The Plan...of course it's written in the sand at low tide....

The Plan...of course it's written in the sand at low tide....

Friday, August 21, 2009

On Weds. August 12, 2009 we headed for Copan, Honduras to celebrate Alan’s 57th birthday. We took a bus to San Salvador and registered at the hotel on the 2nd floor of the King Quality bus station then headed out for a money machine and an early dinner. At 7:00 a.m. on Aug. 13th we were on the bus and heading for Honduras. The terrain between San Salvador and La Entrada, Honduras is very mountainous and hilly, we were at levels at times where we were in pine trees and fog/clouds. The country was beautiful, however, and we enjoyed the view from the big windows of the bus.

We arrived in La Entrada, not the final destination of the bus, and were left off at the side of the main road and told to cross over to Hotel San Carlos where we could catch the bus on our return trip. We were greeted by a wonderful and helpful woman at the hotel and after having a beverage and a bathroom stop headed for the van/bus that would take us to Copan Ruins. The van we got on was a “directo” but it sill took us over two hours to get there. We were constantly stopping for passengers and the flip down seats would have to be put up and the people sitting on there moved to allow more passengers into the van. Everyone was very helpful and courteous but also curious of the “gringo” passengers.

Upon arriving we headed up the street to La Posada del Belssy to check into a room. (Collette told us about this hotel which was clean, had hot water, and was only $16 a night…..great advice.) After checking in we headed out to explore the town and to get a cerveza.

The town is set up like most in Mexico and Central America with a town square as the center with everyone meeting up there one time or another during the day and evening. It’s quite hilly, with steep cobble stone streets and lots of 3 wheeled taxis.

One of our favorite places was Carnitas Nila Lola Restaurante….besides being a rustic, hodgepodge of anything from a picture of Charlie Chaplin to an old saddle, it’s most famous for it’s serving style. Drinks and food alike are carried by the servers on their heads. It was really quite amazing to watch how much they carried and how fast they walked, even up stairs.

Three old regulars sitting outside.

Mac even got into it.

The next morning we were off to Macaw Mountain. Our driver, Gregorio, was very nice and gave us his phone number to call when we were ready to come back (the park is a few miles out of town). The admission cost was only $10.00 and your ticket was good for 3 days. We were greeted in the gift shop and a tour guide was called to take us through the facility. He spoke wonderful English and was very knowledgeable. We were immediately impressed with the place, it was beautiful. The grounds were well maintained and all structures seem to blend into the scenery. The beginning of Macaw Mountain was on the Bay Islands on the Atlantic side of Honduras where a Tennessee couple started taking in parrots who were sick and/or just left with them. Once they had too many birds they moved the operation to the current location just outside of Copan Ruins. They have a coffee plantation high up in the mountains that helps support the sanctuary. Not only were the birds beautiful but the grounds and flowers were spectacular.

The birds were the best part for us, especially Alan, the parrot lover. There are several aviaries for the birds but then there is an area where the birds are loose. The staff is wonderful with the birds and encourages interaction by putting the birds on your shoulder, arms and head at times.

There was one toucan who was a little pest…..he loved to bite your toes.

We spent a fantastic 4 hours in the park, had a wonderful lunch there, and highly commend the people behind the park and it’s staff for a job well done.

The next day we were off for the Myan ruins. Although the ruins are not as old as Monte Alban the ones we visited while on our trip to Oxaca, they were very impressive. We were told it was a short walk to the ruins so off we headed over the bridge. While crossing the bridge we saw the local families taking their early morning bath.

It was a nice walk to the ruins and once we arrived we elected not to pay a tour guide and just enjoy the ruins at a leisurely pace. At the main entrance there were several parrots having their early morning seeds. The birds at the ruins are older than the ones we mostly saw at Macaw Mountain, and probably not as well cared for so their color was not as vibrant, however they were still impressive.

We enjoyed walking the ruins…………….

We took a taxi back to town and had a relaxing afternoon and nice dinner at Via Via’s restaurant. The next day it was time to head back to La Entrada. Again the van/bus was an experience…’s a picture of one of our new friends on the bus.

Once back in La Entrada we booked a room at the San Carlos, had dinner in their dinning room, and tried to rest up for our trip back to San Salvador the next morning. Our room was one of the newer ones and very nice but a little close to the ballroom. It was Saturday night and there was a wedding reception….when the walls began to vibrate around 10:00 p.m. we went to the desk and changed to another room. It was on the far end of the hotel, away from the ballroom, not as nice but a lot quieter. The next morning at 8:30 we boarded the bus and headed back to San Salvador. Once we made the bus station around 2:00 p.m. we headed to Mentro Centro shopping center then down to the bus for Costa del Sol. We arrived back to Bahia del Sol around 5:30 after a delightful trip to Copan. That’s a birthday Alan will remember for a long time.