Copan is the perfect town to go for a stroll and that is about all we have been doing for the past few days. With central park as our base, we simply mark off a grid and walk up and down each street, saying hello to all of the locals and looking for interesting places to pop in and have a look.
Heading north from central park is a very steep coble stone road and we followed it all the way to the top to find the Tea and Chocolate House. The entry had a nice garden with photos and posters explaining the process of harvesting and processing chocolate and tea which is done locally in the surrounding mountainside. Raw cacao was roasting over a wood fire which added to the artisan aroma wafting from every corner of the tea house. We sampled some noni tea and received a small tour explaining the goal of reforestation and a sustainable fair trade economy. Everything was handmade by locals from preserves to pumpkin seeds baked in honey, and the quality was second to none. Asher, you much prefer being on the move rather than listening to a bunch of adults blabber on, so we ducked out of the tour early but not before snatching a few samples of sesame seed dark chocolate.
Since the Copan Ruins attract more than 150,000 visitors each year, there is no lack of shops, street vendors and restaurants. We popped into over a dozen in the past few days to look at the Mayan artwork, Lenca pottery and the beautifully crafted baskets and textiles. You are a hit with each of the shop keepers which makes browsing all the more enjoyable. It was pretty difficult to miss Guy, a retired snow bird from Ottawa, dressed all in red with a maple leaf cowboy hat and socks, passing out business cards for free hugs! Oh Canada!
We even popped into a barber shop so I could get a haircut. For the past eight years, your mother has cut my hair but with frequent hydro surges in Central America, we did not want to bring the clippers. The barber was happy to have us come into his shop and when I held up the quarter inch guard and motioned around my head, he said, “no problemo.” He buzzed out my cut in a few minutes then finished off the edges with a flat razor blade while you and your mom played partner clapping games with his niece. When I looked in the mirror, I saw one sharp dude looking back and I had not seen edges that crisp since aunt Annie. Though you were interested in the new texture on my head, I think you were a little disappointed that you had nothing to hold onto for your shoulder rides.
Asher, you have enjoyed strolling the cobble stone streets of Copan and soaking up all of the colors, sounds and smells of this charming little town.