Waterfalls arn´t for us

Trip Start Jul 11, 2008
Trip End Sep 30, 2008

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Flag of Honduras  ,
Monday, August 11, 2008


Good to hear people are still enjoying the blog. I would have thought youīd had forgotten about us by now.

So we pick up the journey back in San Pedro, our favourite place. This time round it actually wasnīt too bad. We got there late, louis from the hostel picked us up then took us out to dinner, we paid though. It was much better than going down to the city mall. It was a small little place serving big, fat men, Claire and Han were the only women in there and i have a feeling thery the only women to have ever been there. We got a cheap dinner there then got dropped off at the city mall for the 2 4 1 mojitos.

We headed out of San Pedro very early to get to copan ruinas. This gave us the afternoon to explore the wonder that was macaw mountain. It was a bird sancutary just outside town set in the forest. It had a whole bunch of birds, I whole bore you with what types and its not bacause I canīt remember. It had an interaction area where you could hold the birds. Before I knew it the guide had sat three parrots on me, ones on each arm and one more on my shoulder. It was a good job I wore my Attenborough shirt that day, although the one of the scamps tore a whole in my shirt with its beak. The town was beautiful etc, etc, descriptions of cobbled towns is much more Claire or Hanīs department.

So after our pleasant tour of Macaw Mountain we caught a tuk tuk back to the town and a dinner at a cute little restaurant (my spag bol was legendary) before making our way back to the hotel. Unfortunately our timing wasn't great and what started as a light sprinkling of rain as we left the restaurant then became a torrential downpour within seconds! To top that, lightning struck seemingly metres away just as we got inside the hostel door and all the power went out. Pretty dramatic.
The next morning we got up super early to see the actual Copan Ruins before it was heaving with tourists. After paying the steep entrance fees we found the guide that Helder form the Iguana Station had recommended and began the tour. Our guides name was Tony, he was in his 70s and he must have known atleast 10 languages including English thankfully. Hes just started on Arabic I believe. So a pretty amazing chap and definitely worth having to guide us. The ruins are pretty well preserved and their surroundings are very well looked after, hence the steep fees. Tony told us about the games played at the huge Ball Court, the blood sacrifices that the royalty would perform to ask for help from the Gods and the rise and fall of the Maya.
The following day we got up at 6.10am to catch a bus to Entrada and then a chicken bus (with our bags tied on the roof  - it didn't rain thankfully!) to Santa Rosa where we planned to arrange a tour to the Montana De Celaque national park. After a couple of hours in Santa Rosa we'd had breakfast and realised that we really needed to be in Gracias to book the tour. Unfortunately by this point we had already dropped our bags off in a hotel. But we hadn't paid for the rooms yet and it had only been a couple of hours so we thought we could just apologise and get out of it. But it was not to be. The hotel owner (an old, grumpy man) was pretty unreasonable about the whole thing. Claire was trying her best to explain the situation and come to a compromise (she dd incredibly well under the circumstances) but he was having none of it and even slammed the door in Claireīs face! In the end we had to leave him some money so we could escape. Having said all this, out of all the people we've met in Honduras, the large majority have been very kind and accommodating and this was the first unpleasant experience really.
We then made our way on to Gracias and stayed at a hotel on a coffee plantation which was very pretty and inexpensive too. Afterwards we managed to book our tour of the national park for the following day.


The National Parque Montana de Celaque is based around the highest peak in Honduras. At 2,849m (I think) its pretty high. We opted on a 2 day hike through the national park because by taking 2 days we would be able to get to the 'summit'. we booked the tour through the local guides association so we all felt pretty good about ourselves for supporting locals rather than expats and even better the tour was completely in Spanish - no English speaking guides available - so it would be a good challenge for all of our communication skills. Unfortunately, my Spanish wasnt up for the job, because after the walk on the first morning we found out that when Marco, whom we booked the tour through, had said we needed to take snacks with us, he actually meant two lunches and enough carbo-rich food to supplement the meagre dinner/breakfast of 5 tortillas which were provided by the guide. When we found out that the little bag of 5 tortillas we'd been given by the wife of our guide, Luis, that morning were supposed to be our total food for two days of hiking we were stunned. Scott had by this point already munched his way through 3 of the 5 tortillas, as we all thought - quite reasonably?? - that they were just a mid morning snack for the first day. We camped at about 2000m up, and spent the first afternoon playing cards, rationing both our entertainment and our pringles/snickers as carefully as we could. We camped in a little deserted wattle-and-dorb style shack with the tent (but no sleeping mats or pillows) and were asleep by 7:30pm. The next morning we took the 3 hour hike upto the top of the mountain and I'm not really sure how I managed to get up there without Hana or Scott murdering me. It was incredibly steep and we all really struggled and after about an hour and a half of breathlessness, aching legs, repeated lies from luis who kept promising we were ten minutes from the top, and other such awful things, I couldnt really keep my distaste for the whole event inside and spent the next half of the hike yelling obscenities and cursing all things involving inclines and generally being a nuisance. We did finally make the top and the view was lovely. we ran all the way down to the chicken and chips that awaited us at the bottom. Luis said we were one of the slowest groups going up and one of the fastest groups to descend. anyway, we look back and laugh.

After the hike we thought some R&R was fully needed and deserved so we made our way to Lago de Yojoa. An American guy called Bob runs a little guesthouse-come-microbrewery on the shore of the lake so we stayed there for 3 nights and enjoyed 3 lie-ins plus lots of ale plus lots of lazing.

He had 6 types of ale, including amber, pale, porter, and three fruity types including my personal favourite, raspberry. Han and Scott preferred the 'proper' amber ale.

We didnt do much of note at the lake except for a visit to a nearby waterfall and a rowing trip onto the lake itself. Both experiences were traumatic, as we've become accustomed to, but really good fun. The waterfall is 45m high and probably almost as wide, and we were told that when we got there we had to ask for a guy called Rafael and he would take us behind the waterfall. We dutifully did as had been recommended, but should have realised something was up when Rafael turned out to have long hair. He took us down a little path that got progressivley wetter and slippery-er as we neared the towering waterfall, and after about 50m it got to the stage where I felt like i couldnt breathe because of all the spray. at this point I turned back but Han and Scott went on. 15 minutes later they returned both with very pale faces and wide eyes. Apparently, Rafael took them not behind the waterfall but through it, so they both felt like they were drowning and at some points had the full force of the waterfall on their heads and necks. They reported that they could neither see nor breathe and seriously wondered how they were ever going to get out alive. They also say it answers a lot of questions, such as 'what is the scariest thing you've ever done?', 'what is the most foolish thing you've ever done?' and 'what is the closest to death you've ever been?' to name a few.

The next morning we borrowed a boat of a guy who we found at the side of the road with some oars, and tried to row ourselves around the lake. We quickly discovered that none of us are natural rowers, so gave up rowing in the traditional way and used the oars separately to kayak our way along the canal to the mouth of the river. Bob had told us that it takes him 20 minutes to get from the starting point to the other side of the lake where there are lots of Lenca ruins and relics and the like, but it took us nearly an hour just to get down the canal to the mouth of the lake. Once there, the current was just strong enough to stop us from going anywhere so we happily settled for taking pictures of the lake, which was very beautiful in a misty and mysterious kind of way, and then rowed ourselves back again. Its quite difficult to move a boat when all three passengers are too busy talking and laughing to be interested in the rowing side of things.

on Monday we began the journey to Belize, and got as far as Puerto Cortes in the north-west of Honduras. We'll start the next blog with how we got to Belize and also our first few days there.


Dreamteam! Thanks Mark for sorting a team out for me although im sure it wasnt too much of a chore. Torres is a must have so squeeze him in if you can. I think portsmouth could have a good season so maybe stick crouchy of defoe in. I cant think of anyone else that should definitely go in right now so just do your best, i know you will. Claire wants to offer to share half the winnings but I might still be skint then so I cant promise anything. Claire was just enquiring about the possibility of a LEAGUE 2 dreamteam. Oh Claire.
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