This blog post is part of of our trip to Guatemala and Honduras in Dec 2012 amidst the evocative Mayan ruins in a lush jungle, a quaint lazy colonial town and a tropical Caribbean beach.
Other articles in this series: Tikal Sunrise and Sunset Spots for Photographers | Astronomical Observatory of Uaxactun |Smoking Frog of Uaxactun | Following Frederick Catherwood | The Mayan Ruins of Copán |The Modern Town of Copán |
I sit on a boulder besides a dusty single lane road not too far from the Guatemala-Honduras border. A centuries old grotesque statue of an old man lies half buried a couple of feet away. Rio Copán happily gurgles somewhere behind me. In front lies a lush verdant valley with dotted with fields of tobacco and plantation. From a nearby tree, a macaw suddenly takes flight, spreading its colorful wings luxuriously gliding over an unfelt air current drifting away silently into the horizon. A howler monkey crashes through the tree falling freely, hurtling to certain death towards the ground when at the very last moment it pulls itself up by the thinnest of a branch and swings away nonchalantly.
The landscape is shrouded by mist that swirls over two towns within half a mile of each other. On my right, the modern town of Copán is deep in slumber after the late night spent in Christmas revelry. It will wake up in a few hours. But not the ancient town of Copán on my left because it has been asleep for the last thirteen centuries.
But make no mistake. Copán is far from dead. Having witnessed its peak in the eighth century, it rapidly diminished in power sometime after that and was lost to the undergrowth until it was discovered by a dynamic duo of adventurers in the mid-nineteenth century. Befitting the ancient Mayan traditional belief in afterlife, today it lives a another life.