Copala – Small Town, Big Adventure

Well, we took the regional bus to Copala. That was quite the ordeal, since none of the concierges (from the richie rich hotels we didn’t stay at) knew anything about the regional bus system (most of them didn’t even know where the bus depot was). All they had to suggest were tour buses, which would have cost 10 times as much and gotten us stuck with, well, a bunch of other tourists. So, we finally found the bus station, got tickets to Copala and it was great. We rode through tons of small towns, along rural highways, and stopped where the locals stopped. Not only that, but the buses were amazingly comfortable (and air-conditioned). When we got to Copala, though, things started to get strange. NO ONE from our almost packed bus rose to get up when the bus driver pulled over. There was no sign for a town (nor town for that matter) anywhere to be seen. The only thing on the side of the road looked like a miniature convenience store about the size of a living room, and there were no obvious paths alongside or leading away from the rural highway we were on. We asked fellow passengers and drivers, though, and they assured us: this was Copala. So, we got on the bus, got stared at by the few folks lingering around the local shop, headed in the wrong direction twice before discovering a steep road leading down a hill behind the store. Following that, we came upon a solitary farmhouse a few hundred meters away, with a few cows grazing in front of it and one cow ponderously balanced with its front hooves on the porch and back hooves on the street, blocking the stairs. Asking the folks sitting on the porch we were pointed further down the road and reached the small town about a kilometer away. Needless to say, it was beautiful. Indescribably neat architecture, blending local traditions and inherited ones (including a large mission-style church) from long-ago settlers. After eating at Michael’s (long story, you’ll have to look that one up) we discovered, though, that getting back might be even harder than getting there had been (on top of the fact that the one local hotel was closed for business, leaving an overnight stay out of the question). Finally, though, a local coffee-selling woman took us under her wing and found someone with a truck-taxi in town to drive us twenty or so miles (for a few dollars) down the highway to Corcordia where we could catch a bus back. Honestly, it really is about the trip and not the destination 😉

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