This post is originally from February 15, 2013
So onward bound we go…
I forgot to mention that while in El Salvador before we went on the death hike we first visited a coffee plantation. It wasn’t a guided tour, but we got to go visit the locals who were picking the beans and see how they worked. We got to see what it takes to make the coffee and export it. Every bean is literally plucked off the tree and most trees are on edge of the steep cliffs. The pickers precariously climb the mountains to pick the beans which takes so very long. Once their bag is full they go to the big scale at the top of the hill. For every 25lbs, the picker gets a mere $1! It is back breaking work and it is so sad to see how much the price of coffee is jacked up overseas!
Anyway, the other day we left El Salvador bright and early and had to cross the Guatemalan border, only to drive for another 2 hours to cross the border into Honduras. Each border crossing takes time and has its hitches and bribes. This crossing wasn’t too brutal at all. When we arrived into Honduras we reached the town of Copan. Copan is famous for its Mayan Ruins. These ruins are the most ornate out of any of the ones in Central America and are really quite incredible. Unfortunately when I listen to a guide give detail after detail my A.D.D kicks in and I tend to drift off into my own world.
We spent quite a bit of time in this country…literally less that 24 hours. Copan felt safe and cute, but apparently Honduras is the most unsafe country in Central America. Perhaps eating at a restaurant with signs that prohibit guns and knives makes you realize that yes…perhaps there is a bit of violence in this country. When trucks pass back through the border the guards make the drivers remove the massive tires so they can check for any drug trafficking.
Yesterday we came back into Guatemala, drove through the slums of Guatemala City and finally came to the picture perfect town of Antigua. Antigua is a really cute town with cobblestone streets and so much character. Just walking around listening to locals play the flute, makes me really feel like I am in Central America. Last night was time to rock out to salsa. Not the kind you eat…we took dancing lessons. It was a lot of fun. Our instructor was this little Hispanic man with crazy slicked hair and stood probably 5 foot nothing! Having him spin me was a bit of an effort as I had to bend my knees and basically duck under his armpit. Good thing I am flexible!
After our dance extraordinaire it was a final night with our group. It is always sad as we really develop a bond over the weeks. Our ride in the minivan yesterday was like a group of children fighting. We are all at a point where it feels like family and instead of being polite, it is bickering and laughter. Thankfully we are easing ourselves out of our group. The Aussie couple, a Swiss girl and Michelle and I are staying an extra two nights in Antigua so we got a hostel room together here in town.
Anyway, until next time…