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Day Ten: Copan, Honduras – Tikal, Guatemala

Submitted by on Thursday, 19 February 2009No Comment

Day Ten
Copan, Honduras – Tikal, Guatemala
315 miles

Breakfast was awesome. It even included fried plantains which Lloyd tried for the first time. The courtyard was lush and the service great as always.
A Copan archeological site was our destination and we managed to find it easily scouting through the cobblestone roads.  The site was different than the others we have seen. It was huge with the main difference being the artistical approached they had managed.
Copan also has its shares of mysteries. A few of the sculptures of the kings have beards. As we all know, Mayans don’t have a lot of facial hair.
At some point we saw a side entrance and we went in. They were underground passages which put us out in one of the courts. Immediately a park guard asked for the tickets which we provided. He said no! the tunnel tickets…
I remember you had to pay extra U$15 to get in the tunnels yet there were no signs that those were the tunnels. I told Lloyd I was not going to speak English otherwise they were going to charge us. The guard was trying as hard as he could to let us know we had to pay extra but he didn’t speak any English and for a brief period of time I didn’t speak any Spanish. After about five minutes he was so frustrated he just let go of us.
After visiting the entire complex we departed to Tikal. The border crossing was a piece of cake. The more we rode the more confident we were getting about crossing borders.
The ride started with the sun shining on the West. The roads had huge switchbacks and a couple of hours later bad weather came and it started raining really hard. I put my rain suit on although I was already wet. The rain was coming head on making the road difficult to see.
We continued on passing accident after accident. Directly in front of me, a pickup truck with a kid in the back spun hundred and eighty degrees ending on the opposite side of the road. The kid was hanging on like on like it was an amusement park ride. I am not sure if he was frightened or thrilled; probably a mixture of both.
A few minutes later a semi lay sideways blocking the whole road to get back in it. I counted six accidents within an hour.
My helmet shield was completely fogged and I couldn’t see anything. I pulled it up, reached for my clear glasses and put them on. Within minutes they were fogged too blocking my visibility. I placed my finger inside the lens to use as a windshield wiper for a second or two. Every time I took my glasses off, the rain would shoot straight inside my eyes making my vision even worst. This routine lasted about two excruciating hours.
We stopped for lunch at a bus/truck stop. Lunch was great and well needed. I noticed Guatemala has an open carry policy about guns. A group of men walked in. The first one had a handgun with an extended clip and two spare clips on the sides. His buddies were carrying guns all with spare clips. The last guy had two guns: One on his side, another on his back and five clips on his belt. I couldn’t really tell but why would you need so much ammo? Maybe their aim is not that great.
“Tikal National Park” said the entrance. We had a long day and we were finally there. It was completely dark. After talking to the rangers and getting a map of the facilities, they let us in. The actual entrance was about twenty miles later which we covered fast.
We had driven three hundred plus miles so the first thing in mind was a warm meal and a place to crash. The idea was to camp out but fatigue and wet grounds really didn’t help. We ended up getting a cabin at the “Jaguar Inn” Just around the corner of the archeological site.

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