Before it totally fades from memory, here are some more high points from Honduras:
We hired a van to get from from the Lodge at Pico Bonito to the Maya Vista hotel in the town of Tela. The hotel was on top of the highest hill in town, and had stunning views overlooking the Atlantic. Unfortunately, the part of the Atlantic that we were overlooking was where the town vented its sewage processing ponds into the ocean … so we had to head a ways up the beach before being able to swim without major ick-factor.
I guess this is a good place to mention that Honduras feels poor but safe. There is poverty, but I didn’t see the desperation and starvation that I’ve seen in other places. Groups of hungry children don’t gather on the sidewalk while you eat in a restaurant.
Every bank has a three man team working the door. Outside, there are two: the guy with the pistol grip pump shotgun, and the guy with the walkie-talkie and the metal detector wand. You talk to walkie-talkie man, and if you pass inspection then he radios in to the other armed dude inside the door – who lets you in.
Near Tela is the Lancetilla botanical gardens. We hired a guide for an hour, and wound up taking a five hour walk through incredible groves of fruit trees, poison plants, giant bamboo, and birds. Our guide picked fruit for us to taste, and finally hiked us an hour in to the jungle to show us a 400 year old Seba tree. It was pretty amazing. We also saw many Oropendula, birds that weave hanging basket nests.
In Tela, we met up with medyani, which was awesome.
From there, medyani drove us back to Zamorano University where she’s working these days. Zamorano is an agricultural university with training in organic farming, topsoil preservation, environmental conservation, and a variety of other critical skills. First year students are given a garden plot and expected to succeed in growing veggies. I racked my brain for ways that we could help out – and I’m still pondering.
We toured around, and went shopping in the Valle de Angeles, and then eventually came back to the airport and home from there.
Pictures online soon, I hope!