Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Honduras - Las Cascades

Honduras seems to have happened a life time ago, funny how we come back to our lives after a trip away and the busyness kicks in. I intended to write much about the lovely time we had there, now seems as good a time as any. Sleep is not happening, possibly because I'm excited about my next two trips. One possibly back to Honduras and the other a trek to Australia and New Zealand in February. I took wise advice and booked a longer trip than I had originally planned, a three city journey in the southern hemisphere.

Back to Honduras. The trip happened suddenly, decisions made to go and then working late the night before so I was free to enjoy my time off. I neglected to take out money thinking that I could stock up at the airport when I arrived. Not wise it seems. Luckily Jo was more organised and generous enough to share her US dollars. We didn't need much as it turned out because it was all inclusive at the Las Cascadas Lodge. Ryan picked us up at the airport, along with Babs and Simon from George Town and their friends Trish and Roland from Canada. It was full house at Las Cascades with the six of us.

We rattled our way up the Cangrejal River valley, the road pot holed and slushy from recent rains, with Ryan's commentary about the area he so obviously loves. The road reminded me of some I had travelled in New Zealand. A narrow valley with lush vegetation and the tumbling river alongside. The forest was different, tropical rain forest with cocoa trees and banana palms. The big gates of the Lodge swung open, we had arrived.

The lodge is nestled beneath the high canopy and fits into the rain forest with it's thatched roof, stone exterior and warm timbers inside. The lodge is open to the outside with netting walls so there was the feeling of being close to nature. Our room was right by the waterfall, a soothing noise to sleep to. After a short rest, it was all action. Off to Omega Lodge just up the road to go white water rafting. The photos are in a previous post. Allan the Irishman was our guide, he had previously lived in Rotorua and guided on the Huka Falls. Rumour has it that he has the Huka tattooed on his back.

White water rafting is fun, wet and chilly but tons of excitement. The section of the Cangrejal we rafted is mostly rated 3 and 4 so challenging without being too tough for beginners. Being able to paddle dragon boat style possibly helped. Erin from GoErinGo was in our group along with Kristen. It was interesting talking to Erin, she's had a few adventures in the past months and a lifestyle I aspire to. Maybe after this contract. Before rafting we ate spaghetti, a rafting ritual. It was delicious, as was the homemade bread served with it.

Wet and tired we returned to the luxury of a hot shower at the Lodge and talk of our adventures on the river. I was so tired I chilled with my book. Dinner at Las Cascades is a special treat. Six people for dinner, a chef who discussed the meal with us first and lovely staff serving. What more could we ask for. Olvin and his team Maira and Miriam provided us with wonderful food made from local ingredients. They treated us to the very best food and service, all with a smile. The bar was also well stocked.

Ryan and Maggie helped us plan the next day's adventure over one of Maggie's special cocktails. I got to choose, mountain biking was the plan. A trip up the valley to Yaruka in a jeep then riding back down through the villages. The drive up was spectacular, the ride down and up and then down again and up once more before going down was special. Ash was our guide, Erin and Kirsten joined us too. More about that in my next post. For now, here is a photo of the Las Cascades crew and the lodge.

Miriam, Olvin and Maria with Ryan at the back

The gathering place

Our room is to the left 

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