Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Still in Honduras - 12 months on!

Who’d a thunk it? A year has just past since I first arrived in Honduras and here I still am, with little sign of moving on soon. A fascinating and beautiful country with some of the friendliest people I have ever met and yet with some of the worst crime statistics in the world - a bit worse even than some places in the US! It certainly is a land of contrast and paradox, and I’m sure if you went to the wrong places at the wrong time, you could get into trouble (like you could in most major cities in the world). But, touch wood, my experiences here have only been wonderful. 

Montaña Santa Barbara and Lago Yojoa from my lakeside camp
So much for my original plan to be in Patagonia last February! I guess I’ll just have to pick another February. My only concern is that, because my experience has been so much richer by getting involved in a local project here, that I’m going to find it hard to just pass through any of the other countries between here and the bottom of South America. I guess all I can say is “don’t expect me back in Oz any time soon!” Amusingly, someone pointed out to me the other day that, after driving 40,000 miles I was less than 4,000 miles from where I started from!
Azure-crowned Hummingbird - Gracias

A lot has been going on with the community project that I’m involved with but I’ll save that for the next post. Tonight the thunder is rolling down off the mountain and the rain is smattering on the roof of my van and I’m very cosy inside with a bottle of red  and Tom Waits on the stereo. I’m camped in a beautiful coffee finca - apparently the first certified private conservation estate in Honduras?? At this time of year the rain only falls at night. A common morning greeting here is “¿Qué tal amanecio?” - How was your dawn? And the answer is invariably “Muy bien” as, by dawn, las tormentas (the storms) have moved on and the day dawns clear. By mid morning, it’s warm enough for a swim and I can take a choice of the piscina (swimming pool) just in front of where I am camped or the stream that cascades by 40m away.  

Here,  I’m just going to dump a bunch of photos taken around Montaña Santa Barbara, Lago Yojoa, Gracias and Copan over the past month or so.

Another breakfast in Doña Nicha's kitchen

 My truck almost full - the record is 10!
On the road with Hjalmar, the Pepsi distribution man from Gracias
The local version of Kentucky Fried
With Mika, Francisco and a local landholder near Gracious
Breakfast stop
Spot-breasted Oriole
Trying to impress the girls
One of a pair of Mottled Owls that keep me company at night...
…and their offspring

Turquoise-browed Motmot
Grove-billed Anis

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