Tuesday, 9 June 2009

"We have found flat land!"

The title comes from where I am now the town of Gracias , which takes its name from the Spanish explorer who founded it and chose the site after months in the mountains excaiming.
"Gracias a Dios hemos encontrado un terreno llano"

"Thanks be to God, we have found flat land"


Getting here wasn´t quite that hard but was certaqinly tougher than Hedman Alas.


First I went from Copan Ruinas to La Entrada on a yellow bus that according the signs inside had once transported schoolchildren in Brantford, Ontario and now crawled through the countryside asking evey passer by if they wanted a ride.  We climbed higher and higher into the mountains, passing though limestome gorges and small towns that hjad more people than there was space for.


At La Entrada the bus was met by a scrum of touts so persistent I had to physically knock my bag away from one man who was determined that I should go with him.  I was swept up into a minibus for Santa Rosa de Copan, which shot uphill at high speed and delivered me in alomost no time to another dusty bus lot and crowd of touts.  I got ont oanother public bus, which headed slighltly downhill and after a couple of hours finally arrived at Gracias.  My first impression was of dust and collapsing buildings but that was set back by two things.


First I found a hotel with a clean ensuite room and internet for the equivalent of 9 pounds for the night and second on exploring I discovered that although some roads were unpaved most of the dust was because the whole town is being made over, which should destroy any notion that this is a forgotten backwater.


In a few hours, I saw the Lenca Museum, the church and a fort overlooking the town that was built by the only man ever to be presiden of Honduras and El Salvador.  Ir was from the signs at the fort that I learnt the history of the towns name and that it was for a short time capital of the Spanish colony.



From what I can work out the other activities to do here are set up for Honduran tour groups so tommorrow I head on to San Juan.


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