed sign and locked gate. Fortunately, the view from the top of the hill was pretty spectacular.

And that was it for the sights in Copan. Rather than search out some of the stuff just outside of the town, we called it a day and headed back to the hostel. I chatted with Robin a girl who had arrived just arrived yesterday as well. She was in Copan to do her research for her master’s in epidemiology and today was her first day out in the field. But like us, she was having trouble finding what she was looking for. She was here to count chagas bugs but on her first day out she found none because they live in the walls of houses. Oops. (I kinda wanted to ask if that wasn’t the sort of thing you find out before you start your research but didn’t. No need to rub it in.). It looked like her next three months were going to be very long. I wonder how she’ll cope with Copan. 


cheryl said...

hahahaha yes, you'd think robin would have done SOME research before travelling...

liz and adrian said...

i know - if i was going to research a bug, i think part of my reesarch would be where it lives and how to find it. but that's just me.