62. HONDURAS – Lago de Yojoa

I admit, I do get in to a stinking mood sometimes, not often but I do. Just grumpy, tired not up for things certainly not up for challenges. And this was one of those days. We knew it was going to be a long day. We knew we needed to change the cash at the border, we needed to stop at a bigger town to hunt for the inflator part we didn’t find in El Salvador, and I knew it will be a good old bumpy ride for the second half of the day.

We arrived at a bigger town, Santa Rosa. A good old, sweaty commercial town. Always a good bet finding parts. And it was. First shop we walked into had it. So that was done, but needed some fruit and veg so visited the local busy market. Then we were heading south for about 10 km to our turn off.

This was a dirt road. but not just a dirt road, this area was a cloud forest area (without the forest, I mean once it must’ve been but now it is deforested and agricultured) Still cloudy though, moist and rainy most of the time. Actually, as deforestation goes, it was very pretty.


This was towards the end of the day and towards the end of my tolerance of a perfectly normal day yet seemed so hard to me for some reason. The road was very bumpy, steep and winding and on top of all super slippery, plus as being the end of the day, people and animals walking along and across the road. Now when a 9 tonne vehicle starts slipping sideways and downward my concerns rise up to the roof. I was holding my breath for minutes without realising it. John was handling everything absolutely brilliantly. He is a pretty confident driver on slippery roads, plus I think, secretly he even enjoys it. Unlike me. People, not aware of our ice-skating manoeuvres, wouldn’t move so I got extra nervous up to a point when I just cried out loud “STOP!!, I want to stop. Now!”

Just 20 meters round the corner was a turn off to a small community, Communidad Cacao. We pulled up there and asked the first house for permission. It was fine. Of course, it always is. Again, very friendly people. Within 10 minutes we had the whole village around Burt. We were chatting to them for a while and felt very welcome. Had a lovely peaceful night.


The next morning we thanked the family for their kindness and we were moving on. We noticed that just 50 meters from where we turned off last night the road became pretty dry and passable with no problem, beside I was myself again so err… happy travels all around.

Stopping for lunch

Stopping for lunch

It took a few hours to get to the lake where we heard of a couple of places to stay quite near one another. A brewery and a Farm-hotel-complex (They call it Finca Hotels which is a working farm with accommodation or camping and facilities) We decided to stay at this second place but, surely pop in to the brewery for a sharpener before we park up.

The brewery was really cute and seemed well run though we could’ve not fitted in with Burt even if we wanted to. They had a few homemade beers. They weren’t good but it was fun to be here and have some homemade stuff, even though it was cloudy and sweet. Plus we bumped in to the same couple of couples we met in Copán 2 days ago. Tried a few beers, chatted a little then it was time for us to head to our camp.

As soon as we arrived we noticed it is, again a touristy, expensive place with no personality or friendliness. It was quite pricey but at this point there was no other choice so we decided to go for it just for one night and leave tomorrow morning (even though we were keen to park up somewhere for a few days after a few weeks of moving-on’s and kind of hoped this was going to be a good place) Anyhow after a sloppy welcome at the reception we parked up on a grassy area next to the restaurant, hunted for electricity and water ourselves and had an early night. We woke to a microphone test at 6.30 in the morning! (which involved playing full blast classical-pop of Vivaldi, The Four Seasons) then full buses of people arrived to start some kind of a party at 7.30AM. This was kind of weird but we were packing up anyway and without finding out what the party was about we left Finca Las Victorias behind us and headed to the Caribbean side of Honduras.

We knew about a German guy who runs a beach hotel and welcomes overland travellers with full facilities. On the map it looked 2 days drive away, again through cross country roads but we didn’t mind.

Next. Casa Alemania, Trujillo

61. HONDURAS – Copán

John and I crossed the border at San Ignacio with no problem, all went smoothly so it only took 2 hours. We headed up north to Copán near the Guatemalan border.

The paved road was in a much worse condition and it was more winding than thought so it took over 5 hours to get there before dark. We found our place to park up for the night, opposite the Copán archaeological site and only a few minutes walk to Copán the town. After the long day, we felt like treating ourselves with a few beers and pizza in town.

The next day we visited the site which was great and it was very nice to see one more ancient Mayan city before we leave this area and there will be no more. On the site there was also a Mayan medicine trail which we really enjoyed walking through as the finish of our few hours visit here.


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Sort of needed to hurry up as we wanted to get to a hot spring in the hills and it was apparently through a difficult road + needed to do some shopping for essentials.

Eventually we got to this hot spring/natural spa only to find that it was a tourist trap and it would’ve cost us a fortune to stay there for the night (on their dirt car park), besides it was run down and the welcome had a hint of “can’t be bothered” attitude. The price would’ve been 800 lempira ($40). This was slightly frustrating, we were very much looking forward to soak in hot spring water. But you see the problem with these tourist traps is that they have a hugely unreasonable set price, they not up for negotiating and above all, we find them unfriendly, fed up with tourists. So it would be wrong to support these places. Actually -never let a lie get in the way of a true story; they did drop the price by 50 lempira (so it would’ve been 750lmp) but that way we were only allowed to use their horrible dirty pool in the back garden, instead of the further 3 or 4 natural pools in the hill side with a view.

This was very disappointing and now we didn’t know where to go, it was getting late and it was another hour or so drive back on this unpleasant road to Copán. No choice so we started driving back then in about a 100 meters from the “Trap” we saw a private land next to the river with a few houses and a swimming pool (which we guessed was hot water pool as this area is full of them) So I asked John to stop and I jumped out to ask the owner of the land if it would OK to park up. He was happy to have us and showed us where we could park up comfortably. This was right between the pool and the cold water river and he invited us to use the pool -that was fed by the hot spring water from the top of the hill as much as we wanted. We offered to pay for the camp and he was happy to take 100 lempiras.


It was actually such a nice experience. This patch of land next to river had a few cars parked as well. We found out that the cars belonged to the workers of the coffee farm up the hill. They drive to here in the mornings leave their cars and walk over the bridge and up the hill for the day. We were about to cook dinner and open a couple of cool beers when they were getting back down the hill at the end of their day. They were so surprised to see Burt and us. Very curious, they gathered around the vehicle and peeking in the doorway. Particularly one lady was so fascinated by us. Me sitting at the doorway, Johnny cooking but peering over my shoulder, we offered her and the young men gathering around her beer and had small-talks -as much as my Spanish let us, but in situations like this understanding one another is no problem. One guys spoke a couple of words of English and was so happy to say these words and get a response from us. They were so friendly and nice. Then the horses arrived from the hills with the day’s harvest and they got the sacks of their back, loaded the couple of pickups and left. Johnny and I decided to have a plunge in the hot spring after dinner. It was dark by then and just as we got our swimming suits on and hopped out of Burt we (couldn’t see but) heard that someone just jumped into the water. Feeling a bit shy, we were there already so went ahead. It was the wife of our host, who was also a coffee farm worker and was having her daily bath. It was dark, so couldn’t see well, but she must’ve been in her early 50’s. A very nice lady who, despite the darkness, the two strangers, the language barrier and despite the fact that she was naked she was so happy to chat to us. For her all this was just natural and part of everyday life, and somehow these two skinny aliens are in her pool I thought she might feel awkward or intimidated but she couldn’t be more relaxed and friendlier.

In the morning we asked our host if it was OK to promote his place for other travellers. He was very happy for that. Now this place is worth driving up here.

We left shortly after breakfast. First headed to the border (Guatemalan) to change the 1700 quetzales -which is the Guatemalan currency, we found tucked in to one of Johnny’s trainers the other day. At the border there are plenty of money-changers and we got a reasonable rate which was good. Then we had to drive through Copán again then back on the road we came on a couple of days ago. We bumped into 2 couples overland travellers from Switzerland and Germany and after a quick chat we headed in to the Midlands, cross-country to get to the big lake, Lago Yojoa.

Next Lago de Yojoa.