Honduras in Three Parts: Pico Bonito

One of the challenges of travel in a country like Honduras is how SLOW everything is.  Honduras is approximately the same size as the US state of Virginia – in other words, not that big.  But traveling from Copan Ruinas to Pico Bonito took approximately 8 hours!  Even in the mountain areas of the US, a similar trip would take no more than 3 hours.  The time was not due to constant bus stops, but to slow roads.  35mph was probably the top speed the bus ever achieved.  Three hours to San Pedro.  Forty-five minute layover.  Three hours to La Ceiba.  Then a bumpy, muddy 30 minute taxi ride to Omega Lodge bordering Pico Bonito National Park.

The Creek House cabin, a lovely little spot to base myself for four nights.  The local wildlife and the creek put me to sleep every night.

The Creek House cabin, a lovely little spot to base myself for four nights. The local wildlife and the creek put me to sleep every night.

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With only 3 guests total at the lodge during my stay, it was pretty peaceful and quiet most of the time.

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RAFTING!

The major reason to stay at Omega Lodge was to raft the Rio Cangrejal, which was supposed to be one of the premier rivers in Central America.  My trip the first morning didn’t disappoint.  I’m used to bigger rivers, this was a different experience – much more like a large creek.  Short rapids, large drops, lots of monstrous boulders.  Unfortunately, I lack photos from the trip.  I have a few quick clips from my helmet cam, below.  Video was shot by the guide in the safety kayak.  A guide who was unclear on the concept, as most of the video he shot with my camera was of himself!  Oh well…

We didn’t just paddle the rapids – we also swam a few of them.  Yes, on purpose.  And in one section of the river we cliff-jumped from 25 feet up.  WOO HOO!!!

Solo Hiking – An Introvert’s Dream

The next day I spent on my own, hiking trails in the vicinity of the lodge.

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Monkeys, Egrets, and Caimans, Oh My!

Day 3 was paddling Laguna Cacao, on the coast, with the goal of seeing monkeys and lots of birds.  The wildlife spotting began immediately, with a caiman (similar to crocodile) visible from the dock.

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Below is a quick video of some of the wildlife we observed.  Getting decent shots from a floating platform is never easy, so I apologize in advance!

After about 2 hours exploring the mangroves of the lagoons, we lunched on the beach, watching two fishermen who had just paddled their small dory across 10 miles of open ocean from the Cayos Cochinos (Hog Keys).

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You could never get me to paddle a boat like this across 10 miles of open ocean!

You could never get me to paddle a boat like this across 10 miles of open ocean!

Ocean, sun, warm breeze, kayak, wildlife.... happy day.

Ocean, sun, warm breeze, kayak, wildlife…. happy day.

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Leaving Laguna Cacao, our guide took us to Sambo Creek, a Garifuna village on the coast for a drink and a bit of wandering around.

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Exploring on my own, I was quickly accosted by this group of teenage boys.  It was a bit nerve-wracking when they surrounded me, but they really just wanted to talk with me and have me take their photo.  This is why, even though you still have to be cautious and smart, one shouldn’t be afraid of everything when traveling.  I had a lot of fun with these boys, and could have missed out on a fun experience.

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All’s not well that doesn’t end well…

Unfortunately my blissful trip hit a major snag on the last night.  You know that feeling when your stomach starts churning and you think “just come out so we can get this over with!” ???  That was me – for 4 hours.  Then 4 more hours of… well… stuff coming out.  I was at least 10 pounds lighter the next morning.

That made for a fun morning when I had to be in a taxi at 8am.  Thirty minute bumpy taxi ride, then a bumpy ferry ride to the island of Roatan, during which I went on an even more extreme weight loss plan.

The joys of travel in such countries.

Coming soon – sea kayaking in Caribbean paradise.

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