Thursday, May 20, 2010

Copan Adventure

We heard about a beautiful Mayan pyramid site in Honduras named Copan so we decided to check it out. Honduras is the next country over from Guatemala and Copan is just a half an hour over the border. This part of Honduras was a lot like Guatemala. The buildings and temples of Copan are made out of a harder stone than other Mayan site we visited. This hard rock is more difficult to carve but that means it does not erode as fast as softer limestone rock. So there was very beautiful detail on the carving work. We saw very fine detail on the dozen stelae and statues around Copan. A stele is a large stone marker made for a king or ruler and it gives their history in carved pictures. They were also very large and almost twice as big as my Dad. They must have laid the stones down to carve them or use a ladder. It was fascinating looking at these stelae and seeing the way they used to dress.

The beautiful site was very compact so all the temples were very close to together. These pyramids were medium sized and one of them had a large carved staircase filled with lots of hieroglyphic picture stories as well as statues in the middle of the staircase. Imagine if you had a staircase like that. Growing out of one of the temples in the back was a giant beautiful ceiba tree. The ceiba or kapok tree was sacred to the Maya and I can see why. They believe that the ceiba was the axle for the world. Copan was pretty hot and muggy but was a really cool experience and left me feeling amazed.

Another fun place we went after the hot and sticky ruins was a bird rehabilitation park under a shady canopy. We got there by a very bumpy slow tuk-tuk which had trouble going up hills. So what is a tuk-tuk? Let me tell you. A tuk-tuk is a cross between a teeny weenie car and a motorcycle and they are everywhere. I think they call them tuk-tuks because their horns make that sound. Anyway, we arrived at the bird park safe and sound. We entered through a gift shop and Dad got tickets for us. Inside the park we soon heard a lot of squawking and saw a big cage. Inside the cage were two big noisy scarlet macaws. We visited with these two macaws then walked on a bit. Soon we came to an open area with lots of cages and parrots and toucans were perched on sticks outside their cages. I got to hold two of them. They were pretty heavy but well behaved. And don’t think the term light as a bird fits these guys. One of them tried to eat my Dad’s sunglasses and apparently they have a taste for plastic. There were toucans which had been capture for pets and were no longer wanted so they were sent to the park. We had a nice relaxing time and the adventure there was a lot of fun but time to go back to Guatemala. See you next time on the Nudibranch Network. PS: a nudibranch is a type of sea slug that lives in the ocean.

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