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Into the Jungle

Written on: Friday August 17th, 2007

A journal entry from: Honduras, AUG07

Today we departed Roatan for mainland Honduras.  The ferry trip across was pretty smooth, and fortunately Liz slept through most of it after a double dose of motion sickness medicine.  We arrived to find our driver waiting for us.  I must admit, as we rambled up the pot holed street that hugged the side of the mountain, I was a little worried that we were figuratively being taken for a ride!  I was envisioning being brought to a rebel camp in the mountains, being greeted by scared, armed Hondurans who would hold us as ransom.  And when I hinted to our driver about the company he worked for, Omega, I was not reassured, as he didn't speak English, and I could not undertand enough of his Spanish.  But we formulated an escape plan should the need arise, and hoped for the best.  Soon we turned into a driveway and saw many other travelers at the quaint little eco-lodge halfway up the mountain: Omega Tours at last! http://www.omegatours.info/index2.htm

The lodge wasn't bad for the middle of the jungle.  There were several independent huts as well as shared dorm style accommodations.  As it is there policy of getting a free nights' stay in the dorm for every tour that you participate in, we took part in three tours and consequently didn't spend a dime on housing. 

The first tour was the coolest: white water rafting!  Now I'll admit that, since this was the dry season, it could have been better.  But it was still a blast and there were several challenging spots with rapids and falls.  The pinnacle moment of the trip was hitting the two meter falls: three of the four of us went completely under immediately after the drop.  But we popped up instantly and two people went overboard (one of which was Liz).  At this particular falls, the rapids suck you back into the danger zone, and you can easily be caught in the whirlwind for minutes at a time.  When Liz and the other fellow went overboard, they were thrown safety ropes and quickly and safely made it back to shore.  The guide and I, however, were still in the raft and caught in the current.  We "surfed" the falls and current for several minutes before deciding to capsize our raft.  We agreed upon a plan and pulled the raft upside down, trapping me directly underneath.  It was easy enough to swim out form under the raft and, with the help of the guide, bring it back to shore.  All in all a wonderful experience!

We headed back to the lodge for a tasty dinner and some drinks.  We met more friends and decided to join up with a Swiss traveler for tomorrow's adventure: lagoon kayaking.

The kayaking was peaceful: just me, Liz, Patricia the Swiss traveler and Hannes the guide.  It took Liz and Patricia a little practice to get comfortable in their kayaks, but they both picked it up and were able to cruise everywhere.  We went into the mangroves to look for howler monkeys, and on the first such journey, only found mosquitos...and lots of them!  Pretty soon we came across our first howler, and we all had fun getting him to "talk" to us.  We stopped for a picnic on the beach, and strolled along this desolate coast looking for shells and whatever other treasures the sea may bring us.  Eventually we paddled back, while stopping to view many howlers in the jungle that surrounded us.  Night time provided its own entertainment in the form of tree frogs in the pool, giant toads in the dining hall and even scorpions in one of the beds!

The next day we went horse back riding!  We rode the horses out of town, through some scrub land and eventually onto the beach.  This is where Sylvia, our guide, let us gallop to our hearts' content.  Not being completely comfortable on a horse, I must say that this was a blast!  Liz seemed to be a natural, and was traveling even faster than me.  We rode along the coast, stopped for a beverage at a local shack, and gallopped back.  What a lifestyle!

Upon our return we went on a jungle walk throughout the land ownder by Omega.  It brought us through a lot of cool jungle scenes, including a small waterfalls (dry season).  After climbing back to the top of the hill, we saw two toucans fly by.  They stopped for a short spell on one of the nearby trees, but not for long enough to take a photo.  Oh well, at least we saw them!

The last night was a party night at Omega.  The owners and guests alike where there to eat, drink and be merry, singing and dancing the night away.  It was a good end to a wonderful stop in the jungle.

The next mnorning we plan to go to Utila, another of the Bay Islands.