|Looking over the ruins at Copan|
My third day in Honduras would be a little less birdy and more traditional touristy. It began with visiting the ruins of Copan in the morning. The first sight of the ruins as you walk out from the forest is impressive. I felt a sense of the grandeur that must existed in this place 1000+ years ago. I also loved the ability to wander around the buildings and stelas ( statues ) and just explore. It's refreshing compared to other attractions that have such strict "hands-off" policies that make them boring and sterile. The associated open-air museum is also great with a full scale recreaction of a temple that was discovered intact ( with original paint ! ) beneath some of the other buildings. It is very cool and you are able to walk through the rebuilt temple. There are also many examples of the original stonework and facades in the museum.
The whole thing is also sobering. To think of 20,000 people living in this area, building these monuments that survive nature and the jungle to be here today. Yet, the people disappeared, vanishing suddenly due to ecological damage and a lifestyle that was not sustainable. Food for thought, I guess...
|Rosalila Temple Reconstruction in the Copan Museum|
I also snuck in a visit to Macaw Mountain. This bird sanctuary features many birds on display, most rescued from the pet trade. It is interesting to see these birds close-up but a little sad. Personal opinion: Birds just don't look right in cages. The property however is very picturesque with many trails and the open-air cafe has the best smelling coffee. They roast the beans on-site and the fragarance is rich and very pleasant. Hmm....I can imagine it now. I don't drink coffee at all ( most of my coffee thoughts begin and end with a funny face and *bleh* ) but I was almost tempted. Almost. I did buy a bag of the stuff to bring home for my coffee-connosieur wife ( she gave a very positive review, for the information of any bean-heads out there ).
|Toucan at Macaw Mountain|
|Macaws out for a stretch|
Oh and while out in non-birding mode, I added GROOVE-BILLED ANIS, NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH, GREAT SWALLOW-TAILED SWIFT and a very close-range TURQUOISE-BROWED MOTMOT. Not bad...but I would be back in a birding state of mind the next day at the Rio Amarillo Nature Reserve...