A Travellerspoint blog

Merry Christmas!!!

from the other side of the world

rain 28 °C

I am spending Christmas on Roatán, a Honduran island in the Caribbean sea, this year. It is very strange to be in a hot country and stay in a hostel for Christmas. And without Chritsmas markets and the typical pre-Christmas foods, such as the cookies, marzipan and mulled wine, there just is not really a Christmas feeling in the air... Although the Central Americans are doing their best at making it look a lot like Christmas, with all their Christmas trees and lights and - sometimes a bit exaggerated - decorations.
So from over here, I wish you all a very happy Christmas!! I hope you all have a good time over the holidays, eat a lot of nice food and get a lot of pretty presents ;)
And here a few examples of what the Latin American Christmas looks like:
Christmas tree in San Salvador

Christmas tree in San Salvador


Christmas tree in San Salvador

Christmas tree in San Salvador


Santa in shopping centre in San Salvador

Santa in shopping centre in San Salvador


Christmas decorations in shopping centre in San Salvador

Christmas decorations in shopping centre in San Salvador


Christmas decorations in shopping centre in San Salvador

Christmas decorations in shopping centre in San Salvador


Christmas tree in San Salvador

Christmas tree in San Salvador


Christmas tree and nativity scene in Izalco

Christmas tree and nativity scene in Izalco


Santa Claus piñata

Santa Claus piñata


Christmas tree in Juayúa

Christmas tree in Juayúa


Christmas tree in Nahuizalco

Christmas tree in Nahuizalco


Santa and Mrs Claus

Santa and Mrs Claus


Christmas tree in Copán Ruinas

Christmas tree in Copán Ruinas


Christmas tree in La Ceiba

Christmas tree in La Ceiba


Decorated golf cart

Decorated golf cart


Crazy Christmas decorations on Utila

Crazy Christmas decorations on Utila


Christmas tree hanging upside down from the ceiling of a bar on Roatán

Christmas tree hanging upside down from the ceiling of a bar on Roatán

Posted by sarahm_lux 17:24 Archived in Honduras Tagged merry_christmas Comments (0)

Utila

Diving again!

sunny 28 °C
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On Wednesday morning, we took the ferry from La Ceiba to Utila, one of the Bay Islands on the Caribbean coast of Honduras. I wanted to go diving because it is cheap and good there. On the day we arrived, I sorted out my dive for the next day and then we hung out on the dive centre's dock and enjoyed the sunny day.
Utila

Utila


Utila

Utila

The dive the next day was great! At first it was strange being back in the water with all the dive gear for the first time after my course. But then, when I was used to it again, it was so much fun! We did not see anything as exciting as a shark or a ray, but the reef was beautiful and we saw many colourful fish, a moraine, a trumpet fish, porcupine fish and lionfish.

It then went to the beach, which was very small and not really nice, but it served the purpose of enabling me to lie in the sun for a while. I then went to have a look at a bar called Treetanic. We were there the night before and it looked really interesting, so we wanted to go back in the daylight to see more and take some photos. It really is a crazy place with really cool decorations.
Treetanic

Treetanic


Treetanic

Treetanic


Treetanic

Treetanic


Treetanic

Treetanic


Treetanic

Treetanic

Posted by sarahm_lux 16:30 Archived in Honduras Tagged utila Comments (0)

La Ceiba

Cuero y Salado Wildlife Reserve & Sambo Creek

sunny 28 °C
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From the lake, we travelled North to La Ceiba, a city on the Caribbean coast. After dinner in a shopping centre (for the first time on this trip I ate at Burger King, I should be ashamed ;) ) we went to the cinema! We had wanted to go see a movie for a while, but there was never anything on that we wanted to see and that was showing in the original English version. So we went to see New Year's Eve, a nice movie for this time of the year :)

The next morning, we went to the Cuero y Salado Wildlife Reserve where we took a 2-hour boat tour along the river to spot animals. We saw many birds and monkeys, a lizards, some caimans and a crocodile! It was a nice tour, beautiful surroundings and interesting animals.
Train from La Unión to the Cuero y Salado Wildlife Reserve

Train from La Unión to the Cuero y Salado Wildlife Reserve


Cuero y Salado Wildlife Reserve

Cuero y Salado Wildlife Reserve


Turkey vulture in the Cuero y Salado Wildlife Reserve

Turkey vulture in the Cuero y Salado Wildlife Reserve


Cuero y Salado Wildlife Reserve

Cuero y Salado Wildlife Reserve


Crocodile in the Cuero y Salado Wildlife Reserve

Crocodile in the Cuero y Salado Wildlife Reserve


Monkey in the Cuero y Salado Wildlife Reserve

Monkey in the Cuero y Salado Wildlife Reserve


Cuero y Salado Wildlife Reserve

Cuero y Salado Wildlife Reserve

When we got back into La Ceiba, we decided we still had time to quickly visit one of the small villages along the coast where the indigenous Caribbean people, the Garífuna live. We went to a place called Sambo Creek. Unfortunately, by the time we arrived we only had 1 hour until the last bus back was leaving. This gave us just enough time for a short walk around the village and to get a seashell soup to take away. It was a really good soup, typically Caribbean with coconut and spices! The village was typically Caribbean too. It was small, but it had a certain nice feel to it. The men were on the beach with their fishing boats and families and friends were gathering on the streets outside their houses. We saw some very unusual advertisements painted on some walls as well, such as the one you can see below.
Men meeting on the beach in Sambo Creek

Men meeting on the beach in Sambo Creek


Beach in Sambo Creek

Beach in Sambo Creek


House front painting warning that children should not drink alcohol

House front painting warning that children should not drink alcohol

Posted by sarahm_lux 15:25 Archived in Honduras Tagged cuero_y_salado la_ceiba sambo_creek Comments (0)

Lake Yojoa

A long journey and a lot of rain - An almost Luxembourger, waterfalls and the biggest lake in Honduras

overcast 25 °C
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On Saturday, we wanted to get from Gracias to Los Naranjos on Lake Yojoa. However, this proved harder than we thought, so that we ended up spending most of the day on buses. After 3 buses and 6 1/2 hours of travelling we finally got there.

We stayed at a hostel with a microbrewery. So again, we tried some interesting beers (they even had 3 fruit flavoured ones). Then something very exciting happened. After not having met any Luxembourgish people during this whole trip, I met a guy who was not really Luxembourgish (1/2 German, 1/2 US American and went to the European school), but had grown up in Luxembourg and had lived there until he was 18! Of course I was really happy to meet someone who had spent most of his life in my country! We talked about a lot of things about Luxembourg, including of course the most important thing, the Schueberfouer ;) (google it if you do not know what it is...)

It was raining a lot when we got up the next morning... But the rain finally went down a bit, so that we could walk to the village for some breakfast and then get a bus and taxi to the Pulhapanzak waterfalls. I did not expect anything very exciting because I had visited so many waterfalls on this trip, but I was pleasantly surprised. The waterfalls were not very high, but wide and strong.
Cataratas de Pulhapanzak

Cataratas de Pulhapanzak


Soldier guarding the Pulhapanzak waterfalls

Soldier guarding the Pulhapanzak waterfalls

Then we took a taxi to a hotel and restaurant at the lake Yojoa. We had a walk down to the lake and enjoyed the views - although they could have been better if there had been less clouds - and then sat in the restaurant for a while, watching the families around us enjoying their Sunday lunch.
Lago de Yojoa

Lago de Yojoa


Lago de Yojoa

Lago de Yojoa

After a very tasty chicken taco in one of the nearby town, we went back to the hostel, took care of some things on our to do lists (such as writing this and other blog posts) and then enjoyed some hot drinks (for me it was a coffee with crème de menthe, yummy) on the cold outside terrace of the hostel bar.

Posted by sarahm_lux 19:26 Archived in Honduras Tagged lago_de_yojoa pulhapanzak Comments (0)

Santa Rosa de Copán & Gracias

A cigar factory and hot springs by night

28 °C
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On Friday, we travelled on to Santa Rosa de Copán, a colonial city about 3 hours away from Copán Ruinas. We went to see the city centre and again ate lunch at a food stall on the main square (deep fried chicken tacos and pupusas this time), but the main reason for coming there was the Rosa de Copán cigar factory. At 2pm we took a guided tour of the factory. It was really interesting to see the whole cigar making process. There were halls full of men and women rolling cigars, cutting the leaves into shape etc. We even got a free cigar at the end!
Santa Rosa de Copán

Santa Rosa de Copán


Santa Rosa de Copán

Santa Rosa de Copán


Shoeshine men in Santa Rosa de Copán

Shoeshine men in Santa Rosa de Copán

There were 2 American guys on the tour with us and they had a car. By coincidence, they were also headed for Gracias where we were going to next and they offered us a lift. This saved us some money and a lot of time :) After arriving in Gracias, we had a walk around the town, which was nice but small. Then we took a mototaxi (a bit of a scary ride) to the nearby hot springs. It was nice and relaxing to lie in the hot water at night with only a few lights around.
Gracias

Gracias


Gracias

Gracias


Hot springs near Gracias

Hot springs near Gracias

When we got back into town, there was a Christmas show on the square. It was organised by a bilingual school in town and the students and teachers performed English language Christmas carols and dances. At the end of the show, there was a small fireworks display. Christmas is really getting close!

Posted by sarahm_lux 19:21 Archived in Honduras Tagged hot_springs santa_rosa_de_copán gracias Comments (0)

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