Archive for the ‘Honduras’ Category

La Ceiba to Puerto Lempira

Posted: February 2, 2011 in Honduras

Most travelers go south from La Ceiba and enter Nicaragua that way. Initially, that was my plan as well. At the hostel before heading out to Utila, I had the chance to meet Cass, a British guy traveling on a bicycle from Alaska to Argentina, who told me that there are cargo ships that go to Puerto Lempira. When I got off the ferry coming back, I went and talked to some captains about it. After some negotiating and much trouble, we decided on 1300 limps for me and 1500 limps for the bike to do the journey. It comes out to about 150$ total. The total time of the journey was about 3 days and 3 nights and an amazing experience.

The 90 foot by 20 foot cargo ship. Everything on it was loaded by hand piece by piece.

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The captains

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Some of the cargo. Most of it was gasoline and my bike was sitting on these barrels the whole time. I didn’t even see a single extinguisher on the ship, although with this much gasoline, it wouldn’t make a difference. Some of the barrels were also really hard, as if they were filled with something solid instead of liquid, but I wasn’t there to ask questions…. 😉

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My bike covered up

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We stopped about half way at a “port” where these fiberglass speed boats would come up to the ship and unload it barrel by barrel and piece by piece. I was fishing pretty much the whole time but only caught some small ones…

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Back out sailing as night fell

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My 5 star hotel bed

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And the billion star view

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One of the captain’s sons

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And my clean shaved look after the 3 days

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In Puerto Lempira, we unloaded the bike into a lancha and got it to land that way. The actual port is kinda broken. Had to pay the guy in the lancha some money too but oh well. Got it to land nice and safe.

Utila Island and La Ceiba

Posted: February 2, 2011 in Honduras

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From the garden, I headed east towards La Ceiba. I found a hostel there called Banana Republic which is just a good place to spend the night before catching the ferry to one of the islands like Roatan and Utila. I was able to securely leave the bike there for 3$ a night as well. La Ceiba itself doesn’t have much going on for it. It’s also really unsafe. One of the guys in the hostel had a big badade on his neck because he went out the night before and coming out of the bar got mugged. Some local guys put a knife to his neck for his cash. The knife was sharp enough that he nedded a few stiches so the police brought him to the hospital. Moral of the story is, go to La Ceiba, don’t hang out at night and wait to party till you get on the islands.

Once on the island, things change dramatically. Everyone is chilled out, pretty friendly, drives around on scooters or golf carts and you totally forget that you’re in Honduras, the most dangerous country in Central America. You can walk the streets at any time of the night, go out and party, scuba dive some of the most amazing reefs in America and have a space cake or 2.

I stayed at Alton’s dive shop which I think is one of the best places on the island. I upgraded my open water license to Advanced so now I can dive down to 40m, do some basic wreck diving and night diving as well. While you do a course, you stay there for free. If you go out diving without a course, it’s 58$ for 2 tanks and once again you get a night for free. You can use their kayaks and snorkel gear while you’re there for free too. My advancd also only cost me 259$.

You can also find some awesome mushroom honey on the island as well as anything else that might catch your interest. Just ask at the bar at Alton’s and they can point you into the right direction… 😉 Going down to 40m after some good ganja was quite the experience….

I didn’t take too many pictures as walking around with a 1000$ camera while not totally sober is not always a good idea… you could forget it somewhere and it might fly away.

My roommates…

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Breakfast:

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This is how we cut the bread here in Honduras

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The chill spot…. from the top part you can also go jumping or diving into the water. It’s about 3m deep. At night, there’s noone around and skinny dipping is a possible dish on the menu too.

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Some more HDR lovin

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This is Shay from Edmonton. A rig pig that’s actually putting his money to good use so he travels a lot. It was a blast hanging out with him.

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My scuba instructor Chris

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Some things to remember…

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When I decided to leave, the ferry got cancelled twice, so I was “stuck” there for one more day and night…. the next morning we decided to use up some of the food left over and cooked up this sweet breakfast. Pancakes with honey and butter finger topping. Some pineapple, white kitcat and a piece of space cake on the side. 😉

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Jardín Botánico Lancetilla

Posted: February 2, 2011 in Honduras

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If you visit Miami, you have to stop by the Botanical Garden about 7km east of Tecla. It’s the 2nd largest in surface in the world I think. It’s about 1700 hectares and has an immense variety of trees and tropical plants. Don’t expect too many flowers though. You can sleep here too in a decent hotel type environment. The park entrance is like 8$ but if you sleep there, it’s 20$ including the park fee.

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Miami Beach (Honduras)

Posted: February 2, 2011 in Honduras

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I tried to go to Miami Beach, which is about 8-15km from Tecla. It’s supposed to be a nice calm town without much going on besides it’s beaches. On the way there, all you can see is small shacks made out of bamboo and anything else the locals could find. Kinda reminds me of the wolf and the 3 piggies and the house made out of straws. Every big rain or hurricane things go down.

At the same time, it’s a peninsula that has both sides of water at about the same level as the road. Actually, I think the ocean is a bit higher, but it has sand dunes protecting the road. Some big companies are trying to build resorts there, but the projects seem to be put to a stop or at least a slow down. Needless to say that with the rising waters and weather conditions, the peninsula wont be there for long.

On the way to Miami, I stopped by a small tienda (store) for directions and a pepsi. While talking to the owner who was full of horror stories and other local myths, I decided to set-up camp in front of his house.

My new buddy! The owner of the tienda.
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His Best friend whom I couldn’t understand almost at all.

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His wife

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One of the local guys caught this and was gonna sell it in Tecla for like 30$ at a restaurant.

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My campsite. After the first night, thunderstorms and bad rain came in. I had to stay for 3 more nights because the roads would get so muddy and nasty that I couldn’t make it out. It turns out that there is a small short-cut to a paved road that the resorts have set-up. Normally, that road is guarded and noone is allowed on there as the resorts are not built yet but only the road. Once we found out that the guards were not there, I packed my stuff and went.

And I forgot to mention that there was no electricity here or running water. People were living off of 1-5$ a day and poverty was really high. Therefore, if you go into this region, buy a machete. I bought a really cool one and mounted it on the bike, but can’t find a picture.

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So, if you’re in the region, go visit the Miami Beach region. Remember not to show that you have $, your camera, laptop or any valuables. I wouldn’t call it the safest region but while the peninsula is still standing, it’s worth seeing. You have a big lagoon on one side and a gorgeous ocean front on the other. If you’re not on a bike, you will need to catch one of the local pick up trucks that brings people in from Tecla. Travel at day and stay in at night. Go see Miami! 🙂

What a week…

Posted: January 25, 2011 in Honduras

Utila was out of this world! Crazy place…. lol Pictures to come later as I have to pack up and catch a cargo ship called Mr. Tim to Puerto Lempira. It’s gonna be a 36hr journey with some cargo ship guys and a bunch of junk….

Lago de Yojoa

Posted: January 17, 2011 in Honduras

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People from Copan told me that Lago de Yojoa was worth checking out and they were right. It’s the largest lake in Honduras that’s surrounded by natural beauty.

Before getting to the lake, about 10 km out, there are the hot springs called Aguas Termales de Azacualpa. Not sure how easy it is getting there by bus, but with my KLR it was not a problem at all. Part of the road is pretty bad but not impossible. I did spend the night there, camping on the property right by the entrance to the waters. If you don’t have a tent, you can rent one from the owners there. Make sure you lock up everything though as I had my oldschool iPod stolen that I left in my blue tank bag. I think it might be the owner’s son who snatched it but I can’t really point fingers at anyone else but myself for not locking it up with the rest. I didn’t really use it anyway and it was about 7 years old.

The hot springs are 100% natural. There is even a sauna in a cave like tunnel. The water is REALLY hot that is coming out and so are the rocks. Make sure you wear sandals or some shoes. The hot water does mix with the chill river, so if you look carefully, you can find spots that wont burn you and will be really pleasant.

Here’s some pics:

The vapor in the tunel

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I met Francisco there with his family. Had a blast with him and his kids and nephews.

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This guy was pretty cool too

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Hot water mixing with the cold river

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Natural sauna with a hint of sulphur

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Front flip off the rock. That guy looks like a total idiot. The water is deep enough, about 2M but check it out first to know where it’s deep and where the rocks are…

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The sunset… one of my fav. pics

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Grandpa and his big gun

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The next day, I headed over to the lake where I had the best fish ever…

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… with the whole restaurant to myself

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And I camped by the Pulhapanzak Falls where I also had the whole park at night to myself. I even had my own “private” security guard. If you visit the falls and have camping gear, it’s worth the over night stay for 2.50$

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And of course, the falls

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This guy was checking out the falls too from way up high

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Copán Ruinas

Posted: January 17, 2011 in Honduras

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I crossed over into Honduras through the North border of El Salvador. The border was nice and easy. The Honduras guys did make me wait till 5:10pm to get my paperwork ready just to make sure the banks were closed. They told me that I can just give them the money and they will “deposit” it the next morning. They did write that on my paperwork and hopefully I wont be asked to pay again on the way out. It’s pretty clear that they empocket the $ which is fine by me as long as I don’t have to pay again. In the worse case, I got ripped off by 34$ which for Honduras is not that bad.

I didn’t know what to expect of this country because all you hear on the news is it’s political instability. Since I crossed over, I haven’t heard anything about it’s politics. The country looks a lot like Guatemala. Crappy roads, over all nice people and tons of vegetation. Prices are a lot more reasonable than El Salvador as well.

My first real stop was Copan. Many people told me to stop by because it’s a nice town. Lets just say that it’s a huge tourist party town with some ruins on the side. I had planned to stay for 2 nights, but ended up staying for 5 because I was too hung over every morning to ride. It’s one of the safe towns in Honduras where you can go out at night without any problems. There are tourists from everywhere but the ones I hung out the most with were 2 Brazilians, Horaldo and Daniel.

I also stumbled upon the “Corporate Runaways”. A couple riding their BMW 650s and running away from the corporate slavery.

Anyway, enough with the party talk and here are some pictures for all you ruin lovers.

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