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round-the-world in 2005

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Mar 8 - Mar 12, 2005

Our Central American trip continues through this land of beans and rice.

capital street scene

08 Mar 2005 Tegoose

After another hearty breakfast of beans, rice and fried bananas, we caught a bus to the Nicaraguan border town of Los Manos. This border crossing was a little more difficult, after losing our phrase book and having to deal with locals that speak very little english. The lonely planet book gave little information on buses from here, so we floundered for a while before jumping on the next bus that came along. First to El Paraise, then a rapid transition to another bus headed for Danli, then a quick snack and a short wait for the bus to the capital of Honduras, Tegucigalpa, otherwise known as Tegoose. We explored this fairly hectic town for the afternoon, discovering some riot police - but fortunately no riot to witness. We had the camera ready to roll. The local bus trips are the most exciting, it is often pot luck if you get on the right bus, and we usually end up standing up squashed in the aisle with our backpacks smacking into everyone who passes by.

Old church

09 Mar 2005 Austr(al)ians

We walked the 2 kms to the bus terminal through some morning markets. There is always something interesting at the markets, and always things that seem particularly unhygienic. The health department would have field day here. For example, we saw the back of a ute filled with carcasses of meat. Other incidents have been; cats on the dinner table, uncooked meat and veggies on the same chopping board, and plates of precooked food sitting around for hours being carried through the bus for sale. Our bus left late for our 8 hour trip, which is not unusual, to a small mountain town called Gracias. The final hour was through some spectacular mountain scenery. At our hotel, we met some friendly Austrians, who we had an instant bond with as they told us they are often mistaken for Australians. Not sure how with the slightly different accents! We shared some stories and drinks with them until midnight, and have been invited to visit them back home. That means even more places to visit in Europe.

hot springs in Gracias

10 Mar 2005 Thank you Gracias

Our first real experience of wet weather, it poured rain all night and all morning. Still we explored the cobble-stoned streets of this quaint colonial town of Gracias (meaning thank you), visiting all 3 churches and the fort on the hill for a sensational view of the surrounding mountains. In the afternoon we walked to the local hot springs (aguas terminales), and because it was raining therefore cool, we had the place to ourselves, and enjoyed a beverage in the 37oC pools. Rejuvenating! The kids are all very friendly trying their english out on us, they must learn english at primary school here.

Single palm ona hill

11 Mar 2005 one dollar beer

We had a solid night`s sleep after a few beers last night (at $1 each it is difficult to refuse). It was only a four hour bus trip today to Copan Ruinas. Copan is another small, colonial village in the hills, though this one has old Mayan ruins nearby that we intend to visit tomorrow.

Stela head

12 Mar 2005 ruined

This is our first visit (and won´t be our last) to some Mayan ruins, which are numerous in this part of the world. We decided to forgo a guide, and made our way around the ruins ourselves, reading our guide books and making our own interpretations of the stone buildings. We marveled at this ancient culture which declined when this city became too big and they over consumed their natural resources. In the evening, we went to the circus, and got ringside seats for $2 each. The highlights were: a 50 year old woman tightrope walker, a dancing hippo, clowns speaking in spanish but funny anyway, a lame lion tamer, and of course the essential monkey riding on horseback.


next we cross over the border into Guatemala.

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