The Trip to Copán
|Macaws under the eaves of the entrance to the Ruins and on the path just inside.|
|"Snack time" under the Macaw tree.|
|At the Ruins we saw a mossy rock carved to look like a scull (left, in the center of the photo), a large "poison ivy" shrub (below), and several Matapalos or Strangler Figs (further below).|
|The poisonous shrub is not truly an "ivy". It is sometimes called "poison ivy" because touching it causes a painful, itchy rash, similar to a poison ivy rash. This poisonous shrub is over 7 feet tall.|
|A Matapalo begins as a seed deposited in a tree-top by a passing bird or monkey. As the young plant grows it sends leafy branches up toward the sun and hanging roots toward the ground. These roots merge around the trunk of the "host" tree and by restricting it's growth, kill it.|
The "ropes" hanging from this tree, growing on the Acropolis mound at the Copán ruins, are Matapalo roots.
|When the original tree decomposes, the Matapalo fills in with new growth by sending roots down through its own hollow core.
The Matapalo to the right has not yet filled in it's central area, leaving a characteristic hollow tree.
|A sweet kitty purred and napped outside our window.
||A Mar Pacifico (Pacific Ocean) bloomed outside our back door.|
At Tunkul Restaurant & Bar we were early for dinner and got to see the "chef" lighting the grill. She used charcoal logs, not "briquettes", and a huge, attached bellows to get the fire going. The bellows was worked by pulling down on a lever (tree branch) which was counter-weighted with a car wheel.
|A foot bridge over the Copán River.|
|9 men in the back of a short-bed pickup truck on the open road, and yes, it is the Police.
(There were 5 more men in the cab.)
One Way Only"
Notice the rocks rimming the cave-in. Rocks or tree branches warning of danger in the road are normal; having a sign is unusual.
|We come upon a Cattle Drive on the main "highway" out of Copán.
||One of the cowboys stops to buy a snack from a road-side stand.|
|Uh, oh. The Cattle Drive is leaving him.
||He catches up.|
|The cattle are willing to share the road with cars... with a little persuasion.
||We decide to pass.|
|The Cattle Drive from in front.|
Notice the cowboy with a red flag leading the way.