Gracias, HondurasAfter Copan and the Bay Islands I’m not really sure what else there is to see in Honduras. There is always the capital of Tegucigalpa but capitals in Central America aren’t exactly the safest or best places to spend a few days. Looking at other towns that were close to Copan and the border [...]
After Copan and the Bay Islands I’m not really sure what else there is to see in Honduras. There is always the capital of Tegucigalpa but capitals in Central America aren’t exactly the safest or best places to spend a few days. Looking at other towns that were close to Copan and the border of El Salvador I decided on Gracias which my goodbook says would be worth a visit.
|From Gracias 2010-12
Gracias is small and if your not planning on hiking in the surrounding mountains there isn’t much to do but walk around town and people watch in the central park. The scenery in this part of Honduras is the same as the western part of Guatemala so I can’t help but have the feeling of ‘Been there. Done that. Next?’ A day here is good enough for me. On the positive side, once you get off the Bay Islands and out of Copan there are almost no tourists in Honduras.
My first night’s sleep in Gracias left me red-eyed and grumpy. The hotel’s neighbors have a rooster which crowed every hour between 3:30 and 7:30 am. This might have been tolerable if it hadn’t started a neighborhood rooster domino effect leaving me with cock-a-doodle-doo’s ringing in my ears from every rooster in town. On top of this the toilet in my room wouldn’t stop running and the cold night air combined with sheets so thin they were transparent left me running on little sleep. I’m not sure what’s going on but I haven’t had a solid night’s sleep in four days and I’m hoping that changes soon.
Besides the hiking and people watching noted above the only other possible thing of interest is to visit some thermal pools about 6 km outside of town. I thought I would walk and going by my guidebook’s directions of “turn right by a white house” and, “climb the hill and take the first path on the left (no sign)” I made it there in about an hour(after I stopped walking in the wrong direction). Once there, I had the thermal pools to myself and was able to enjoy a swim in the forest. The last ‘attraction’ in town is a colonial fort built on top of a hill. The fort was interesting and it was peaceful to sit on the fort’s wall until two drunk Honduran men started to approach.
“Here we go…” I thought and prepared for the inevitable babble that I was about to be subjected to. One of the two men persisted in shaking my hand the entire time while the second pointed to himself and then me repeating, “Amigo!” over and over again.
My comprehension of Spanish is limited already but when you throw some drunken slurring into the mix it’s damn-near impossible for me to understand. From what I understood ‘Mr. Amigo!’ babbled on about some cross on top of a nearby mountain and the other was probing me on my background. Not finding myself entertained by the two I pulled myself away saying I was hungry and wanted to get some food. I left it at that and walked away.
The rest of my evening was spent in a cafe reading and listening to a guy play guitar in the central park before eating dinner. On my way back home I bought some ice cream only because I enjoyed the fact that I could eat it while walking down the street in a short-sleeve shirt in the middle of December.
If I had to sum up Honduran food in as few words as possible I would say, “Fried and salty.” There is a little more to it than that but not much. Here’s the run-down of your typical Honduran food.
- BaleadasBolibaleadasSuper Baleadas – Tortillas folded over with re-fried beans and a really salty cheese and cream inside. The bolibaleada is the same but also includes eggs. The super baleada is exactly what you think; a larger baleada but with meat or something else thrown in.
- Fried Chicken – This country loves their fried chicken. They really, really, really love it.
- Tajadas – Plantains that are fried like potato chips. You can have them just as chips or with meat andor cabbage on top.
- Cabbage – For whatever reason this country has a fascination with cabbage. That caught me completely off guard.
The Enchilada Conundrum
For some background see this post
Honduras agrees with Guatemala that an enchilada is a tostada. Let’s see what El Salvador thinks.