A Travellerspoint blog

Honduras

Mayan ruins!

Couldn't help it, but I woke up at 5 a.m. and headed out to Copan Ruins. I had to tiptoe around the teenager I was sharing a room with. I left half my stuff in La Entrada, it was great to have a light pack.

I wandered around the famous Mayan ruins feeling like Lara Croft for a minute when I was in the crazy tunnels under the structures. Some temples had been buried fully constructed because… I'm not sure why.

The coolest thing about the ruins though, was that there were a bunch of brightly coloured macaws flying around and squawking the whole time. That was actually my favourite part. Not all the old rocks.

After I was soaked through, I went to the museum to see the actual real pieces that aren't stored outside. It was kind of cool, but they looked the same as the replicas outside.

I went for lunch at a BBQ place, where an Irish guy was sitting alone. I asked him to eat with me and he explained his lightning fast trip to Cuba to me. I was tempted to go along until he mentioned the "tourist shuttle" he was taking, which is fast but filled only with foreigners and really expensive. Oh well. Byebye Mike! Nice to meet you!

Hieroglyphic staircase

Hieroglyphic staircase


Temple underground

Temple underground


Stela

Stela


Me vs. skulls

Me vs. skulls


Hieroglyphic staircase

Hieroglyphic staircase


Evil god

Evil god


Stela with altar

Stela with altar


My favourite piece

My favourite piece


Intricate altar

Intricate altar


GRASS

GRASS


Stela

Stela


OK, I won't

OK, I won't


Lara Croft moment

Lara Croft moment


Up early on the bus

Up early on the bus


Mayan ruins

Mayan ruins


Parrot head

Parrot head


Stela (the oldest one)

Stela (the oldest one)


Me on top of the acropolis

Me on top of the acropolis


Intricate bench

Intricate bench


Underground temple

Underground temple


Hieroglyphs

Hieroglyphs


I liked these

I liked these


Ball court

Ball court


Nice statue

Nice statue


Underground temple

Underground temple


Stela

Stela


Reconstructed temple

Reconstructed temple


Ball court

Ball court


Me vs. a big plate of meat

Me vs. a big plate of meat


Me vs. Mayan ruins

Me vs. Mayan ruins


Reconstructed temple

Reconstructed temple


Hieroglyphic stairs

Hieroglyphic stairs


Some more ruins

Some more ruins

Posted by baixing 17:00 Archived in Honduras Comments (0)

Forgot my #%%^$ camera charger

I woke up to find my battery for my camera had in fact not charged overnight. Oh no. That charger is only good for my old camera I guess. I thought I had used it once already with the new camera, but I guess it either broke or I have no idea what I'm talking about.

Bottom line was, I had to go back to Santa Rosa, where Johnny was laughing at me. I picked up my Indonesian charger and checked my email with a biscuit and a cup of coffee (no leche!) What do you know? I had a host for the night, not too far away in La Entrada.

I was off again, shoved into the back of a mini van with a woman sicker than me coughing at the back of my head, right behind me. After about an hour, I found myself at Johel's house, full of his family, including about five or six brothers and sisters.

He had a very loud house next door, full of people giving each other tattoos and really loud rap music, or is that reggaeton??? I don't know. I'm out of it now, I'm too old… I couldn't handle it at the moment, so I went back to sit with the sisters in the relative quiet of the Spanish TV in the living room.

This is my unimpressed face

This is my unimpressed face


Happier on the way to La Entrada

Happier on the way to La Entrada


Got ittttttt

Got ittttttt

Posted by baixing 17:00 Archived in Honduras Comments (0)

Sick in Taulabe

So, I had an interview in Chile and decided to wait until January to take another job. I finished some bank things and moved my stuff to Johnny's school. Luis in Taulabe was the first to respond to my couch requests and he said I could surf at his place, so I gave him a call and made my way down there, through amazing mountainside landscapes and misty pine forests.

By the time I got to Siguatepeque though, I knew I was getting sick. Oh no. I hoped it didn't get worse. By midnight at Luis' house, I couldn't stop pooping and I definitely had to see a doctor in the morning.

Luis was so kind to let me stay three nights. I didn't want to bother him with my illness, but I really needed it and his hospitality was greatly appreciated.

The doctor gave me three injections right in the bum and really strong antibiotic pills (I think). Thelma, Luis' sister helped me translate. She said I had some sort of stomach infection. Arg. No more milk or cheese or yogurt for a while I guess. How can one eat a balleada like that?

After three terrible days, I said goodbye to Luis, promising to go to the Guatemala film festival in mid-November. He's a film maker himself, going to see a film a couple of his friends submitted. Should be awesome, I hope it works out.

UPDATE: Just did a Google search of the drugs I took. They are used to treat parasites, most likely, giardiasis. Awesome.

Me with two tacos

Me with two tacos


Me and Johnny at Casa Tipico

Me and Johnny at Casa Tipico


Josh at Casa Tipica

Josh at Casa Tipica


Ingredients of Salva Vida for Mr. Perez

Ingredients of Salva Vida for Mr. Perez


On the bus to Taulabe

On the bus to Taulabe


Me on the way to Taulabe

Me on the way to Taulabe

Posted by baixing 17:00 Archived in Honduras Comments (0)

Into the countryside

Johnny picked me up in the morning and we went off into the countryside. He teaches a weekend class there to children and adults. I went to help him teach a small class of children in the afternoon, so I had the whole morning to myself.

I wandered around until I found a nice cafe and I went through my guidebooks, planning my next adventure. I probably have a job in Chile, so I was thinking of creative ways to get there. I found out there is no highway through Panama to Colombia, so I'll have to fly at some point. But the question is where. I have a bunch of stuff, so there is a possibility of mailing it. However, at the moment, I have no address to mail it to.

After about three hours of drinking coffee, watching the hummingbirds drink nectar from the courtyard vines and admiring the frescoes, I went back to the school to eat lunch, at which I spilled some amazing lemonade all over the place. Then, I read a movie script with a few Honduran kids.

On our way home, Johnny smashed into a motorcyclist when he was attempting to pass a truck. The guy on the bike was OK, but Johnny had a flat and his left headlight and front of his car was all ruined. As soon as the tire was fixed, what do you know? He backed right into the front of the truck of the man who was helping us with the flat tire! Bad day for Johnny. I was laughing at the second collision, it was kind of funny.

Back at home, there was still no internet in my room, so I just went to bed.

Casa Grande

Casa Grande


Casa Grande

Casa Grande


Casa Grande

Casa Grande

Posted by baixing 17:00 Archived in Honduras Comments (0)

Canopy Extremo!

So I completely passed out waiting for the bus to leave the terminal. The warm sun coaxed my eyelids shut and I dozed while buskers, hustlers and beggars hopped on and off the bus hoping for a handout. When I woke up there was a soldier guarding me with a machine gun.<br style="font-family: arial, sans-serif; line-height: normal;"><br style="font-family: arial, sans-serif; line-height: normal;">I turned around and saw three Americans behind me and asked them if they knew about the soldiers. They also had no idea about them.<br style="font-family: arial, sans-serif; line-height: normal;"><br style="font-family: arial, sans-serif; line-height: normal;">Ohhhkayyyy, moving on then! I asked if they were going to the zip line in La Campa and they said yes so I asked if I could tag along. They agreed and that settled it, I guess I was going to go zip lining today. My guidebook is way too old and I had only heard about this zip line because one if my students mentioned it. I thought I would spend the weekend lounging around browsing pottery studios and sipping cold beer with tacos. Everything changed when I realized this zipline was kind of a big deal.<br style="font-family: arial, sans-serif; line-height: normal;"><br style="font-family: arial, sans-serif; line-height: normal;">I was only wearing sandals so I wasn't sure if I could even do it, but it turned out not to be an issue at all.<br style="font-family: arial, sans-serif; line-height: normal;"><br style="font-family: arial, sans-serif; line-height: normal;">There was a big group coming down the mountain so we had to wait for them to finish zipping before we could go up. I was famished. I bought a good tipica plate with some greasy chicken and fed the leftovers to the two skinny dogs staring at me while I ate.<br style="font-family: arial, sans-serif; line-height: normal;"><br style="font-family: arial, sans-serif; line-height: normal;">We went up the mountain in the back of a rickety black pickup truck and at the top, we suited up and signed a waiver. I was quite taken aback when my new american friends blatantly refused to be my witness for the form! One of them point-blank said "no" and literally turned his back on me when I mentioned it. You had to sign the standard "I take all responsibility for dying on this tightrope in a developing country" thing but you also needed a witness, so.... oh well... I guess???? And I handed it back meekly to the zip line guide.<br style="font-family: arial, sans-serif; line-height: normal;"><br style="font-family: arial, sans-serif; line-height: normal;">Luckily the witness thing also wasn't an issue, but I thought that was so cold of my new friends, especially when later, they asked if I could do them a favour and send them my videos!<br style="font-family: arial, sans-serif; line-height: normal;"><br style="font-family: arial, sans-serif; line-height: normal;">OK no problem American friends! Here's my blog address where you can see my videos PLUS you can also read about what I think of you and your uptight jerk faces!<br style="font-family: arial, sans-serif; line-height: normal;"><br style="font-family: arial, sans-serif; line-height: normal;">Anyway, the zipline was really good. It was quite similar to all the ones I've been to in Quebec, crisscrossing over a valley, but this one was completely over the top! So high and scary!<br style="font-family: arial, sans-serif; line-height: normal;"><br style="font-family: arial, sans-serif; line-height: normal;">I dont think Lafleche or Chutes Coulonge can compare at all. Maybe I'm remembering the ziplines in the past differently, but I was wayyyyy more frightened doing this one.<br style="font-family: arial, sans-serif; line-height: normal;"><br style="font-family: arial, sans-serif; line-height: normal;">It could have just been my distrust of the CHILDREN hooking up my harness each time. I dunno about you, but that MAY have contributed to the adrenaline and fear pounding through my veins the entire time. After six heart pounding zips, I was back on the ground, exhilarated and happy I changed my mind about the zipline. If you're interested, for foreigners its $25USD to do, comparable to Canada, so not a bad price I guess.<br style="font-family: arial, sans-serif; line-height: normal;"><br style="font-family: arial, sans-serif; line-height: normal;">There's only a few buses back to Gracias per day and they leave in the morning. I decided not to hitchhike back with the Americans. Instead, I rented a really nice room at Hostal JB just around the corner.<br style="font-family: arial, sans-serif; line-height: normal;"><br style="font-family: arial, sans-serif; line-height: normal;">I wasn't hungry for dinner at all after that but, I thought a nice cerveza was in order. After visiting two pulperias, the third lady laughed and told me LA CAMPA Y SECA! NO CERVEZA! (La Campa is dry! No beer!)<br style="font-family: arial, sans-serif; line-height: normal;"><br style="font-family: arial, sans-serif; line-height: normal;">Are you kidding me? This weekend just got a lot more lame...<br style="font-family: arial, sans-serif; line-height: normal;"><br style="font-family: arial, sans-serif; line-height: normal;">Instead, I bought a coconut water to rehydrate and I enjoyed the evening in the relative quiet of the hotel porch wrapped in a blanket in the shadow of a slice of sheer rockface, listening to the brook babble past and watching the lightning bugs dance, while the neighbours slaughtered a pig and someone fired a gun in the distance. Really. What is my life?

The mountain

The mountain


La Campa

La Campa


Me on the nice bus with a new friend

Me on the nice bus with a new friend


The common room at Hostal JB

The common room at Hostal JB


Bienvendios a La Campa

Bienvendios a La Campa


La Campa

La Campa


Giant bird, a vulture???

Giant bird, a vulture???


The first jump

The first jump


Soldiers on the bus

Soldiers on the bus


The view from my hotel

The view from my hotel


My hotel

My hotel


On the bus

On the bus


Bathroom

Bathroom


On the pickup truck up

On the pickup truck up


Church in La Campa

Church in La Campa

Posted by baixing 17:00 Archived in Honduras Comments (0)

Mindblowing weekend!

Everything here is new, so of course, the first weekend I left town, I was blown away. It took a while to get moving in the morning again, but I made it to the bus by 9 a.m. and I was in Gracias by 10 ish.

I walked around till I found the botanical gardens and Lenca museum (which was quite empty).

The garden was really cute though. I actually managed to get locked in there for a bit, I guess the gardener closed the door accidentally while I was wandering around. He was profusely apologetic.

The really impressive fort was just up the hill, so I went there too. Gracias is supposedly named after an explorer who wrote back to his leader when he finally found a place to settle. "Thank God we finally found flat ground." I had the same feeling later on in the day when I finally arrived at the hot spring, just outside of town. The 4km road meandered back and forth and climbed up and down the whole way.

The churches in Gracias are definitely also worth seeing. There is actually grass in front of one of them, something I haven't seen for three years. Hand to God, not even in Canada because I only go there in the winter now. So, I promptly sat right down and did yoga on it. My hip is a little tight and weirding me out, so I actually needed a stretch by then.

The aforementioned hot springs were completely unbelievable. Everything you can imagine a Central American hot spring would be, this was it. Beautiful stone pools of varying temperatures were nestled right in the middle of an old growth rainforest. Just incredible.

I was really happy with this trip. I can't believe no one wanted to come, it was absolutely wondrous. They even played late 80s and early 90s soft rock alongside Spanish pop ballads at the hot springs. Score. Bryan Adams and Duran Duran were the soundtrack of the day.

After a few hours in the warm water, I was well rested, relaxed and ready to go home before the sun set. I hopped in a taxi and found the last bus home. I made friends with a lady from Spain and she followed me to Santa Rosa. I took her to a nice steak house for dinner when we got back and we stayed until closing time. She was really excited to meet another foreigner and I was really happy to meet her too, so we talked all night long about accounting and teaching mostly.

Juan Lindo

Juan Lindo


Me vs. Aguas Termales

Me vs. Aguas Termales


Fuerte San Cristobal

Fuerte San Cristobal


Me vs. hot spring

Me vs. hot spring


Casa Galeano

Casa Galeano


Fuerte San Cristobal

Fuerte San Cristobal


Bird art

Bird art


Horse art

Horse art


How Gracias became Gracias

How Gracias became Gracias


Me vs. stale nachos

Me vs. stale nachos


Me on taxi thing

Me on taxi thing


Some Lenca masks

Some Lenca masks


Me vs. Fuerte San Cristobal

Me vs. Fuerte San Cristobal


Fuerte San Cristobal

Fuerte San Cristobal


San Marcos church

San Marcos church


Agua Termales

Agua Termales


Taxis in Honduras sometimes look like this

Taxis in Honduras sometimes look like this


Fuerte San Cristobal

Fuerte San Cristobal


San Marcos church

San Marcos church


Me vs. beer

Me vs. beer


A cow was walking down the middle of the highway

A cow was walking down the middle of the highway


Botanical gardens

Botanical gardens


Fuerte San Cristobal

Fuerte San Cristobal


Don&#38;#39;t eat here

Don&#38;#39;t eat here


Las Mercedes church

Las Mercedes church


On the school bus home

On the school bus home


On the bus to Gracias

On the bus to Gracias

Posted by baixing 17:00 Archived in Honduras Comments (0)

Around town

Well, I was supposed to go to the famous Mayan ruins on Saturday with one of my crazy students, but on Friday she looked terrible and really sick, so I figured we wouldn't go. Of course, on Saturday, I had no word from her and to me, it was too late to go somewhere else, so I just stayed in town for the weekend again.

I woke up this morning with the first mission of printing out my Lonely Planet chapter on Western Honduras. This took approximately two hours at the local internet cafe/print shop, so I didn't really get going until about noon. I wandered around looking for the big tobacco and coffee factories and I found them, but they aren't open to visitors on weekends. :(

While I was at the bottom of the hill, I did some grocery shopping at the Honduran sort of Wal-Mart place and then marched right up to the very top of the hill to see the view. There is not much of a view anymore, but it was still nice and quiet and I sat there for a while pondering what would happen next weekend. I will probably head to Gracias to visit the hot springs.

Parque El Cerrito

Parque El Cerrito


Squash

Squash


New clothes

New clothes


Me vs. Horchata

Me vs. Horchata


Cigar factory

Cigar factory


Me vs. nachos at school

Me vs. nachos at school


Parque El Cerrito

Parque El Cerrito


Coffee processing plant

Coffee processing plant


Cigar factory

Cigar factory


Mariachi band

Mariachi band


My street

My street


Cat on a cool concrete roof

Cat on a cool concrete roof


Me vs. pizza

Me vs. pizza


It&#38;#39;s not a watermelon guys!

It&#38;#39;s not a watermelon guys!


New clothes from Laurie

New clothes from Laurie

Posted by baixing 17:00 Archived in Honduras Comments (0)

New apartment

Well, after almost three days of traveling from Vietnam to Honduras, I am in my new apartment. It's more like a hotel room converted into an apartment, but it's alright because there is an amazing pool!

As I was leaving Tokyo a woman from American Airlines told me I couldn't board the plane in Miami without a return ticket home! I started panicking because I wouldn't be able to book it until I got to Dallas, and also, I thought the maximum amount of time I could stay in Honduras was 30 days.

After a few emails back and forth to my boss, she told me I had 90 days in the country and it was OK to book my flight back home on Dec. 20. Phew. Then, when I got to Miami, nobody checked my return ticket! Agh! At least I booked a ticket I would actually use and not just a phoney one for immigration purposes.

Anyway, my mom and dad got me a room at the Miami airport hotel for my birthday and it was perfect because I was in no shape to sleep in the airport. I had a nice shower and soft bed, it was great.

Funny story. In the hotel restaurant in the morning a woman sitting nearby said:

"Wasn't that fire alarm crazy last night?"

"Uhm&#8230; what fire alarm?"

"Oh my god, they evacuated the whole building at 2:30 in the morning!"

"I did not hear that."

She bursted out laughing and said "Well that is shocking, they should have checked on you."

"It sure is. Wow."

That's how tired I was, I slept through an airport fire alarm, which must have been pretty loud.

I boarded the plane in Miami just fine with no questions about return tickets from American Airlines (ugh!). After some of the most insane turbulence of my life, I was so happy to get off the airplane in San Pedro Sula. The baggage claim and immigration areas were jam packed full. Two flights had arrived at the same time and turned the airport into chaos. We were corralled into something resembling lines and I joked around with some cardboard box salesmen the whole time. Seriously, that's what they were. Anyway, customs took forever and I felt bad for the people who were waiting for me from the school. My boss' brother Danny picked me up with his wife who bought me lunch at Applebee's afterwards where I had a ginormous hamburger. Something I have been desperately missing for months in Asia.

They drove me out to Santa Rosa, which took about three hours and we were stopped about four times by the police. Every time, Danny showed his registration and was waved on through. I guess he has a trustworthy face.

Santa Rosa is built on top of a big jungly mountain, and there are cobblestone streets in the historic part of town. This is where I live in a hotel that has been converted into apartments for us. We get to use this awesome pool in the centre courtyard. The privacy in my room is not too great, because the windows in my bedroom literally look out onto the shared hallway, but I guess I can suffer with it until June.

Bedroom, see the crazy window???

Bedroom, see the crazy window???


Bathroom, separate toilet!! Yes!!!

Bathroom, separate toilet!! Yes!!!


Pool

Pool


Kitchen

Kitchen


Common room

Common room


Pool

Pool

Posted by baixing 17:00 Archived in Honduras Comments (0)

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