Gracias Day 2

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February 15th 2011
Published: February 27th 2011
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Could this beCould this beCould this be

an Ikea commercial?
Sidebar: Sorry we haven't posted in awhile y'all. It's 2/27/11 today & we are doing great. Just a ton of diving, which you will read about later.... Love you all!!! xoxoxo

Didn't sleep in. Oh well! I woke up & typed & entertained myself. Geoff slept. I love our room. It's sooo clean & the bed is so comfy. I kinda want to stay here just for those things. Plus, it was super duper quiet last night & the temperature here in the mountains is perfect at night. Although it's still cloudy, so we don't really know the real scoop.

Once Geoff woke up (after I'd already had 2 cups of free coffee!) we headed out to find some food. We ate at Comedor Marisol. We split a plato tipico with pork. The pork was so ridiculously good. Like slow roasted & then grilled. Yum.

We learned this morning that the town of Gracias does not have an ATM. It is not that small of a town but we are incapable of getting money. Great! So, I talked with the hotel owner & he's going to let us charge our room for 2 nights & give us back
All the kidsAll the kidsAll the kids

walking home from school.
the money we paid for the prior night. Perfect! We will still have to think about what we spend today but at least we have money! The things we take for granted. Like ATM's.

After all that mess was settled, we headed to the local hot springs. Los Baleanarios agua termales. We're fairly certain the tuk tuk driver charged us way too much but prices for us (extranjeros) are always way more than for the locals. I've been asking what we should expect to pay so I can at least act offended & see if they'll drop the price at all. They usually do. We were told by the hotel owner to ask the cab driver to return for us. I asked him to do so & he said there'd be plenty of taxis to take us back. There was one lonley car in the parking lot when we arrived, so (after I pointed this observation out to him) he gave us his phone number to call him when we were ready to go. Thanks Jose!

These hot springs were by far the nicest & most true to their surroundings. The water was soooo warm & comfy & didn't smell too much like sulfur. The pools were great. Built into the side of the mountain with natural rocks & pathways to carry the water downhill to other pools. We preferred the upper pools because they were so warm. It was like a hot tub. We relaxed in the springs until we were really pruned. We had leaf races in the moving water. Oh the fun of entertaining ourselves! There was a group of Honduran women in one of the pools & they all were wearing shorts & tshirts, which is common. But what I don't understand is why they feel like they need to cover up so much when they walk around town in clothes that leave little to the imagination? It just seems like the tshirts wouldn't be all that comfortable in the water....

After plenty of soak time we changed & I asked the girl at the ticket desk (who charged us twice as much as the listed price to get in) if we could use her phone to call Jose. She called him for us & he required that we hand her our fare in order to ensure we would wait for him to
Checking the place outChecking the place outChecking the place out

before getting in the water.
arrive & not take another taxi back to town. Whatever. We did as told & waited. It's a little ways from town, maybe 5 minutes. But in those little tuk tuks I guess that could feel like forever. While we waited we talked with the lady about the difficulties of traveling outside of Honduras for Hondurans & the weather & tv, etc, etc. I only have to translate about 70% of stuff anymore for Geoff. I am impressed. We're both learning so much!

Finally, Jose arrived (after another taxi had come & gone so I guess his money plan made sense in the end) & we headed back to town. We got cleaned up & headed back out to walk around town. There are soooo many little clothing stores in our Honduran town experience so far. The ladies love to shop in this county. At one store we met a little boy who told us all the words he knew in English. He was a cutie.

After the boy and his family wished us well we continued walking in search of Fort San Cristobal. The fort (built in 1865) was built on top of a hill overlooking the
A cowboy hat & a mustascheA cowboy hat & a mustascheA cowboy hat & a mustasche

would really finish this look.
town and the views were beautiful. We walked around for a few minutes and talked with a some local kids who were hanging out after school. They definitley got a kick out of a couple gringos...

After our walk we needed a snack and found a pasteleria (pastry store) just off the central park & had a delicious piece of pineapple upside down cake. We also got a bag of cookies for our bus ride tomorrow. Bus rides always require snacks (& currently, kleenex). So far, we have decided, Hondurans are the nicest people. Everyone waves & says hello. They are so polite too. Their language is very formal & polite, not just with us but in general. I get to do a lot of eavesdropping because people often think I don't understand. It's great! I am loving that we are doing this little loop through Honduras. It is not touristy at all & the towns aren't full of tour shops & people trying to sell you something at every turn. It's just their daily lives. I am loving it. And, barely anyone speaks English which makes it more fun & work, but mostly fun.

After a nice nap we headed back out to find dinner. We ate at Comedor Lenca, also right near the central park. Apparently at this comedor the mom was the cook because every time one of the daughters took an order they would walk into the back & start their sentence with "Mami!" It was kind of funny because their inflections were really high pitched when they would call to her. I had a banana licuado tonight. Yummmy! I think melon's still my fav but banana is a close second (although I think this one had milk instead of water which makes it like a shake, so what's not to love!). I had chicken & fries (surprise surprise) & Geoff had tacos (again big surprise). Really yummy though.

These small mountain towns do not have bars & none of the comedors serve alcohol. Not that we cared, but it is interesting. I wonder if the tourism brings the alcohol & bars about?

Just a sidebar but all the girls & women are named Maria in this town. Clearly very Catholic. The hotel owner has two daughters: Maria & Gracias Maria. The little girl at the hot springs: Dulce Maria. All day
The hot springsThe hot springsThe hot springs

& a local woman soaking it up.
long you hear Maria. How would you keep all your friends & family straight?

After dinner we headed home & I fell asleep reading while Geoff played on the computer. Love the fast wifi. Stayed up until 10. I'm trying to sleep in later...

Additional photos below
Photos: 12, Displayed: 12


A beautiful churchA beautiful church
A beautiful church

in the center of town.

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