New Year’s Day and this tranquil little town reached new levels of sleepiness. I decided to trawl the streets for something to eat, but could only find a couple of pharmacies open. Maybe they were cashing in on post apocalyptic New Years celebrations, but I was looking for something more than a plate of pills. Further up the road I found a couple of señoras preparing baleados from a makeshift stall. I joined the small throng of locals sitting on the side of the road and feasted on the freshly made fare. 

A bellyful of baleados later, I headed back to the hotel for my free coffee and chilled in reception watching the Rose Bowl Parade with Spanish commentary. If this was a mandatory rest stop, I intended to rest. Well, for a little while anyway. That is until the Travel God of Exploration gave me a kick up the rear and sent me wandering around town. Unfortunately, that had to wait as this also needed to be a mandatory laundry stop as there was little passing the sniff test by now. The Travel God of Personal Hygiene won out in the end and my wanderings around town were pushed back a while. 

Olanchito is a pretty little town nestled alongside Rio Uchapa and backdropped by rolling hills. At one end of the Main Street lay a picturesque Parque Central with manicured gardens surrounding a central rotunda. A children’s playground in one quarter proved popular with the locals on a day where very little was open. At the opposite end of the Parque was a colonial church where a service was taking place. On the backroads, families gathered in painted adobe cottages to quietly celebrate the New Year. 

On my return to the hotel, I discovered a little comedor was now open. Marinated meat was being grilled on a barbecue out on the pavement and served with rice, beans, salad and tortillas. Washed down with a chilled cerveza, my New Year’s Day was now complete. As tranquil as the little town which hosted me. 

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