After a short morning walk to Ipala laguna (still in Guatemala), we drive to the Honduran border.
Many travelers decide to just drive across El Salvador and Honduras to enter faster Nicaragua. Let’s say it : those 2 countries do not have a very good reputation…
Honduras owns not such a brilliant record: the highest level of homicides in the world (number of murders compared to the population). Well, not a single day without a murder in the country.
So, we feel very relax entering the country!
But we should not forget that Mexico is also part of these “most dangerous countries in the world” and we never felt unsafe during our 4 months there… In Honduras (like other countries in the area) it is mostly a story of drug problems, cartels and maras (the nice little guys with all there tattoos on their faces and with who you do not want to have any kind of problem).
So we try to keep a sense of proportion.
But we still have to be vigilant as in any other places.
Anyway, after some long paper process at the border (a good hour waiting for the end of the team meeting) and a beautiful importation permit for the vehicle that costs us an arm (40 dollars), we enter Honduras.
And drive to Copán Ruinas.
Copán Ruinas and Copán
The town is near the ruins with the same name. We park the van in the parking lot of a hotel and try to breath with the 42 degrees written on the thermometer. The sun is definitely here. We decide to go out for some shopping. But the weather is getting humid and clouds arrive. We return to the van under a strong shower!
After a humid night, we leave in the morning to visit the ruins. Here are our last Mayan ruins.
The site has known its greatest time around the VII century after JC before being abandoned during the X century.
Compared to other sites we have visited, we are very impressed by the number of steles that are still in good shape and that even present some original colors.
The entrance of the park is the place for feeder full of fruits for the joy of great colorful macaws.
After a few hours looking for any shade available, we finish visiting the site and head to the town, Copán Ruinas, for some refreshment. After a typical meal in a comedor, we walk around the village before going back to the van. Even without rain, the town is cute but do not present much interest…
Looking for the cold
The hot weather leads us to the mountains. So in the early morning we go back on the road. well except the fact that, as in Guatemala, the road were not built last week… So we decide to stop in a balneario with hot springs for the night. We will finish the drive to the mountains tomorrow.
Parque Nacional Montaña de Celaque
We leave in the morning, heading to Gracias, little colonial town, just before the national park. We buy some food but the town do not impresses us as much as mexican colonial towns, and after Guanajuato, it is difficult to find a more beautiful city…
We enter the Montaña de Celaque National Park where the highest point of the country is: el Cerro de las Minas or Pico Celaque, 2.870 meters.
We arrive in the beginning of the afternoon, to late for a real hike so we take our macro lenses and go for a short walk.
The night finally arrives and we sleep alone on the parking lot of the park.
We wake up with the sun and decide to start a 5 hours hike to the view point over a waterfall. It climbs a lot but when we finally arrive to the view point… the view is not so great. We decide to go on and make a loop that would make us arrive closer of the summit but without reaching it as it would be too far (10 hours round trip).
Ahahah what a good idea!
I order to do this hike we have to go back on our track and follow another trail.
We have already walked 4 little hours.
But this trail seems easy. It is just a loop, a sort of secondary itinerary for those who do not want to reach the summit.
So let’s do it!
Unless… it looks like not many people use this trail and it gets lost between the trees and the branches.
We go down, crosse a small river, go up and finally go down again for another rive. And finally the way just goes up. And up.
We finally reach the highest point. The view is nice but not so clear (nobody comes here to take off the fallen trees…). So we keep going. Straight. Yes it is a loop… And finally it goes down.
Yes but well… sometimes the way down is even more difficult! And our knees remind us that we have already walked 6 hours… At the end, we arrive at the van after some 8h30 of hike. Proud to have finished it but so tired!!
We go back in the van and drive to the parking of a hotel, a few kilometers away to spend the night. We fall asleep around 7PM… as babies.
Looking back to that hike, it was such a great experience and it will remain as an amazing memory but still… the most difficult hike we’ve made so far!