Hanging Out On Independence Day
Small gathering of friends at our apartment
September 15th is Honduras' Independence Day. This year it fell on a Wednesday. Teacher's Day fell on the Friday (17th) so we had 3 days off from school plus a weekend, to make it a 5 day mini-vacation - our first real break from school.
Last year at this time, our school had closed down for H1N1 scares and we had almost 2 weeks to take off to Nicaragua. This year, Walt and I decided to stay a little closer to home.
The plan was to drive my car to Comayagua, spend a night or two there, then drive on to Lago Yojoa and visit Pulhapanzak, as Walter had never been. The only problem with this plan was that the Monday before we were supposed to leave, I took my car in for repairs, as the engine had been overheating and the water (opposed to coolant that SHOULD have been in my radiator) was leaking and we were having to put water in the radiator before EVERY car trip, no matter how small.
Well, this turned into a huge ordeal, as he predicted my car would be ready Wednesday, then Friday, then the following Monday. Then this past
Nadia, myself, and Pam
Wednesday, then Thursday, then PROMISED Friday, and now has said he'll try by noon today (BAH!). So needless to say, the car was out of the picture for the trip.
We decided to have some friends over on Wednesday night to celebrate the holiday. About 6 of Walt's friends plus Nadia (one of the teachers I worked with in Comayagua and is now back in Honduras), and Pam came over to our place for a "BBQ". Walt and I bought a tiny BBQ that works on coals. After about an hour and FINALLY getting it lit (with a little help of gasoline), we were grilling! We made beef kabobs in the over and then did the veggie kabobs on the grill. Nadia made a pasta salad and I had a Blueberry loaf for dessert. Lots of food, some dancing, and good friends.
Thursday afternoon we had to bus it to Comayagua. Forgot how much I disliked the buses and having to wait around for them but was reminded over this trip.
By the time we got to Comayagua it was getting dark. We walked down to the mall to get Walter a new pair of sandals. I
Cooking up some veggie kabobs on our new BBQ
ended up finding two cheap shirts as well as a pair of cargo pants (which I had looked for with no luck in Canada all summer). We then went to one of our favourite Comayagua restaurants "La Casita" for some amazing BBQ ribs!
After dinner we picked up a birthday cake for Walt's niece, as it was her 13th birthday. Amazing how one little cake can make SO many people happy. I wish I had taken a photo, but there were about 15-20 people crowded in their tiny living room to sing "happy birthday" and share in some cake and coke. Maria (we call "Tuti") thanked me for her birthday cake.
Friday we took a bus to the lake. On the way there we finally got through to the D&D Brewery where we wanted to stay in the cabins. I'd stayed there twice before (once with the teachers and once with my family) but the cabins were all booked. He said he had a room in the main building but I've stayed in the main building and it's kind of dirty and full of cockroaches, so we called Pam and found out the name of another place called
Hotel Agua Azul
The hotel we stayed in was right on the lake
Agua Azul (Blue Water). It was RIGHT on the water of the lake, had a beautiful pool, good food, great balcony overlooking the lake (where we ate all our meals), and rooms with A/C and TV for only about $30/night. We really enjoyed this place.
Friday afternoon we went out kayaking on the lake. We rented a double person kayak-type-thing (for only $5/hr) and Walt rented some fishing equipment so that he could fish at the same time. We then spent some time at the pool, had an afternoon nap in our room, had some dinner, played pool (they have pool tables there too!) and then watched a movie and went to bed.
Saturday morning we had breakfast then headed on more buses to get to Pulhapanzak. I've been here twice before (Walt never) but it's still just as beautiful. It's a HUGE waterfall. Because it's currently rainy season, the water was mud colour and the currents were far too strong for us to swim up top. Apparently it wasn't too strong for them to still be doing trips UNDER the waterfall (a HUGE rush that I have also experienced twice, and would be totally illegal in North
View from the Balcony
Watching the 2-person kayak that we later took out ourselves, while we ate our lunch on the porch.
America) but Walt wasn't keen on trying and the look of the increased water pressure scared me. Not scary enough to make them stop for the season though. Money is money. They've also added a short zipline across the waterfall, but compared to what Walt and I had done in Costa Rica, this looked like nothing.
We then head back to the hotel, packed up our stuff and (after much waiting around) were back on a bus headed for Comayagua. On our bus were about 10 North Americans. I asked if they were just traveling or teaching as well. Turns out they were all the new teachers at my old school in Comayagua. I spent most of the trip chatting to one of the guys who is now teaching 7th grade English to my old 3rd graders. His wife actually recognized me and asked if I had a blog. She had read my blog before coming down to Honduras! Small world. I told them to contact me if they ever needed anything or wanted to be shown around Tegucigalpa.
Saturday night we went out to Sangria's with Walt's friends. That place has come SO far from when it
Kayaking on Lago Yojoa
Walt and I took out a 2-person kayak onto the lake!
first opened my first year there. We saw Morgan and told him we loved all the changes he's been making, and he informed us there was another change - his wife, Clarissa (also Walt's 3rd cousin?) is 4 months pregnant with twins!!! Nadia and I ran over to see her of course and man, is her tummy big - and still 5 months to go! Can't believe Morgan is going to be a daddy. How exciting!
Sunday we spent the day being lazy at Walter's house. Pam and Orline had been at the lake the night after us, so on their way back to Tegus, they picked us up in Comayagua and gave us a ride home.
It was a nice little vacation and break from school. Was nice to get away.
Heard earlier about my car. Definitely not getting it back until Monday... if that's even true.
Tropical Storm Matthew is passing through Honduras and supposed to cause a lot of wind and rain this weekend. It's been raining off and on all night (and we've lost power briefly twice) but this is typical of rainy season so it's nothing really out of the ordinary.
Nonetheless we stocked up on groceries and water. Grocery stores were out of candles but we have enough to get us through if need be. News this afternoon said it's crossing above us and no need to worry.
Hope everyone is well back home. Miss you!
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