Mayans, Macaws and Marxists

Clown BusI was out the door at 8am this morning to catch the bus to Copan Ruinas, Honduras, to see an impressive ancient Mayan city. The bus that picked me up was smaller than the recycled school busses that are all over Central America – this one had no more than 20 seats. The ticket guy didn’t let that slow him down in the least bit. At our peak population (this was after the driver stopped for breakfast for 20 minutes while we just sat there like sheep) we were cruising uphill at about 10mph with a cargo of FORTY PEOPLE!!! The driver was cranking extended remixes of “I’m Blue Dabba Dee Dabba Doo” – I had a old tiny cowboy basically sitting on my lap – and the ticket guy was HANGING OUT THE OPEN DOOR. If you look in the photo, he’s the green blur through the window attached to the arms coming in through the door. Nobody batted an eye. The dude next to me who was sharing the load of our tiny cowboy was asleep. I thought the whole thing was amazing and hilarious.

Ruins of Copan I finally made it to town, checked into a hotel, bought a bag of pineapple from a kid in the back of a pickup and hailed a moto-taxi to take me to the ruins. I didn’t just want to run around and take photos with no stories so I hired a guide and it was the best money I’ve spent in a while. Oscar was fluent in English, overflowing with corny jokes (watch out for the 6th century speed bump) and a raving Marxist. He’d explain how the sun god would get swallowed up by jaguars every night for his trip through the underworld before emerging safely the next day – and top it off with, “You see, the nobles used religion to exploit the masses… Much like today…” or “The carvings in this altar ties the king’s authority to his ancestors – all of this is propaganda,” And then we’d be off to the next artifact. I loved it!!!

After a two hour tour, I left with a better understanding of Mayan civilization and a deeper connection to my oppressed comrades around the world. I also got to hang out with a mess of Macaws. They look like flying rainbows!

I’m heading to Rio Dulce tomorrow morning for a boat trip through a jungle canyon. I might stay in the town at the end of the river – or might just have lunch and come straight back. After that, it’ll be up to you to vote again. And speaking of voting, I never heard from whoever it was in Copan who voted over 200 times to make me come. No fun!

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