We entered Honduras right after the Christmas holidays with a bad feeling. At the border everything went fine and easier than expected. But the problem will be maybe leaving Honduras, because a few days before they had political protests and road barriers on nearly every bridge and intersection. Our first destination was a campsite in Omoa at the Caribbean coast. The owner was Roli, a Swiss guy, who lives since 20 years in Honduras.
He explained us a bit the situation, which had been going on just until three days ago. The current president changed the constitution for being able to get elected a second period. Then he got reelected with the majority of just one percent. The opportunists tried to start a revolution and made road barriers with burned old tires at every junction and burned down public and bank buildings.
Some guys used the situation and did despoliations and also rapes happened. The result was curfews all over the country right before and during Christmas. Nobody was able to buy groceries or presents for that holiday. So most of the people were really fed up with the opportunists and the revolution was pulled down. Roli meant, it doesn’t matter who gets elected, because nobody of the candidates would be able to change the problems of Honduras. Corruption is current and everywhere.
Roli is well known all around as a specialist for engines and repairs all kind of stuff for the locals. His garage is better equipped than one professional in Austria. Adjusting the engine valves of our 508erin was more than overdue. We asked him, if he could borrow us the tools and help us a bit with this project. It was very risky to get stuck for weeks in Honduras, because spare parts are not available all around. The conditions were worse, because it was raining all the time. But everything went fine and we saved at least € 500 doing it on our own. For celebrating we prepared a barbeque at night and enjoyed a few beers.
Next morning we headed with rain all the time to Tela. Beside the roads was garbage all over. Everybody brings the waste away from their premises, because there is no public garbage disposal in this country. Then we passed the probably most dangerous city, San Pedro Sula with the highest murder rates in world, and after four hours ride at all on rough roads we entered the second biggest botanical garden in world at Tela.
It was raining all the time and they allowed us to camp over night at a safe parking lot. When we woke up it was a kind of wonder: No rain and some blue parts in the sky! We used this gap to visit the garden. It was a huge area, not very good maintained, but the variety of flora and fauna was incredible.
After two hours walking around with wet feet we had enough and continued to the Parque Nacional Pico Bonito close to La Ceiba for doing a rafting tour on the river Cangrejal. When we arrived at the Jungle River Lodge, we were amazed of the view from the terrace on the river and the jungle surrounding.
It was a nice chilled atmosphere with cool music and we felt comfortable quickly. Raul, the barkeeper, served us beer and gave us a history lesson of the Honduran history since 1914. By the way a red ara pet (parrot) amused us all the time and toucans were flying around everywhere. It was a great place, but when a few locals left, we were the only guests at the lodge.
They offer rafting on the river, so we booked a tour for the next morning. The water level was really low. It was not so thrilling like we expected, but passing the river between huge rocks and the jungle surrounding was a great experience. You see a big waterfall and toucans, several birds and butterflies flying around. At two places you stop and climb up rocks for jumping into the river. The water level was so low that Peppi hit his ass badly by a jump from 10 meter. After two hours the trip was over and we returned to the lodge.
At late afternoon all the employees left the lodge to celebrate New Year’s Eve with their family. They let us use the kitchen with a grill and Kali prepared delicious spare ribs. But it was really strange to celebrate New Year’s Eve without other people, because we had this situation never before. Not a big party, but done with plenty of beers, we went to bed at 2:00 am. We got up early, but nobody showed up until 10:30 am. It was a nice place, but at a ghost lodge we didn’t feel so comfortable and continued our travels.