I live in a city that doesn’t offer much in the way of exploration so I try to take the opportunity to get out and see more of the country. Since morning here I’ve kept to the northwest corner of the country. It’s beautiful out there. Honduras is the most mountainous country in Central America and it’s the montañas that give the countryside in the interior it’s beauty with banana and palm plantations, sugar cane growing as far as the eye can see and beautiful flowers dotting the landscape.
It was time to get out of the city last weekend and I invited my expatriate compatriot from work to join me on a ride to La Esperanza.
As we head to the higher elevations (approximately 6000 feet) on the way to La Esperanza, the air changes and the foliage becomes more familiar with pine trees and shrubs on the roadside mingling with African and Coconut Palms and other tropical vegetation.
The views from my apartment are pretty spectacular, but I need to get out of the city when I can and never tire of the rolling hills and mountains — or maybe I do tire of them because I have to take motion sickness pills and it leaves me fighting to stay awake, but it helps me to make it to our destination with little to no discomfort.
This time the ride took us to a town known for its strawberries and cooler climate. I don’t know about that. It was definitely over 80° out there on Saturday and while the dry air was nice, it was not chilly as we walked through the streets and the market, but nothing we couldn’t handle with an icy cold drink.
Our first stop was at a school with lines of Lenca people wrapping around the buildings as they waited quietly and patiently for help; some with babies wrapped carefully in cloth, nestled on their sides, others with rectangles of colorful cloth on their heads, as though they would be carrying a pot on top at some point during the day. The Lenca people come from the mountains outside town and this organization helps to provide help for them for another month.
After a brief stop we ventured into town. The roads were narrow and parking was hard to find, but Jorge did a great job of securing a spot not far from the center of town.
Many of the streets were ripped up and under construction with no warning so you could pull up and find you had to back up and make your way out to another street.
Like all the colonial towns I’ve visited, the central park is located across from the big church. This was no exception and I needed a fisheye to capture the entire façade.
Unfortunately, in La Esperanza like San Pedro Sula, the humidity takes its toll and black mold shows its ugly face. It’s not so bad here, but in San Pedro it’s everywhere. I’m not quite sure what stops it. Is it possible for the searing sun to “bleach” the spores away?
I wasn’t going to leave La Esperanza without a bag of fresh produce so we stopped before we got to the car. It’s a week later and there isn’t much left other than the butternut squash which I have plans for this week. It’s not exactly a tropical dish, but it was calling my name.
These beans made it into my dinner twice this week and the container is not empty yet. I owe my dad the recipe I made up for “Tuscan Beans.” I have no idea why I call them this. It’s probably time I created a name that’s closer to the Latin American influence of frijoles.
Thankfully, we didn’t need this, but if we did, it’s always good to know where the nearest medical facility is.
And I don’t have a good explanation for why I shot this photo other than I have plenty of friends that would love to book into a hotel called Margaritas for a night or two. Yeah, you know who you are.
These colorful mosaic tiles add pep to your step with their cheery colors. And with that, we rode out of town — San Pedro Sula was calling us back for another work-week. No matter how busy or stressful or full of excitement or angst the week may be, having a weekend day to explore and discover always leaves me with a sense of a mini vacation in Honduras.
Next up — a visit to the big market in the city. There were mountains of produce and some of it — like these sweet little cherry tomatoes — made it home with me today.