Copan Ruinas, Honduras
Date: Lodging: Distance: Total:
19/10/2001 Hotel Martina Copan 178 KM 220183 KM

Jim’s birthday cake – I tried to order a small muffin or cake for just two people, but we received this enormous cake instead. Since we shared the sweet treat with two Italian couples, I figure the mistake turned into a success.

Flowers fill the simple, but lovely main plaza of Copan.

Around 5 p.m. women set up roadside food stalls where they offer kebobs of beef and chicken and baleadas (refried beans in flour tortillas).

Inside a grocery store in Copan

Jim stands with two Honduran men. The one on the left wears a traditional cowboy hat.

The small, orderly town of Copan offers cobblestone streets, a slow pace, and a lovely church surrounded by teenagers and vendors in the main plaza.

Inside the Sculpture Museum at Copan is a full-scale replica of the Rosalila Temple found in 1989 below ground, under an above-ground ruin. Each Mayan Ruler built atop the previous Ruler’s structures.

Copan ruins’ lone female stelae, the queen of the 12th ruler

A Mayan archway – we've seen none in this fashion in any other place in the world.

The main stage in the enormous Great Plaza, where public addresses and performances took place for the population that totaled as many as 60,000.

The restored Ball Court (second largest in Central America) where, once upon a time, two teams, using a rubber ball, played a brutal game that some speculate resulted in the sacrifice of the losers.

Mayan people worshipped many gods, such as this one, the sun god.

An area where a family of 100 (polygamy was common among the wealthy) lived during Mayan times.

As the future ruler of Copan, the figure at right accepts the scepter. The hieroglyphic between the two men connotes the date of 776 AD.

A stelae paying homage to a ruler – many are covered with portraits, dates, figures and animals. The ruler’s hands are held tight to his chest signifying, “I believe in myself.”

Some of the gargoyles and sculptures adorning the Copan ruins reminded us of similar ones in Asia. We are not the only ones who speculate that there have been relations between Asia and the Americas for centuries.

Remarkable carved stonework is on display inside Copan ruins – only 15 percent of the site has been fully excavated. Many discoveries remain for future generations to uncover.

The ruins at Copan are the most significant Mayan site in Honduras and were one of Central America’s major Mayan cities. Here is a home for a rich, ruling family during the Mayan ascendancy (250-900 AD).

A cedar (right) and red mahogany tree inside the Copan Ruins Archeology Park

These cocoa beans could become a Hershey bar.

The most colorful parrot we've seen on this trip eats rice at the entrance to the Copan ruins.

19 October 2001 – Rain falls as we travel, but not pounding. Every once in a while someone riding a horse will trot by on the side of the highway, which is in pretty good condition. Green pastures, crops, palm trees and Brahma bulls are found throughout the countryside, with tractors and large irrigation sprayers in some fields. Billboard advertising exists along the way; uniformed students walk the streets, cafés and tire shops are a dime a dozen along this stretch, men cycle on bikes far too small for their frames and men clear grass from the side of the road using sharp machetes. Old buses and trucks are the primary traffic on the road dotted with electricity and telephone lines.

  Copan (Jim)