We are in Honduras! Getting here was… difficult and long and required no less than 6 buses, but we made it! We had been told in Lanquin that there was no way to get to Copan Ruinas (right inside the Honduran border) without going back through Antigua or crossing on the other side of Guatemala through Rio Dulce. However, we met some German brothers (both of whom looked like dwarfs from The Hobbit, beards and all) who had found a company to take them to Copan Ruinas with only one bus change. So, we booked the same shuttle as them and were in front of our hotel at 6 am to catch the shuttle to El Rancho, where we were supposed to catch another shuttle directly to Copan. However, during our first gas station stop, one of the German boys spoke to the driver (his spanish was much better than mine) and found out that the driver had no idea we where supposed to go to Honduras and furthermore, that there were no direct shuttles to the border. So….
We got to El Rancho and found a shuttle to Chiquimula, a major town in southern Guatemala. That shuttle had the most annoying man we have encountered so far. He was the van crier, basically a job where you sit in the doorway of the van and shout to people where you are going and then collect their money (double if you are a gringo, of course). His voice was horrible, his demeanor was horrible, he was super creepy, and was trying to convince every young woman he saw that they had to go to Chiquimula (but seriously, who decides, “Hey, since you are shouting at me, I want to now get in your van and drive 3 hours to a place I had no intention of going?”). Along the way to Chiquimula we stopped and he made all us white people (all four of us) get off and get onto a different, slightly larger bus. I am not really sure why we switched buses when no on else did though… That bus took us to Chiquimula though, where we lucked out and grabbed a bus to the border town El Florido.
When we got on that bus there was absolutely no room and we had to stand, which was made difficult by the fact that Logan and I are both significantly taller than pretty much every Guatemalan, and their buses are not designed for our height (which is pretty crazy, since neither of us is particularly tall). Eventually we got to sit down and the bus ride was about 3 hours along windy mountain/hills (they were tall for Guatemala). We got to the border around 4 pm, only 10 hours after we left Lanquin. The crossing was quick and painless and after a 15 minute shuttle ride we were in Copan!
We had booked ahead (via email one day before arrival, which is how we have been doing accommodations lately) at Iguana Azul hostel. We had a nice private room with a tall ceiling. We wanted a drink and some food after our long bus riding day, so we headed out for margaritas and, as is typical now, street tacos. The street tacos in Honduras are more like taquitos and are covered in cabbage and are not as good as our experiences with Guatemalan tacos.
We were planning to go to the ruins in Copan, also called Copan, the next day, but we needed to switch hotel rooms (ours was double booked apparently). The owner cut us a really nice deal for his bed and breakfast, which was right next door and was VERY nice compared to the places we have been staying. We had a view of the surrounding mountains from the garden outside our door, the shower was actually hot, the bed was comfortable, and it was so peaceful in general. So, instead we decided to have a down day at the hotel to catch up on blogging (hence the relatively consistent posts for a while there), doing some laundry, reading, napping, etc. It was really nice to just hang out for a day in the warm sun in our beautiful garden. For lunch on our down day we went to an apparently nameless restaurant where the menu was posted on a tiny sign hanging above the door. As a side note, we have gotten into a habit of eating lunch super late, usually around 2, and always have trouble finding somewhere that is serving food, so we were happy to find somewhere with food. We ordered something, not knowing what it was. The theme for this meal ended up being unknown as we did not know the name of the restaurant, what we ordered or really what we ate. It was some kind of meat with cabbage, which appears to be a widely eaten vegetable in Honduras. A few hours later we ventured out again and ate some street food, more unknown meat, this time grilled on a kabob, but still served with cabbage.
It is strange to feel like we need down days, since we essentially are on a vacation, but travel can be so exhausting and long travel days seem to frequently need break days. We were excited to wake up the next day, enjoy our included breakfast, and see some ruins!