Published: July 22nd 2012July 7th 2012
Lago de Yojoa Part 2:
Sorry, have totally forgot to update my blog. Arrrgh!
As I've mentioned, lots of great people around the hostel, and for the last two days I ended up doing some stuff with some of them.
The third day's morning was spent in an almost futile effort to get cash... Neither of the town's two main banks had ATMs that were working, and the next closest town didn't even have a bank! Had to resort to using my emergency traveller's cheques at the main bank. Spent a good forty minutes watching the bank staff run back and forth, conferring with each other, trying to find the right paperwork, etc... I doubt most of them has even seen a traveller's cheque before, let alone cashed one in.
Between running around between banks and walking around the town a bit.
Rented rowboats and went out to the lake with another guy and two girls. Passed through a quiet canal to get to the lake. Very beautiful and peaceful, with the marsh around the edge of the canal, lilies, a number of birds including herons and egrets, and locals out fishing for dinner.
Glad there was another person in the boat with me, otherwise I think I would be still rowing in circles out there! It's definitely harder than it looks, but worth it. As it was, we barely made it to the lake before we had to turn back, and we got back just as it was starting to rain.
The next day I went out with a group of other backpackers from the hostel. There were about six of us, including a girl from Saskatchewan, and we all rented a van to take us to some spots that were a little harder to get to by bus. First stop was Cerro Azul Meambar National Park, one of the best equipped national parks in Honduras, with camping, cabins, a restaurant, swing sets, gift shop…
They even had wifi, because nothing says 'back-to-nature' than the opportunity to check one's Facebook account!
Very lovely park. Didn't see a huge amount of wild life, though did see some lovely Blue Morpho Butterflies. Lots of greenery, and several waterfalls along the well maintained trails, which we jumped in and splashed about. Great view at the top of a steep climb to the top of the mountain, with a little observatory tower to allow you to see even farther.
Got a bit of a late start to the day, so spent most of the morning and early afternoon at the National Park, before getting picked up and driving to another town close by, this one with a working ATM.
Then we went to Pulhapanzak waterfall, the largest waterfall in Honduras at 140 feet (Niagara Falls is 165 feet). The site itself was a bit run down and we were the only visitors, but there was a construction crew there fixing things up, so maybe that will improve. One of the workers was a skinny, plain looking gu with a shirt that proudly proclaimed "The Liam Neeson Experience"… Not sure what that means, but pretty funny!
They also looked like they were fixing up a rickety zip-line that went over the falls… I don't think I would trust it, but there you go.
Some of the others went scrambling around the rocks at the bottom of the waterfall with a guide, and climbed up a bit to jump off some higher rocks (not all the way at the top, don't worry!) I was a bit tired by that point, so I stayed to watch the bags and take photos, mostly of the dozen or so vultures hanging around the falls.
Watched them gliding through the mist surrounding the waterfalls, and squabbling over the best perch in the pine tree on the cliffs. Wasn't actually sure what a group of vultures was called, so just looked it up. Apparently it's a 'committee of vultures', however much that sounds like something organized by our current government!
Then it was back to the hostel for dinner and hanging out on my last night there.
Next morning I had blueberry pancakes. I was planning on leaving early that morning, but the night before changed my plans when I found out that the owner was back, with his kayak, available for rent.
So, instead, I rented that, and took it out, down the canal and into the lake. Made much better headway kayaking than row-boating, but I'm a lot more experienced and they are much more manueverable! It was a fairly poor quality kayak compared to the ones I've rented in Canada, but it did the job.
The lake was just as nice the second time, but less fishermen. The highlight was pulling up on shore at an area that had been mentioned by the manager of the hostel… It's an old midden full of potshards from the Lencan civilization, the same ones responsible for the ruins I'd seen a few days before. Some pieces you could see the curve of the pot, or tell it was part of the handle on a cup or jug. Felt like there ought to be archaeologists swarming the site, but I guess the Mayan ruins in Copan are a lot more glamorous and likely to get the research funding!
Finally got on my way after lunch, and took the bus (well, two or three buses) to Comayagua, my next stop.