Monday, February 22, 2010
WE GOT STUCK...
....in Honduras. Yep, that's right - my weekend was veeeeeery interesting. Interesting but really amazing too. It started about a week ago when some friends and I decided that we wanted to see some ruins. First we talked about going to Tikal - but that ended up being too far away and too pricey. So, we decided to go to another country and see the ruins of Copan in Honduras. Rather than going through a travel agency we decided to just wing it and do what we could. We booked our transportation (a very crowded shuttle), found a Hostel (Iguana Azul), and made plans for a super fun weekend! And it was... with just a few minor problemas along the way. Oh the joys of travel!
3:30 in the morning rolls around on Saturday and it's time to get up and get ready for the shuttle! We pack light - you don't want to carry around too much or people will want to steal from you. The shuttle arrived at 4:15 and we were off! The ride itself was QUITE the adventure.... we were packed in there - I was next to a couple of french people (that seems to happen a lot for some reason) and some Israelis. The frenchman next to me had a terrible cold (which might be the cause of the cold that I got the day after...). Then there was Craig... our new friend with dreadlocks from England who helped us once we got to Honduras. Ok, but here is the scary part. So... there are a lot of winding roads on the way to Honduras. A LOT. There are also a lot of cars. Well, our driver likes to get places fast I think... and therefore he passed anyone and everyone who was even sort of in the way of his need for speed. I tried really hard to sleep because I was kind of scared... but I woke up to the frenchman cursing under his breath as we passed SEVEN CARS.... around a turn.... going uphill... 2 of the cars were not actually cars, but rather semis. Our driver was surprisingly collected and simply honked and flashed his lights at the oncoming traffic. Yeeehaaa! I guess that's what Guatemalan drivers do. We made it though. Passing over the border was fun - we had to change our Quetazles into Lempiras and got our passports stamped.
Once in Honduras we found our hostel and checked in - it was actually pretty nice. It was just us 3 (Brenna, Sarah, and me) in our room. then we went out to scour our new town! We found some cute little shops, ate pupusas and smoothies, talked with the Hondurans, and took their advice to go see "Macaw Mountain." We rode a tuk tuk (always one of my favorite parts) and went to see the birds - BEAUTIFUL! Our guide was a bit interesting and just threw some parrots at us... which commenced to eat our shirts.... we all have holes now. The toucan was cool until it tried to eat Brenna's camera. You know, maybe these birds were hungry or something. We also found out that Sarah has earrings that look like weed. She didn't even notice when she bought them but our guide sure noticed. He complimented her on them a few times haha.
Then we went back into town, bought food for the next day, and played cards - I learned a new game called "golf" - it's superdivertido. We went to bed and then got up nice and early to go to the Copan ruins!! They were so neat - they are Mayan ruins and include their palaces, temples, sacrifice areas, playing fields, and underground tunnels. It was so crazy to think about how people actually lived there (and died there... a lot... I think that there were more sacrificial altars than there was anything else!). It was really really neat - I would definitely go again.
So, our shuttle was supposed to come and pick us up at 12. We ate lunch at 11 and then went to wait for him. Well, we waited... and waited.... and waited.... and called them (nobody there).... and waited.... and panicked a little... and waited... and called again... and finally took a tuk tuk back into town. Well, we go to a travel agency and they said that he had waited for us at our hostel (NOT what he told us he was going to do!!) and that he left. So, we were stuck. There were no more shuttles going out to Antigua that day... after searching and searching we found the only vehicle that was going to Antigua - a huge luxury bus. Yes, a luxury bus. We didn't want to take it. But, we had no other choices. So, we payed the extra money (que horror!) and got on our bus. It had very comfortable seats, a movie, a bathroom, sandwiches and soda, and our own attendant. Riding in style! Oh we were so mad at our travel agency though... but at least we got to sleep for a while on the way home. We got back really late and I went straight to bed because my head cold was taking over! And last night I had my first encounter with food sickness here in Guatemala. It's not fun! I don't know what I ate but.... I should NEVER eat it again! So, I didn't make it to my project today :/ . But, I am feeling somewhat better now and should make it to my spanish class. Lovin' life in Guatemala!
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