I have exhausted day-trip locations to explore in western Honduras. There is just one other town I want to see, Gracias Lempira, but it's a little far for a day-trip.
I was anxious to get out of town for the day and finally had a good excuse. My friend Jeff, or Bender as we call him and my new friend, Janet and I took a break from work on a sunny Sunday morning, got in the car and headed southwest to Santa Rosa de Copán. Santa Rosa and Copán Ruinas, where the important Mayan ruins are located are just 18 kilometers apart, but no road has ever been constructed to connect the two towns. It takes roughly 3 hours to travel between the two. Needless to say, it's a one or the other day trip choice we had to make and since Bender and I had made the trip to the ruins at Copán 2 years ago, we chose Santa Rosa.
During the three hour ride we spent the time telling stories, laughing and watching the countryside go by. I'm pretty sure I heard some pronounced sighs as we flew past cars on our right and left during the unintended games of "Chicken" as Jorge sped up the road toward oncoming cars, trucks and busses, skillfully getting back into the right-hand lane just before we were about to meet our demise.
The weather was beautiful; much cooler than San Pedro with a cool breeze in the shade and no humidity which is something I rarely experience living in Honduras.
There are palm, deciduous and pine trees located in the mountain towns which I find funny. Somehow I have always thought where palm trees grew it would be too hot for any other kind of tree. And now you know why I am not a horticulturalist.
Our first stop was the "Central Park" of Santa Rosa. All towns have a Central Park of varying shapes and sizes and where the park is located, so is the big Iglesia (church). We were excited about getting to the park. The first time I went to Santa Rosa, my friends James and Stuart and I stumbled upon this gazebo. Outside were small metal tables and chairs and inside, a coffee shop. Well, not a shop really. But coffee making machines and a barista. The coffee was great, the prices awesome and the ambience laid back and fun.
Sadly, there was no coffee, just the menu on the wall remained. What we did find, or rather, what found us was a young soldier with a clipboard and serious shotgun? rifle? unidentified weapon? that surely looked like it would do serious damage if fired.
He was busy trying to get 200 people to sign up for the Breast Cancer Awareness marathon scheduled for the following weekend. He had a real challenge ahead of him with just 9 signatures on the page at 11am. I hope he achieved his goal.
We walked around, took photos and headed to the local market. Before we came to our destination, our stomachs got the better of us and we turned into a small restaurant for lunch. We ordered tacos which, as aways, are not the tacos we know in the US. They are corn tortillas with a little filling and unless you find a jar of hot sauce or a mini bowl of habanero sauce, there will be no heat. Lunch hit the spot and we were once again on the street looking for the market.
We found the market, but it was not what we were looking for. It was more like our local Guamilito market in San Pedro, filled with souvenirs and the infamous Tortilla Ladies.
We carried on and found the market. It was a small spot outdoors with a few stands selling produce. Unfortunately, we arrived late, just as the vendors were packing up, but I did manage to pick up a few ripe tomatoes. The exciting thing was that they were not refrigerated and they were different shapes and sizes. I know, seems like a trivial detail, but trust me, finding an unrefrigerated tomato here is pretty miraculous unless you are at an open market.
We decided to make our way back to the car and head home.
Santa Rosa de Copán is a laid back, peaceful town worth checking out if you have time to make the trip.