Tuesday, March 27, 2012

A Weekend in the Southern Sun (Amapala Again)

Kristen says...

I love weekends this time of year...we're in the long stretch between the winter holiday and Semana Santa (not as long this year as it was last year, but still...), the weather is getting hot, esmoky and miserable, and the upcoming weekends are all that get you through some days.

Last weekend was a particularly nice one, because Chris and a couple friends and I went to Amapala for some R and R. And even though it's hot in the city, it was RIDICULOUSLY hot in Amapala! Our friends' car thermometer registered over 100° on Sunday! It was so hot that the stray dogs were hanging out in the water to cool off...
We had a nice time, as always, staying at the Casa de las Gargolas and eating lots of chicken tacos (me) and fried shrimp, fish, and lobster (everyone else). It wasn't a very productive weekend as far as Amapala trips go...we didn't take a tour or walk around or anything; we just went to the beach, swam in the pool, and of course ate A LOT! One of our favorite Amapala treats is this delicious pan blanco: it's sold in the early morning by a little old lady wandering around in the morning yelling (quite loudly at 5:30 or 6 AM) "¡Paaaaan Blanco!" or in the evening by a guy in a tuk tuk proclaiming to have "Pan blanco en 3-D!" Delicious!
The food was yummy as ever, but the beach was different this time, though...it was the first time I'd seen the water so high! Every trip we go to the same little restaurant/house by the beach, which is usually busy, and watch the sunset and the waves and take turns going to swim...

This time we were basically swimming whether we were out in the sun or sitting in the shade, because the waves were lapping at our feet when we were sitting at the tables! It was also REALLY busy. We'd kind of thought that it would be dead considering Semana Santa starts next weekend, but it was packed! As we went out on Sunday literally busloads of people were heading to the island.

Here's a picture of the high water and a boat that someone decided it was a good idea to dock right on the beach...
Amapala is still pretty un-touristy, but they're starting to do some different water-sport type things...for example, Chris went tubing!
We had a very nice time in Amapala, but it was a little sad, too, because it might be the last time we go down there (more on that later)...we took a picture commemorate the occasion:
After leaving Amapala we decided to make a few stops at places we hadn't been to on the way home. Our first stop was a funny little roadside zoo that is actually located behind a restaurant (how random, right? Go for the food, stay for the animals).
It was actually a fairly legit animal-rescue zoo with monkeys, birds, pig-type animals, and even...


Yes, it does warn you not to "moleste" the pumas...which are about 2 feet away from me, and only kept in their cage by a small padlock...eek! Luckily they didn't seem too anxious to get out.

Here are some of the other animals:

Apparently raccoons are zoo animals in Honduras? (they are native to Honduras, I looked it up!)

After we went to the zoo we decided to drive into the town of Sabanagrande, a pretty little town I've never actually been to before, although I have driven past it multiple times. It was, as you might predict, a really pretty little town:

They also seemed to have a nice public library (above), which surprised and impressed me. I love what it says above the door: "A town that reads is a town that thinks." Nice. Well said. :)

After we left Sabanagrande we stopped at a historical monument(!) commemorating the Battle of Trinidad (you know, the one that's on the back of the 5 Lempira bill...oh wait, you didn't know that? Well, it is! Read this blog post to find out more and see the back of the bill) and the nearby statue of national hero Francisco Morazan.

Not only was it neat to see a Honduran battlefield/historical monument (after spending basically every summer of my youth traveling around the US doing the exact same thing), but we got to check off another of the "bill sites" too.

A couple months ago Chris suggested that we try to visit and get our picture taken with as many of the places on the back of Honduran bills as possible. So far we have Copán (1 Lempira bill), Amapala (above/2 Lempira bill) and now the 5 Lempira bill too! We're on our way! :)

The rest of the drive home was uneventful but pretty. We bought a hammock from this gentleman:
and crashed Honduran spring break in the river (It was so hot we were tempted to join them...kind of) :

And then there was the fun billboards painted onto the rocks at the side of the road:
And all the beautiful views...what a gorgeous country!

It was a great weekend...and next weekend should be great too, for a different reason...it's the first week of Semana Santa and six days of relaxing, tatting, reading, and sleeping. Ahhh! :)

Happy Holy Week! :)


  1. Nice trip, but why your are not going back to Amapala?


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