From D&D Brewery I headed south and visited a couple of towns on route to the El Salvador border.
Gracias is a small, tranquil cobblestone town 47km southeast of Santa Rosa de Copán. For a brief time in the 16th century, it was the capital of all Spanish conquered Central America. Traces of its former grandeur remain in its centuries old buildings, colonial churches and impressive fort. The pace of life here rarely moves much faster than walking. Founded in 1526 by Spanish Captain Juan de Chávez; its original name was Gracias a Dios (Thanks to God). Eventually the town’s importance was eclipsed by Antigua in Guatemala.
The hotel I stayed in at Gracias was quite an experience. Made completely of concrete and with only tiled floors every cough and sneeze echoed around the hotel like a vast canyon. I could hear everything from chairs scraping to guests using the loo!
Santa Rosa de Copán is a cool mountain town with cobbled streets and some lovely, restored colonial buildings. Less tranquil than Gracias but with more going on, including some great cafes and restaurants.
La Flor de Copán Cigar Factory, 2km out of town, shows visitors the craft behind making hand rolled cigars. Sadly it was closed on Saturday, when I arrived. A result of poor planning on my part!
Next stage: Border crossing into El Salvador.