“It is not the strongest or most intelligent who will survive
but those who can best manage change.” ~ Leon C. Megginson
Today was unexpectedly our biggest travel day yet. We packed our bags, enjoyed our hearty oatmeal, then set out to find the bus terminal that would take us to Santa Rosa de Copan. We left at 6:15am and were unable to find a taxi on the eerily sleepy streets so we ended up walking all the way to the terminal. One lone converted school bus sat in the large lot and we were happy to read that it was bound for Santa Rosa de Copan. Sharing the bus with only two other passengers, we easily scored the front seat. The bus pulled out of the lot on time then crawled its way out of town, hoping to pick up more people along the way. It was not long before the bus was full and we were barreling down the highway. Again, we were left speechless by the unbelievable scenery as we climbed up and down through rolling mountains and crossed over clear rivers.
We jumped in a taxi which slowly climbed the steep coble stone hill to central park and noticed that the entire town was still sleeping. All of the shops that lined the main street were still locked up behind large arched gates that complimented the colorful colonial facade. We both noticed, in the round about taxi ride, that there were very few hotels. In the early morning haze, we forgot to do an EC with you and as we approached our destination, we heard a splat in your diaper. Sorry Asher, that was our fault. We stuck to our plan and I scoured the town to look for a room while your mom stayed with you and the packs in central park. I felt bad for your mom who found an explosion that blasted its way out of your diaper, through your shorts and down your legs. As the early birds in the town square looked on, your mom cleaned you up using our reusable wipes and water from our bottles which had a nice squirt of lime in it. Since messy diapers are a rare thing for us, we later talked about how happy we are to only have to clean up around two per month.
When I returned after an hour of jogging the cobble stone, I did not have good news for you and your mom. Since Santa Rosa de Copan is not really set up for tourism and since most of the town was shut down on Sunday, there was no room at the inn for us. I managed to find three hotels all over $60 per night and since we have been used to paying less than $20 per night, we decided to crawl back down the steep hill and take a bus on to Copan Ruinas.
Luckily, a minivan was waiting for us and we crammed into the front seat just in time for departure. The roads between Santa Rosa de Copan and La Entrada looked like they had been visited by a small meteor shower and unlike the big school buses that could fly over the craters, the minivans had to weave around each of them. Our driver drove like a maniac, dodging all the pot holes and slamming on the breaks to pick up new passengers. It took an hour to get to La Entrada and when the bus pulled over to pick up more passengers, I happened to notice our packs sitting on the side of the road. Just then, the driver frantically explained that we had to change buses. We rushed to gather up the bananas, water bottle, carrier, crackers and cinnamon bun that we had sprawled out on our laps as we were expecting a three hour ride, then awkwardly dragged our packs to a minibus that was bound for Copan Ruinas. Though we were annoyed by the little scam (the minivan told us they were going to Copan Ruinas knowing they would meet up with their friends in La Entrada who would go the rest of the way), we were happy to have a much more comfortable ride.
Whatever advantage the wild minivan ride provided quickly vanished when we realized our new driver never went above 30 km/h. The two hour ride from La Entrada to Copan Ruinas turned into three and a half, but after being held by a few locals including an old farmer with a cowboy hat, you fell asleep for most of the trip and the scenery passed slow enough to soak it all in. You woke up just as we pulled into the terminal and since we were hot, sweaty and hungry, we were easily talked into a $25 per night hotel with a pool. We literally shrugged our packs off and Nestea plunged right into the icy water. You squealed with delight and dolphin kicked wildly around the pool.
Expecting a one hour travel day, we had just survived a seven hour travel day, three frantic bus exchanges, a diaper bomb, taxis and tuc tucs. But the pool, hefty burritos for dinner and a long skype chat with grandparents helped us freshen up, fill up and catch up. After a routine evening stroll with a whole lot of laughing, it was not long before we all fell fast asleep. As we laid in bed, I thought about how tough you and your mother are; masters of flexibility and stamina, true contortionists on the road.