Honduras, the conventional wisdom espoused by the guidebooks et al is to avoid this hot spot of crime and brigands at all costs. We are here in a small town called Copan Ruinas to explore some amazing Maya ruins that have miraculously survived time, the forces of nature and that of man for over a thousand years. So far it appears to be a friendly enough place, although there seem to be as many or possibly more armed security guards here than even in Guatemala. The bank on the corner of the main square has four, two pistoleros inside and two shotguneros outside on the street, a recipe for carnage, I hope for the sake of the good folk of Copan going about their daily business that this show of force is a sufficient deterrent to prevent some modern day Bonita y Clyde having a punt.
We are gong to stay here for about a week, doing touristy stuff including spending a couple of nights on a farm where we get to play Ranchos. I also have an appointment with some steel cables stretched for a km high above the forest canopy, I failed to persuade Jane to do this one, although she will be riding a horse, so she is still pretty game.
Honduras is nowhere near as colourful as Guatemala, odd when you consider the shared origins and histories of the two countries. For the most part, the women here don’t wear traditional dress, favouring the sort of manmade fibers and designs found in our shops. Ironically (as Jane astutely pointed out) they cost more here than they would in Primart, yet they were made by people as equally impoverished as themselves. The men favour white Stetson hats, pointy toed cowboy boots and slim legged trousers/jeans slightly too long in the leg. The young bucks have their jeans half tucked into their boots to add emphasis to their slightly more exaggerated strut.
It’s been apparent since the outset of this trip that I need a hat to keep the sun off (please ignore the fact its rained most days since we hit town) and recently have found myself fighting a strong urge to go Stetson, this was challenging enough but now I’m getting drawn into a totally illogical desire to acquire a pair of cowboy boots. Today we stumbled on the town market, aka cowboy boot heaven. I tried on several, finding my size 8 was a bit of a problem, because here (in what seems at times, Lillyputian Central America) I am a larger size. Of those I tried, none as yet have passed Gordon Brown’s 5 key tests; fit, price, quality, style and Jane. The first four are tough, but achieving the last maybe impossible.