Relaxing in our El Salvador Palapa.
Pablo playing with Garífuna. My camera suffered terminal failure..
Rosalila temple restored in Copán museum.
Sunday morning in La Entrada, Honduras.
We drove to Santa Rosa (or is it Rita) del Copán, about two hours south of La Entrada. Coffee and tobacco are the attractions there. What a pretty colonial mountain town. We found food and money, and by then I had found someplace more interesting and outback for us to seek on the day's adventure. We drove to Gracias, and took a turnoff toward La Calma. Seventeen slow kilometers and four river crossings (no bridges) later we eased into a little village nestled in a valley next to a huge canyon. The guidebook said they had great pottery there. There was a small town square, but no tourists, no market, just calm. We stopped to ask about the pottery. We were in luck. The woman Pablo chose to ask for information was a potter. She was a Lenca woman named Mercedes. She was polishing a piece as we drove up. Besides the usual pottery fare, she made mobiles and sold the parts individually. How fun it was to find the intricately carved beads and miniature pitchers, pots, etc. so I could make my own mobiles. Pablo fell into a Honduran cigar hunt and came back all smiles with 100 hand rolled cigars. The sky rapidly clouded up and we were in for a storm. We took a room in one of two hotels and settled in to watch the excitement of lightning and sideways rain from the patio. Had snacks for dinner and got a good night's rest for the bone shattering journey back to the main paved road. At Gracias, we took another side trip to some hot springs. We were the first of two couples to enjoy the 97°F mineral baths that day. A beautiful neon blue butterfly took a liking to me. We enjoyed a few hours there and decided to head yet farther down the Ruta Lenca toward La Esperanza. We were supposedly going to see these interesting indigena who speak Nahuatl (Aztec?) in the little villages all decked out in traditional gear. But they no longer dress that way except on special occasions. The people in Honduras seem to live on second hand clothing, period. I would like to add some info about the Lenca Indians but at this writing I have not had time to research that. Later.
Mercedes the potter in La Calma, Honduras.
My little blue butterfly at the Hot Springs near Gracias, Honduras.
The rejuvenating mineral pools.
Lots of derrumbes.
The fountain at La Esperanza, Honduras.
Bright and early the next morning I was ready to leave town, hangover and all. We drove south a few hours past Tegucigalpa heading straight for the Pacific Coast. We found an old volcanic island called Isla del Tigre in the Gulf of Fonseca. The town of Amapala used to be a port and now is trying desperately to learn to capitalize on ecotourism. It is a slow process, as there are only three places to stay there and one of them is rather uninhabitable. From points on the island, you can see Nicaragua, Honduras and El Salvador. It was a beautiful harbor where I could picture tall ships hiding out centuries ago. Two days later we moved on.
Looking at Honduras & El Salvador from Amapala, Isla del Tigre, Honduras.
We crossed the border into El Salvador with no problem. Within a few hours we were heading to some famous surfing beaches. El Zonte and La Misata were our two Pacific destinations. We had been advised a bridge was out on the route we intended to take, and did not heed the warning; we drove on. When we got to the collapsed bridge, some kids said we could surely drive across the river. Luckily we could not see the river before we set out on the adventure, because we would have chickened out. Pablo drove his amphibious vehicle across a wide river, pretty damn deep too, and we made it to the other side. It worked in our favor when we found rather isolated beautiful beaches to hang our hammocks and hang out for a few days watching the giant waves and walking the black sand beaches. El Salvador was surprisingly beautiful. We had no gang problems there because we avoided congested areas. Beaches and mountains only.
Crossing the river at La Libertad, El Salvador.
Campsite at Río Misata and Pacific Ocean.
Black sand, blue water...all to ourselves. Paradise found.
A fireplace! It must get cold at night!
The Mayan church at Chichicastenango, Guatemala.
Hotel room view of Chichi valley and pueblo.
The roads were not all in great repair.
The buses were distractingly colorful.
The cabaña at Palenque.
Howler monkey eats, poops and entertains at campsite.
Pablo happy to be with other tamboristas in Palenque.
Sunset at Isla del Tigre, Honduras.