The Mayan Ruins in Copan, Honduras

The Mayan Ruins in Copan, Honduras

I was on a cruise ship moving along the coast of Central and South America and had signed up for an excursion to Copan to visit the Mayan ruins in the jungles of Honduras.  The ship docked in Guatemala where we were coached to a military installation guarded by young boys with machine guns.   There on the pavement were sitting two aged and dented DC 3’s with Russian writing.  About 40 of us boarded the two planes.   In a rainstorm we flew between the mountains and landed quite suddenly on a grass runway.  The rain was falling in sheets.  From the planes we were escorted by soldiers that appeared from the dense jungle and walked to a thatched pavilion with bathrooms.   I soon discovered we were still in Guatemala.  I heard the busses groaning before I saw them.  We walked a well-worn path and through a gate into Honduras.  There was no border check.  The two busses were ancient.  There were bullet holes and missing windows.  The ruts in the dirt road were deep and the 6-mile trip to the town of Copan lasted an hour.  After a light lunch we toured the ruins.  The guide was well-informed and the ruins were impressive.  The carvings revealed the history of the Mayans and much of the complex was still being recovered from the jungle.  The trip back was just as slow.  The  planes managed to take off and we returned to the ship.  The day had been quite adventurous.