Honduras - Winter 2011

Continuing the tradition of winter family trips, the Harrisons plus Amy packed up and flew to Honduras. A few days before we were supposed to fly out, Ben fell down a flight of stairs and perferated his lungs, preventing him from flying! After landing in San Pedro Sula and staying one night in La Lima, we struck out south to the ruins of Copan. While not as complete or towering as Tikal, there were many interesting details that made it worthwhile. After half a day touring the site, we departed for colonial Gracias, our base for two night. Given the town is on the main tourist loop, we were surprised to see maybe a dozen tourists in total - Honduras on the whole (minus Roatan) seems largely undiscovered. At the time of our visit, the country had the highest homicide rate in the world, which is probably a major contributing factor. We felt very safe and welcome however.

We spent our only full day in Gracias hiking in MontaƱa de Celaque national park, with its lush forests and ridiculous epiphytes. Given the rough quality of some of the roads, we adjusted our plans, breaking our journey to Roatan with a night at Yojoa Lake. On route, we hit several small Lenca towns, purchasing some of the famed ceramics. We also detoured to Erandique for its open pit, locally dug opal mines. The road was brutal, taking about an hour to cover 15 miles. There wasn't a whole lot going on in Erandique, though we did buy a few small opals. Fortunately, the countryside was really very pretty, with pine-covered mountains that felt more like the the Pacific Northwest than Central America. We got to Yojoa Lake late, grabbing dinner and drinks at D&D Brewery.

Before pushing north to La Cieba for our prop plane to Roatan, we splish splashed into and behind the surprisingly impressive Pulhapanzak Falls. The next three days were spent chilling in East Bay, Roatan, an island in the Caribbean. We took day trips to Sandy Bay and East End, mostly kicking back on the beach punctuated by snorkeling. With two days left, we flew back to the mainland, and based at Tela. A day trip to the tiny Garifuna communities of Barra Vieja and Maimi were a highlight of the trip - looked like something out of Robinson Crusoe. We also went out onto the lagoon for a couple hours. Right before flying out, we drove into San Pedro Sula for some last minute shopping. I had been keeping an eye out all trip for interesting "marimba" chairs I had seen in Nicaragua, but were impossible to fit into our car plus passengers back then. Lo and behold, I found them in the San Pedro Sula market. Given that the airport was our immediate next stop, I convinced my parents to squeeze a pair of chairs onto their laps in the back of the car. Amy snagged a guy behind the check-in counter to shrink wrap the bundle, and got the airline to check them with no oversize fee.

© Chris Harrison