Tuesday 15 January 2013
Highlights: Copan Ruins.
Today was a chance to see the last Mayan Ruins of my tour. The Mayan empire spread from present day Mexico to Honduras and incredible stretch of land for an empires that started before Christ.
Most of how group was ‘Ruined’ out or wanted to go without a guide so that left Roman, Rita and. myself. Our guide was Marvin (the Martian as he added). Marvin turned out to be an excellent guide being well briefed on not just Mayan history but also other great empires like the Aztecs, Incas, Greeks and Romans.
For example Marvin taught is the Mayan mathematics and how they used three basic symbols to represent numbers and that 20 (total of fingers and toes) was the key multiplier and then compared this to other systems. I now have a much better understanding of why Mayans were so accurate with their astrological calculations.
The Copan site is the largest Mayan site that is easily accessible, there is one larger that takes 7 days by mule to get too. They have been restoring the site for over 100 years now and there is still work to be done. There have found that the last major structures were build over earlier ones and the earlier ones had mummies, the earliest recorded mummies.
It is amazing that the colours still exist on some of the monuments, in particular the reds. The artistic work was probably the most amazing of all the Mayan ruins I have visited in the past month. The site also had a wealth of wild life in particular the colourful birds, still no toucan which is a goal of my while in Central America to see one in the wild.
One real bonus of this visit was Rita, who has studied Mayan history asking some many questions to our guide. I felt like I learned a lot from then both so paying for a guide was money well spend this time.
I then visited the Museum by myself which I found a little underwhelming. The highlight of this visit was walking out at the wrong point and taking an unscheduled visit through the natural forest for about 10 minutes 🙂
During our 7 pm briefing we agreed to upgrade transport for tomorrow to Roatan and also to skip the technical stop in Tegucigalpa and instead go straight onto Granada (Nicaragua) in a 17 hour overnight van trip. We definitely do a lot of kilometres in this tour.