In Tegucigalpa, we spent a few days chilling out at a cheap hotel waiting for our Servas hosts to be ready for our visit. We stayed right in the busy center. I spent a lot of time on the internet updating friends and family. I had some good Chinese food, and some Chinese food that made me sick, but that is the way it goes around here. You never know what is gonna hit you the wrong way. Sundays everything closes down which makes things pretty boring. We decided to take a hike up to a peace monument that overlooks the city. The road wound around a nice hill and at the top we had great panoramic views of the two large adjoining cities Tegucigalpa and Comayaguela, and got a nice look down into the huge soccer stadium. Unfortunately, I forgot my digital storage for my camera so I didnít get any photos.
The next day, we were picked up by Jose Chirinos, one of our Servas hosts. He took us to their house on the Comayaguela side and we met the whole family, Marieli, and their 17 year old daughter Clarissa, and 13 year old son Chipi. From the start it appeared this would be a great visit. Marieli treated us to typical Honduran food, Jose and I talked politics and philosophy, and we talked about our trip with Clarissa and Chipi. The Chirinos agreed to hold onto our things while we took a side trip by bus up north to the Caribbean coast to the Bay Islands. They had great things to say about the island of Roatan, nice people, beautiful white sandy beaches, and clear blue water. Great!
We took a first class bus to the city of San Pedro Sula, about 3 hours to the northwest. San Pedro is the second largest city in Honduras to Tegucigalpa, is supposedly the most dangerous, and is also known as the AIDS capital of Central America. We hooked up with another Servas family for a couple nights stay in the city, had good conversations and more tasty Honduran food. From San Pedro, we took a day trip about an hour south to popular tourist spot called Pulhapanzak, a large waterfall in a small town. We were guided down the slippery trail and caught great views of the powerful 50 meter tall waterfall that pounded down blowing mist all around us. Our guide took us behind the waterfall so we could see the water flowing over our heads and behind us, a great sight. Then he showed us into a small dark cave formed by years of constant water pressure. On our way back we had a couple nice tall jumps into the lower pools of the Rio Lindo, but had to scramble for the rocks before getting carried away by the current. We didnít get to explore too much of San Pedro, but were under the impression there were better places in Honduras. One night I caught a bit of TV news and they were showing live footage of police inspecting a dead taxi driver supposedly killed by a gang.
We took another 3 hour bus ride to the coastal city of La Ceiba. Another one of Hondurasí large cities, La Ceiba has a nice mix of Latino, Garifuna (black) cultures. We decided to chill here a couple of days and give my buddy Jon time to catch up. He was planning on flying into Honduras to meet us in Roatan for some diving. We visited a butterfly and insect museum that was started by an American expatriate. He was very excited to show us around and give us info on the various butterflies, moths, and other cool insects in his collection. Many were collected here in Honduras, and some were from other parts of the world acquired in trades. Honduras has the largest moth, with a wingspan of about a foot, and also the most iridescent butterfly. I was amazed at the variety of colors, size, and shapes of all these cool bugs. Another cool trip we made around La Ceiba was to the Pico Bonito National Park, the largest in Honduras. We took a bus to a very small town where we did some walking to get to the outskirts of the park. Here we hired a guide who took us a bit further to a nice river for some swimming. Even though we barely scratched the surface of this large protected area during our short visit, I enjoyed checking out the jungle scenery and talking with our guide, who only had one arm. He lost his left arm in a machete fight.
After a couple days hanging around the coast, we decided to check out of our hostel and take a ferry to Roatan. Most of the travelers we met during our time in La Ceiba were headed to another popular Bay Island, Utila, which is also known as the cheapest of the three. We had received great recommendations on Roatan and also had some connections there, our dive instructor Serge from Lago Atitlan, for example.
Peace n Love,