We finally had to leave Utila, headed for Antigua with a stop at Copan on the way. We got the boat back to La Ceiba and then the bus to San Pedro Sula. We had to stay there overnight as there wasn't a bus to Copan Ruinas that afternoon. Copan Ruinas is the touristy town near the Maya ruins. We got there about 11am so we decided not the rush the ruins in one day and stay the night instead.
In the afternoon we went to the sculpture museum. Copan has the best sculpture of any of the Mayan sites. There are huge heads from the sides of temples and twelve foot high monoliths carved on all sides called stelae. Each one records an event in Mayan history, such as a battle won or a king crowned. To protect them from the elements, most of them have been moved to the museum and replicas put in their original place. The museum also contains a lifesize replica of one of the temples showing how it would have looked originally - bright red, they would never get planning permission for it today.
The next day we went to see the ruins themselves, we got there when they opened at 8am and for half an hour we were the only people there. The temples in the central plaza are impressive, although the petroglyph stairway is covered by a tent so you can't really see it. We wandered around until lunchtime and then got the international bus to Antigua in Guatemala.
It was dark when we got to Antigua, and a Sunday night so everything was shut. We eventually found a hotel (Posada Ruiz 2) and somewhere to eat. In the morning though we saw how nice Antigua was, with its cobbled street, colonial buildings and huge volcano looming over it. The bed was so uncomfortable at our hotel that we moved hotels to Posada Refugio Hotel, nothing special but good enough for only Q.30.00 per person.
Two days after we got there I went to the airport to meet a friend from England called Emma who is joining us for the rest of our trip. Her flight arrived at 8.25pm after the airport had actually shut so we had to get an airport shuttle instead of the bus (Q.197.00).
The day after, we walked round Antigua going to all the museums and ruined buildings. There seem to be a lot of monasteries in particular that got ruined by earthquakes and never rebuilt. The next day we got the bus to Panajachel (Q.35.00 - a nice tourist bus but cheaper if you leave at 7am) to spend a few days by Lago Atitlan.