chilling with security! :)

We were sad to leave Guatemala, but Honduras is beautiful and friendly, and its nice to be back in skin melting hot weather. Although I think I broke my razor shaving my legs and armpits for the first time in weeks. Not so cute!

Befote leaving Antigua, we hit up the markets and scored some black tank tops, having now realized after five weeks of washing things by hand that white is definitely a bad idea in travel clothing. Natasha and I also scored some sweet Casio watches to replace our Target brands that died on us. So much for waterproof, as cliff-jumping definitely killed them. The watches are straight out of the 80s, and should have mini calculators on them or hook up to your Nintendo system. We also went to a cute little café in Antigua the night before, ate nachos and watched Man on Fire, which I´m going to highly advise against watching while traveling in Central America (along with Oscar winners like Hostel, Turistas, and Traffic), and trying to convince family, friends, and yourself that its totally safe.

those crazy ruins!

Last night will be the first and last time I ever agree to sleeping in a hostel that only costs 20Q (less that US $3…I know, I know). We woke up this morning at 3:30am to catch a 4am bus to Copan, Honduras, and watched little creepy crawly things skip across our sheets. I had tossed and turned in my sleep sack for five hours, convinced the ghosts of the spiders I had killed on the bed earlier in the evening were crawling all over me, while composing a soundtrack to the constant ringing of the doorbell by fellow hostelers, waiting to be let in to their rooms. Not ghosts. Bed bugs. Also, we had to pay for our own toilet paper. It was a low, low, point in hostel situation on this trip.

After learning how to sleep, sitting up with no seatbelt to hold you in as your shuttle careens at speeds entirely unsafe to be driving up and down the highest and lowest points of Guatemala, in dense fog from 4-9am, we finally arrived in Copan, Honduras. The ride was scaaaaaaaary, probably more because for some reason I always feel compelled to stay awake to watch the driver drive, in some sort of martyrdom, thinking I can help guide him, even though we´re not talking to each other and I´m so tired I´m crosseyed. But travel in Central America is hilarious; from the three-wheeled “Tuk Tuk taxi,” to the brightly painted chicken buses that advertise Jesús and their final destinations in the same Olde English script, to the shuttles that barely squeeze past each other on the highland roads in the dark. Bus accidents are so common in Central America, at one bus stop we went to there was a sign advertising all the different kinds of bus insurance you can get to protect you and your family, quoting the amount of money received if you were amputated, out of work, or killed by accident or by highway robbers. Special.

Copan Ruinas

We checked into the lovely La Manzana Verde, and this morning took off to discover the Mayan ruins of Copan. It was really interesting to walk around the sacred sites and see many temples, engravings, and hieroglyphs intact, with their original coloring. Copan is a cute town, with the Parque Central, tiny cafes and bars and tiendas tucked around, colonial buildings and cobblestone streets. We’re already obsessed with the boleada, the nacional food, a crepe-like flour tortilla with black beans, cheese, avocado, eggs, sausage, veggies, etc., tucked inside and covered with chismol sauce, which is the best cilantro based salsa on the planet.

so legit.

We´re going to spend tonight in hammocks, catching up on reading (currently tackling The Autumn of the Patriarch by Gabriel Garcia Marquez) journals and sleep, and figuring out how to get to the beautiful Bay Islands of Honduras so we can start scuba certification! I am quite nervous, bound to panic underwater, almost drown, and need to be air lifted to a hyperbaric chamber, but also really looking forward to the personal challenge, and trying to see the entire cast of Finding Nemo in their natural habitat.

The limpira exchange rate is even better than the quetzal, so I´m loving the lifestyle and loading up my arms with all the cliche travelers bracelets I can handle. We found a gourmet coffee shop akin to Starbucks that accepts credit cards, my foot looks like its almost healed, and my skin is rejoicing in the return to sweat and sun, so things are really looking up!

I hope everyone is doing well, love you miss you wish you were here!

Raquel

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