Night of the Yowling Cat

Trip Start Feb 03, 2006
Trip End Jun 20, 2006

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Where I stayed
Marazul Hotel

Flag of Honduras  ,
Thursday, March 23, 2006

We have spent the last two nights in the beach town of Tela. Honduras is dead-set on turning Tela into the next Cancun, but in the meantime it is a nice place to be. Pleasant vibe, lots of humidity, not very expensive.

After checking out a few more expensive options, we settled on staying at the Marazul Hotel. It is our cheapest hotel yet, at under $6.50 per night. The room is large, with a twin cot and a queen size bed (not the normal twin size). The bathroom is....well not that great, though we have seen alot worse. It is just a little dank, and the toilet sort of leaks from the base, so thereīs always a puddle around it. Oh, and the sink pipes are taped together with packing tape, so about half the drainage goes onto the floor.

But, it is cheap. We didnīt even complain too much that there isnīt any water available, except in the early morning. But we drew the line at the cat. It started around 3 am. This cat was yowling and yowling and yowling right under our window. We could hear the night watchman making clucking noises at it, trying to shush it, so we tried to ignore it. Two hours later, he was still shushing it and it was still yowling, at the rate of about one yowl per 2 seconds. Finally, about 5:30 it shut up.

The next morning, Andrew complained to the desk lady, who told him that the cat didnīt understand Spanish commands, only English, and that was the reason it was yowling all night. What!?!?! A couple Euro guys a few rooms down said that they had chased the cat around for an hour until they caught it and stuffed it somewhere to shut it up.

Despite this, we elected to stay there last night, too. No cat last night.

Yesterday we went to the Lancetilla Botanical Gardens, some of the largest in the world. It was founded by the United Fruit Company, owned by Sam the Banano Man (a Russian Jew US immigrant) in 1926, and administered by William Poepenoe. It has lots of great trees from all over the world, and lots of birds hanging around too. We saw a durian tree and a bay rum tree! They also have toxic trees, complete with skull-and-crossbones warnings on their placards. We didnīt see a cashew tree there, but we did see a strychnine tree. Andrew miraculously avoided touching it.

Today we signed up for a guided tour of some mangrove lagoons around here. It was all by sea kayak, quite nice and relaxing. We saw a really good woodpecker and lot of other birds, as well as a few alligators and a Jesus lizard (yes, it did run on water). And a daylight bat. (Charlie, we will post photos of it for you later). Andrew was upset that the bat squeaked at him.

The food here is good, with seafood of course figuring quite prominently. Andrew was especially fond of his conch soup, with a base of coconut and filled with potatoes and carrots as well as conch. He had a similar soup today with crab replacing the conch.

Our favorite place in town so far is Tutyīs. They have lots of jugos, batidos and licuados. My favorite is the banano licuado, while Andrew prefers their horchata--it is much different than Mexican horchata, and features strong cardamom and lime instead of cinnamon. They also make excellent doughnuts--the first weīve had since Panama City (which was our only US chain experience--A Dunkinī Donuts at the bus terminal)

Tomorrow it is on to Omoa, hopefully to what our guidebook calls the "best hostel in Honduras". Although, with how wrong this guide has been so far, it will probably be a dive, or closed down!
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