Hot springs and Mitch.

It is 19:37 and we are parked for the night beside a very steep road leading down to a hot spring just outside the town of Gracias (N 14.559423 W 88.569448). Ann and Judy have been swimming, Clive and Stephen have drunk the local beer.

We had thought that it would be quiet here, but as the evening has progressed more and more 4x4 pickup trucks and even a tuc-tuc taxi have arrived. The PA system at the springs is now playing Pink Floyd's The Wall. The police have been around to check us out and say it is fine to park here. They will even send a patrol car later on to make sure that all is well.

Yesterday we visited the magnificent UNESCO World Heritage site of Copan, easily the most well known archaeological site in Honduras. As you are doubtless aware, the Mayan civilization built new temples on top of old ones (to get nearer to god). At Copan archaeologists have tunneled into some of the temples and found perfectly preserved older structures inside. The highlight of Copan is its world famous museum. Within the museum is a full size replica of the Rosalila temple (built 571 CE by Moon Jaguar). The original was discovered in perfect condition inside Structure 16 in 1989. Unfortunately the museum has been closed since hurricane Mitch damaged it in 1998!

We spent the night at Hacienda el Jaral parked next to the water slide. (N 14.869065 W 89.060177). The cost was an exorbitant $5.00 USA per person, but the restaurant was good. Whilst eating pancakes and bacon with fresh coffee and mango juice for breakfast, we were surprised to see Bodo driving past heading for Copan. We invited them to breakfast, but alas our plastic plates were not up to their high standards.

We had been warned that the police in Honduras might be a problem.

So far they have been very helpful. Any police force that looks after tourists in vehicles like this has got to be fairly laid back.

Stephen Stewart.

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