Date: Mon, 24 Nov 2003 02:10:30 +0100
Subject: Travel report 8. Honduras.
Unfortunately I´ve no new reliable information about the elections in Guatemala. The only thing I know, is that it´s still quiet and there will be a second round in December.
4 Months of travelling, according to most travellers I spoke to, this would be the moment I get tired of packing my backpack and travel again. But, as you will read, I´m still ¨running¨and I still like it :-) I only have to admit that you´re a part of the reason that I still like to travel on my own. To meet other travellers and exchange story´s is still one of the things I like most of travelling, Gracias :-)
Ok, here is my story again:
First a little information about Honduras:
Although it´s bigger than Guatemala and El Salvador together, it has less than 5,5 million inhabitants. So you can imagine that you can find here a lot of places where you can walk around and met nobody.
Before I went to Honduras, they told me that it´s a Banana Republic, with a double signification. First because the bananas are one of the biggest export products of Honduras and second because it´s government is more interested in collecting money for their own, instead of using it for the country.
A funny historical fact is perhaps also that Honduras and El Salvador were in 1969 in War for about 100 hours. The cause of this War was the result of a World Cup Qualifying soccer match??? It´s called the Guerra de Futbol.
All right, now my experiences in Honduras:
From Copan I went to Roli´s place at Omoa beach, because I saw a very nice announcement about that place and hostel. But, ones again, don´t believe everything you read. The hostel was nice to meet other travellers, but the owner is impolite and doesn´t likes his job anymore. And the beach? The beach is very small and, perhaps also because of the rain, not very companionable.
Fast to Tela, a small town with really nice and beautiful Caribbean beaches to walk and swim from. To the East you can walk to a small tropical, private beach next to La Ensenada and to the West you can walk for hours and meet almost nobody.
Just a day from the live of a traveller: This day we (me and 3 nice women) wanted to go to the Garifuna village called Miami.
Because we just missed the hitch from the tourist-police to Miami and some people told us that it was possible to walk from Tela to Miami, we started to walk on the beach. But after more than an hour the tourist-police came after us and told us that it was to dangerous to walk further on. They escorted us to the nearest village, El Triunfo. From here we took a taxi to the next Garifuna village, Tornabe, from where we could take the last bus to Miami. But again we just missed that transport when we were having lunch, so we ended up travelling by horse car to Miami, and that was even more nice!
Garifuna are people with African blood. They came original from African, but around the 16e century the English transported them as slaves to the Island Roatan. Later on they escaped from the island and established on several places on the Caribbean coast. Nowadays they still have their own manner of live. Miami is a good example of that. It´s a very small village on a splendid location!
From Miami we started to walk back on the beach again. It took us 2 hours, included swimming, but it were 2 hours walking on one of the most beautiful beaches I´ve seen yet.
La Ceiba, or better Rio Cangrejal, because I went to La Ceiba to join a rafting-tour with Omegatours on the Rio Cangrejal.
Unfortunately it was a little less exciting than I was hoping for. Part of the reason was that it rained the last few days a lot, through which there was to much water in the upper part of the river to do the class IV, V rapids I wanted to do??? They said that it would be to dangerous. And I was this last few days hoping for a lot of rain, so there would be enough water in the river to make it excited...
Still it was a nice experience and you can´t always ask for everything at the first time...
Utila Island, divers paradise, like everyone knows it. As there were also a few people who told me that there is not much fish anymore?
Although I was a little nervous if I would still know how to dive, after two and a halve year and if I would not get to much trouble with my ears, I wanted to take this opportunitie to dive again.
After a refresh course I made two dives. They went very well and I liked the environment very much. Those people who told me that there´s not much fish to see anymore, went diving on the wrong place. All right, at the Marine Reserve in Cay Caulker in Belize, was more fish to see, but that was a well protected reserve.
Other activities you can do on the island are kayaking and snorkelling, or do them both and you don´t have to go on a tour to snorkel on nice places.
Unfortunately the Turtle Reserve was closed and do you need a lot of luck if you want to see a whale-shark. Also don´t expect that you can sun-bathe undisturbed, because you will be food for the many sand flies and mosquitoes.
Yes, it´s a real dive and snorkel paradise, but for how long? The dive schools made their prices for the Padi Course that low, that it´s waiting for the moment that they are bankrupt or raise their prices. So be fast if you want to have a cheap course, but don´t complain if you have to pay a little more to keep it a divers paradise.
Parque National Pico Bonito, a beautiful and divers park, with lots of butterflies, birds and other wildlife to see. Only if you want to visit the park, ask before how to cross the small river.
La Ceiba and San Pedro Sula, were good enough to spend the night, but I spend there to less time to have a good opinion about them. By the way, it took me some time to get from La Ceiba to San Pedro Sula, because there was a protestation of workers from the Banana Company de Honduras. The Government still needed to pay them their salaries from September and October. Who told me that Honduras is a Banana Republic_
Pulhapanzak, I went to this place with the strange name to see a very big waterfall of 443m. The waterfall looked good and you could even swim above it, but I don´t believe that´s 443m high.
Lago de Yojoa, a big lake with lots of bird species and where you can also eat very good fish for only 3.5US$
Parque National La Tigra, was a disappointing to me. It´s to small, at least the trails, I could walk from one to the other side of the park in 2.5h I saw also not very much life and later I heard that most of the wildlife lives in the upper part of the forest where are no trails...
Tegucigalpa, the capital with the difficult name. It looked chaotic and sandy to me and it also seemed that everything is now been renovate. They were working everywhere. At this time it´s one of the ugliest city´s I´ve seen and this is also the reason that I´m now (23-11-2003 at 17:15h) write my story in Leon, Nicaragua, instead off in Tegucigalpa. I wanted to do this on a nice square, but couldn´t found one. Now I found one but it´s raining.
You can´t have always luck, but I still have a lot of fun :-)