Monday, July 15, 2013

Adventures in Honduras

Friday

After lunch on Thursday, we headed north to Lago de Yojoa and D&D Brewery. We stayed there two nights. I liked D&D Brewery, if only for their flowers and cats. They had a pregnant orange cat, that I got to cuddle with me the last morning. And, they had a stray kitten that had wandered into their place and they were trying to get rid of. It was an incessant beggar and constantly hungry. Had the most expressive little eyes, though. The flowering vine under which we parked one night was beautiful, even if it was inconvenient.

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Friday morning, I tried their famous blueberry pancakes, but was unimpressed—they were more like a blueberry explosion, slightly burned, and no real pancake texture. After working on getting some blogs out in the morning, Jonathan and I went to the Pulhapanzak waterfalls. Everyone recommended taking the tour to behind the falls, so we decided to try it. I am beginning to think we were a bit crazy to do so. When we first signed up for a tour, it was just going to be Jonathan and I, and we were only going to have to wait 10 minutes. Our tour guide said he needed to change and to go wait for him in front of the waterfalls. We went and waited and waited. Finally, we decided to go up and find out what was going on. Turns out, he was the only guide available and now we had 12 high-schoolers joining us. Whatever, we just want to experience it, check it out, right? It will be just like any other tour, hopefully the kids aren’t too obnoxious. Well not quite.

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First of all, we aren’t given any protective gear and then he just tells us to start walking along the path, he will catch up. We go as far as we dare, and he catches up with us. Repeat. No counting, no diligent watching. Then we jump off rocks into the pools of water at the bottom of the falls. So far, not too bad. But then we start walking close to the pouring water and on very slippery rocks, where if we slip we could go careening down the river through multitudes of rocks, just hoping you don’t hit your head on the way. While very adrenaline-pumping, fun, and entertaining, I highly recommend bringing your own life jackets, water shoes, and water goggles, maybe a helmet if you have one. We literally walked along the cascading water for several feet and ducked into some very small caves underneath. We had to go in two groups of 7ish, so that our guide could “safely” escort us to the caves and back. All the while, you are freezing with the intense wind and water flying through area. Not for the faint of heart, I tell you.

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After we dried off and got some lunch, we decided to try for a calmer adventure: kayaking on the lake. I am sure I have told you before, but I LOVE kayaking. It is quiet, peaceful, serene. You are propelled forward with your own strength. Waves can give you just the right amount of excitement. Well, this expedition was no exception. While the area occasionally smelled a bit fishy, and we had to paddle upstream in the canal, it was a wonderful trip. There were fish that swam along beside us, occasionally jumping into the air. Spotting many different varieties, the birdlife around the lake was astounding. The scenery was great. We didn’t see a single motor-propelled boat. It made for great exploring. Lago de Yajoa is definitely one of my favorite places in Central America.

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Sunday

Saturday we spent driving to Copán. Sunday, we rose and arrived just as the gates to the ruins were opening. I think Copán is one of my favorite sites. The impressive stelas and details were plentiful and amazing. You could even see the colors on some of the remains.

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DSC04714 There were hieroglyphics on every single stone of the stairway. When they found it, only the bottom 15 steps had remained intact.

They had a macaw reintroduction station there at the ruins. We learned they are loud and obnoxious birds, even if they are pretty.

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Sadly, while we were exploring the ruins, my hat fell out of my backpack and I lost it. I went back several times to find it, but someone must have picked it up and took it for themselves. So again, I am hatless.

After the ruins, we crossed the border into Guatemala. This was one of the nicest, quickest borders we have crossed. There were only two semis to bypass on the Honduras side (maybe 10 in the other lane on the Guatemalan side). The Honduran side had nice-and-new-looking buildings, and the Guatemalan side was at least clean and organized. There was plenty of space and parking, and we managed to go when it wasn’t crowded. We probably made it across in under 30 minutes.

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