After a lengthy stay in Rio Dulce, Guatemala, I decided it was time to move on so I tagged along with a Toronto couple to Copan, Honduras. With border formalities, it took about 8 hours. Copan is only 10km into Honduras, but I definitely feel a different vibe here than in Guatemala- then again, it might just be the relaxed nature of the highlands. Copan is famous for it’s Mayan ruins, and in fact, the town’s proper name is “Copan Ruinas”. It is covered in old cobblestones and morning mist and seems a good place to hang around a little while.
I checked into a hostel called Iguana Azul (Blue Iguana) and almost immediately left again to go for beers with my dorm-mates. I don’t think I have encountered such a diverse bunch of people in all my travels. Singapore (I can’t pronounce or spell her name) is laid up with an ankle sprain, and is a qualified aeronautics engineer; Lauren is a Swiss fellow who doesn’t speak much; Angela from England makes up for Lauren and talks all the time- she’s been travelling for decades with an equivalent number of stories; May is from San Francisco and is studying to be an elementary school teacher; Cory is a biologist/lobbyist from Australia and finally there is David- an older man who works as a mathematician/statistician for the US Department of Defense in Maryland. Crazy, right?
We spent the morning walking around the famous ruins, which I promised myself will be my last set of ruins. I feel like I have given the Mayan their due and need to move on. The site was much smaller than Tikal, but the detail was amazing with some pillars still show the original pigments. We went pretty slowly to allow Singapore to keep up on her crutches. The highlight was the pair of red Macaws perched on the fence as we left the park. In the afternoon I wandered the town and came across a Spanish school. After a little research, I decided I would pop in and see if they had room for me. I wrote a placement exam which I think was probably the lowest scoring test of my life, and they told me I could start tomorrow. For $235 US, I will get 4 hours of instruction per day for 5 days along with a homestay in Copan. My original plan was to do schooling in Guatemala, but once I found out that this place did one-on-one teaching, I was in. God knows my Spanish can’t get any worse. Wish me luck!