A banging on my door at 6.15 am turned out to be the stout señora from last night wanting the L30 she gave the taxi driver last night on my behalf as I had no change. I still couldn’t understand a word she said, but somehow managed to arrange another night. Not needing to be up quite so early, I staggered back to bed for another couple of hours kip.
Feeling much more refreshed, I wandered down to find a restaurant with wifi as there was none at the hotel. Most such places were on the beachfront so a bit on the pricey side, but I managed to find one that wasn’t too expensive. Tela is a Honduran resort town and certainly has that resort town feel on the beachfront. Behind the upmarket hotels and restaurants, though, lies a fairly ordinary Honduran town, complete with markets and mayhem. I whiled away a couple of hours soaking up the scenery over a typical Honduran breakfast of baleado (flatbread filled with refried beans, cheese, ham and salad) and fresh juice.
I decided to visit Lancetilla Jardín Botánico, the second largest botanical garden in the world. I caught a taxi there as there are no buses and arranged for the driver to pick me up again at 4 pm when the park closed. I organised a guide and had a very pleasant couple of hours wandering this vast park. I wasn’t sure how much I would be able to understand as I am having problems with the Honduran accent, but was pleasantly surprised to find I could hold my own in conversation with my guide.
The Botanical Gardens were established in 1926 by the United Fruit Company, who were one of the American powerhouses of the first half of the last century in Central America. The site was originally a scientific research centre established to investigate pest and diseases in tropical fruit. The botanical gardens grew from this research and still continues to contribute to tropical horticultural research today.
After my guided tour, I spent another hour wandering around taking photos. By this stage, I was drenched due to the extreme humidity and was quite glad I hadn’t decided to spend any longer in the park. In the taxi back to the hotel, I concocted a lovely plan of a nice refreshing shower and washing my hair before changing into clean, dry clothes and heading back to the beach for sunset cervezas. Alas, the Travel God of Hygiene decided none of that was necessary, and turned the water off. I did what I could with wet wipes, but that longed for freshen up was denied to me.
I cashed up at the third ATM that happened to have money and which accepted my card, and wandered down to the beachfront. The sun was beginning to set by this stage and it was a particularly pleasant stroll along the beach back to where I had breakfast. This time I tried the local delicacy, a fish soup cooked in coconut milk. Muy delicioso! Especially when washed down with a chilled Salva Vida.