Honduras: Day Trip to San Lorenzo

Note:  This is an old post copied from my Travelpod page.  August 4, 2008

Beautiful San Lorenzo, Honduras

 We woke up early at Nicole’s apartment in Nacaome.  We got ready with a backpack to share and headed down the street to the market, where we could grab breakfast and catch the bus.  We ate some black bean and egg burritos and jumped on the San Lorenzo bus.  We also bought some lychees on the bus.  Yummy!

We got to San Lorenzo about an hour later.  It was very hot and we had a good 8-10 blocks to walk to get to the water front.  Nicole was able to get a hold of her friend that lived in this town with her cell phone.  So we stopped by her house and I was able to see how other Corp kids live.  She agreed to come have lunch by the water with us, so we headed out. 
Lunch on the water

On the way, we stopped at an ATM, which was inside a little room with Air Conditioning!  OMG, it was amazing!  So we lingered in there for a minute, before we finished our walk to the water.  Throughout the town there are cute statues of sea creatures, like Shrimp and Sea Horses.  

We ate at a cute restaurant on the water, sitting on the dock hiding under the shade of a palm leaf umbrella.  We ate shrimp and fish and they filled me in on the town gossip and goings ons.  The food was amazing by the way! 

After lunch we walked back towards the highway to catch the bus back to Nacaome.  The bus stop was very dirty, like everywhere else, but we were tired, so we sat on the curb anyways, surrounded by corn cobs, empty water bags, lychee shells, and various other articles of garbage. 

We got back to Nacaome with a bit of sunlight left, but headed back to Nicole’s to make dinner.   We ate and drank wine and listened to the rain on the tin roof, and passed out!

Arriving in Nacaome, Honduras

August 3, 2008:

After a 3 hour bus ride from Tegucigalpa, we arrived at Nacaome.  I jumped off the bus into a busy street full of people selling roasted corn and water.  As I took my first couple steps I realized the streets are littered with trash and flip flops were not a good choice.  
Dirt and Dust after the market stands have shut down for the day.
We walked 3 blocks to her apartment, which is above a hardware store.  The family that owns the hardware store also lives on the 2nd floor, but they rent half of the floor to Nicole.  There’s a nice courtyard in the middle of the house dividing the 2 sides like an ancient Greek house or something.
Nicole’s open-air apartment.
After dropping my things off, we immediatly headed over to the futbal field by the river to watch a futbal game (soccer).  During the game, a herd of cows were ushered down the sideline.  A calf in the herd runs out to get the soccer ball at one point and both teams have to chase the little cow back off the field.  It was so funny! 
The River by Nacaome.

After the game, we walked back through the town and back to her apartment.  Each night we were safe in her apartment before dark.  It’s not safe for anyone to walk about at night.  
Pigs wander the streets and eat scraps of trash.
 Nicole made me a simple meal of mac n cheese out of the box and we sat around drinking wine and listening to the rain on her tin roof.  It pretty much rained every night after sunset for about an hour.  We then moved into her living room where she has cable TV and A/C!  Watched some Simpsons in English and went to bed.

Flying into Tegucigalpa, Honduras

Note: I’m copying some old posts over from my travelpod page.  This is from August 2, 2008:
View from our room.
I flew into Tegucigalpa forgetting all the news several months prior regarding issues at the airport.  Supposedly planes used to fly off the run way by accident.  So as the plane navigated the hills/mountains of Honduras on the approach to the Teguc airport, I was just enjoying the view.  As soon as the plane was rolling down the runway, the entire plane full of people started to clap!  I was a little surprised, because it’s not normal to clap after landing.  Usually the plane lands and there’s no call for clapping.  But the Honduran next to me explained that sometimes the plane doesn’t get the landing right on the first time and they have to fly up and around and try again…  

I waited an hour to get through customs and then Nicole met me at the gate. We walked out of the airport and down the street a ways to catch a cheaper cab.  The cabs sitting outside the airport will rip you off.

Marriott Pool

We spent the night in Teguc at the Marriott.  Nicole enjoyed the hot showers.  We ate dinner at El Patio, which was very yummy.

Shopping District of Tegucigalpa, Honduras
The next day we caught the bus to Nacaome.  This was my first bus ride in Honduras and I was a little nervous.  The bus looked like it was straight out of 50’s america.  There were raggedy curtains on the windows and worn out vinyl seats.  As we sat on the bus waiting for it to be time to leave, people would walk by the windows outside or walk on to the bus trying to sell bags of water, sliced mangoes, lychees, sunglasses, or quesadillas(corn meal cookies). 

A Road Less Traveled: Southern Honduras

Southern Honduras is on the Pacific coast and doesn’t draw a fraction of the crowd of the Caribbean coast, but that just makes it more appealing!  Twinkle your toes on a quiet sandy beach, just you and the Pacific! 

To get to the towns in Southern Honduras, it’s just four or more hours on a bus.  If you’ve been to Central America you’ve seen these buses before.  Old American school buses decked out with colorful airbrushed names.  They are truly a lovely site!  On occasion you’ll sit next to a lady with a live chicken or various other cargos, but that adds to the ambiance. 
San Lorenzo
Catch a bus from Teguc to San Lorenzo and don’t pay more than 45 Lemps!  To find the bus stops in Honduras, you’ll have to catch a cab and ask, you’ll need your Spanish for this.  There aren’t signs for bus stops; the cabbies just know where different buses chill till they feel like leaving. 

San Lorenzo – Rumor was the sailboat belonged to an
Auzzie sailing around the world.

San Lorenzo has a handful of waterfront discotecas and cute little restaurants.  Pull up a bench on the palm leaf covered deck of one of the restaurants and order yourself a fresh grilled fish or lobster.  Be prepared to peel back the skin and eat around the bones.  Yum!  As you walk around San Lorenzo you will notice an assortment of sea statues, including shrimps and seahorses. 

View of Amapala from Coyolito
My favorite beaches in Southern Honduras are on an island called Amapala.  I think this used to be a volcanic island because the sand is very dark on the beaches, but it’s beautiful!  Catch the bus to Coyolito and then barter with someone that has a boat to catch a ride to San Pablo, the little port town on Amapala.  It’s a short ride, but it gives you a beautiful view of the coast and some other islands, so get your camera out.  I advise keeping your camera inside a zip lock bag, because this ride can be bumpy! 
Empty Secluded Playa Grande on Amapala
Upon arrival in the town, you’ll wander through the cute streets and hopefully you’ll find the main square where you can buy ice cream and meet some of the locals.  There are cute little motorcycles converted into cabs that can give you a ride to one of the beaches.  Or you can hitch a ride like I did on the back of a pick-up truck. 
The beaches are beautiful but this island is not very developed so you won’t have too many options on places to eat and such.  We had to walk most of the way back to San Pablo after playing on the beach all day, because there were literally no cars driving by for 30 minutes.  We finally squeezed into the back of a motorcycle cab with 2 small kids already on board.  But as you traverse this island, admire the jungle and the landscape.  It’s beautiful and untouched! 
Lobster shack on Amapala
As a safety note, I would like to advise travelers not to carry purses or use your expensive electronics when in the large cities of Honduras.  Save your digital camera for the southern beaches where it’s not a problem.  While in the capital, I kept my money in my bra and carried nothing else on me.  I took pictures from the safety of a cab on our way to the bus stop, but that was it.  Gringos stand out in this country like a sore thumb, so just be prepared.  Also, drink plenty of water!  Bags of water shouldn’t cost more than 2 lemps.  There’s no such thing as bottled water so just get used to sucking water out of the corner of a plastic bag. 
Dog trying to get out of sun on Playa Grande

But most importantly have fun!  The Honduran people are generally warm and friendly.  Say hello and they will say hello back!