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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

HURRYING THROUGH HONDURAS


The roads have deterioted! Lots & lots of potholes, making driving not so pleasant. On top of that none of the ATMs like my MasterCard. Fortunately the petrol stations aren’t so prejudiced. We finally reach the hillside town of Gracias & overnight at Finca Bavaria. Its heyday is long past, but it is fine for us with a secure fence, grass & trees. The next day we leave GR2 there to explore the pretty town, & wait at the entrance of the fort….it doesn’t open.

We continue on following the Ruta de Lenca. It follows the mountains with lots of Lenca (the indigenous people in this area) villages. The ladies wear bright scarves & skirts. The road isn’t too bad with fewer potholes, then it becomes a magnificent new road, & finally the seal stops completely & it becomes an appalling goat track, we are so glad it’s not the wet season. We had planned on doing a long inland road…..we have now changed our minds, especially when the locals confirm that it is similar to this goat track. On a more cheerful note we finally find an ATM that will give us cash….we can eat again!

We head on to the lovely Lago de Yojoa where we pull into the Finca Las Gloria’s to camp for the night. We are right beside the water. They have a pool & Wifi (pity about the bugs on dusk) By now we have also realized that our mobile phones don’t work in Honduras, so the Wifi is an extra bonus. Next stop is the gorgeous Pulhapanzak Falls. A lovely spot for a swim, pity it’s too early to stop for the night or we would stay right here. But it is on the road again – heading towards the Caribbean. The grass is greener… bananas, sugarcane, pineapples, palms. We want to head into Park National Punta Sal for the night. We head along the peninsula coming to the first Garifuna town of Tornabe – it is right on the beach. We are directed back to the right road & continue down the peninsula finally following the beach as far as we can go. There is no way we can drive over the river mouth to the Nat Pak, so we camp in a tiny Garifuna thatched village, called Miami, right between the inlet & the ocean. A magic night until the wind stops & the little bities slide in through the fly screens.

The next morning, at the crack of dawn, we take a boat ride onto the Lagoon to see the massive red mangroves. We have been promised monkeys, toucans….but it is not to be. After a swim in the ocean (not the lagoon with its crocodiles) we head back along the peninsula. After a quick explore of the waterfront town of Tela we decide it really is time to hit the road. Our days are running out & we need to get to Mexico.  No more coast, but straight on to our final stop in Honduras – the Mayan site of Copan.

 It is a long drive with lots & lots of trucks. It has been a long hot day. Our plans had been to head to the hot pools an hour out of the town of Copan Ruinas, but the cold ones are much more appealing in this heat. So we overnight right beside the pools at Balneario El Jaral, ready to hit the ruins the next day.

Phew! Ruins done. It was a hot day. Not too many tourists. The scarlet Macaws were gorgeous & the ruins….well piles of interesting rock - right up Brads alley. There were some very impressive stellae (tall carved rocks). We are finished in time to tackle the border with Guatemala. This is our best one yet (on this trip). A mere 10 minutes to exit Honduras, & 30 minutes to enter Guatemala.

And so it is Hola Guatemala. Earlier in this trip we found that we were way behind schedule. So rather than missing out seeing things we decided to pass through the eastern side of Guatemala, & then return on our next trip, so this will be a short visit.

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