We looked at the hotel breakfast and quickly decided to try somewhere else. The most common breakfast here seems to be refried beans, eggs and hard cheese. Overall it is a very healthy breakfast, but neither Hilary or I wanted to spend the day with each other after a plate of beans in the morning. We found a nice little restaurant that served a “Breakfast Americano” and had real !!!bacon!!! with our eggs. I even tried Honduran coffee for the first time since I’ve arrived. It was not bad. The kids had opted to stay watching TV in the hotel, so we brought them back some pancakes and they ate in the hotel courtyard.
We caught a little golf cart taxi to the ruins. The tacxis here cost 10 Lempiras per person to go any where in Copan. (In Comayagua they are 15 per person because it is a bigger city). We got to the ruins and went to the desk to pay. The third world came crashing back down on us. Here it cost nearly $40 per person and they didn’t take Visa. I rummaged around in my purse and gave them almost every Lempira I had to pay for the ticket. I have set up my bank card so that I can only get out $100 per day which is more than enough … normally. Here’s the twist, the guides take visa, but the museum doesn’t. Stupiid stupid stupid…gaaaa. We saw a lot of people in the lineup to buy tickets holding visa cards. Just another day in Paradise.
The ruins were quite spectacular as far as ruins go. We were allowed to climb one of the pyramids. The kids went free and I joined one of the tours in progress. Ciaran stayed with me for a while, but the guy was a little dry, and Ciaran left to explore. We went all around the ruins which were quite extensive and even into the tunnels. These are excavation tunnels which have been dug under the ruins to excavate the many layers beneath the existing ones. Apparently there are 4 layers of buildings under the ones we can see.
We went to the museum after. They have a full size reconstruction of one of the buildings and it is painted so you can see what it would have looked like at the time. There was a class of older high-school or university students there drawing, and Aodhan sat down and joined them for their drawing class. The rest of us went and had lunch. He stayed there drawing for over an hour. We tried to catch a taxi back to town, but there were none out at the ruins. We saw one and yelled for him, but he already had a passenger and he didn’t stop. A pick up truck full of guys did though, and they all got out and climbed in the back and told us they would drive us. The kids climbed in the back with the guys and Hilary and I climbed in. They drove us back into town and we tried to give them some money, but they wouldn’t take it, so I gave them the Canada pin off my hat.
Everything is getting so normal here for me. Here we are in the middle of Honduras – no, not quite right, at the edge of the Honduras, 12 km from the Guatemalan boarder, climbing in a pick-up truck with half a dozen guys, letting the kids climb in the back and sit outside while we drove down a major highway (well a Honduran major highway – ok a mostly, except where it has been washed out, paved 2 lane road with lots of potholes)?? And I don’t find this strange or unusual any more?? Seatbelts anyone? It is a different world, and a different education.
We were supposed to meet out trail riding guy at 4pm and when we got back he was there. I had to get money out of the bank since the major archeological site had stolen all of our cash – still annoyed at that one. There were two bank machines in town. I knew the Atlantida wouldn’t work – it never does for my card, so I tried Bamer – I’ve had good success with them. Well, it spat my card out and said it couldn’t find a pin number for it before I had even entered one. It didn’t like me. I tried Atlantida and of course it gave me the same “invalid transaction” message that I get in Comayagua. I panicked. Here we were 8 hours from Comayagua with no cash for the weekend. I tried to get a cash advance from my visa, just to find out ai needed pin number for that which I don’t have. Great. We would have to sit by the pool and rot. I called Greg and got an answering machine. I left a message for him to call me back. I glanced over at the little boy carrying a huge bag of produce over to his family’s stall, and I felt uneasy with myself. Here I am worried about having to sit by a pool all day, and sleep in the nicest hotel in Copan and eat only in restaurants that take Visa, and I’m panicking. What a load of crap. I tried my bank card again in the Bamer machine – it’s always worked for me in Comayagua. I put the card in and … pulled it out – hey pull it out again, don’t just leave it in, and hey it worked! I was just using the machine wrong!! I got out 1500 Lempiras and we went off to horseback.
We got on the four horses and went along a road out of town and across the river and along and up into the mountains.