Marcala – Comayagua

I returned to the little comedor I had lunch at the previous day for breakfast. I’ve learned that in such places, you don’t ask what is for breakfast, you just ask for breakfast and you will be given a typical breakfast of refried beans, scrambled eggs, plantains, a feta like cheese, tortillas, and what is essentially sour cream. Sometimes, you may also get avocado, chicken or a slice of ham. Good coffee is plentiful in this part of the world and one can also get an impressive array of fresh fruit juices.   
A fracas caught my attention shortly after leaving the little comedor. A woman was loudly and passionately abusing an hombre just down the road from me to an increasing audience of onlookers. The hombre largely ignored her which seemed to raise the senora’s ire. To this end, she threw a motorcycle helmet at him and flounced off. The hombre was left to pick up the helmet and the shreds of his dignity after this very public dressing down. 

As I needed to top up drinking water supplies (and also change a 500 limpira note – not easy even though the ATM dispenses them…), I headed to the local Dispensia Familia (Honduran supermarket). There, I met a small group from Illinois, US who were in a nearby village doing a research project into community water supply. They were also running health and hygiene workshops which explained the caterers pack of soap in their shopping basket. 

I collected my pack and checked out of my hotel. Thinking I would take a short cut to the edge of town to walk up to the bus terminal, proved a brutal error. I crossed a bridge which looked like the one I had crossed the previous day and continued on my hot, sweaty way up and up and up the side of the hill. Not recognising any landmarks, about half way up I began to realise I had erred in my choice of direction. Still, I traversed ever onwards and upwards thinking (nay hoping…) I actually was on the right road and would soon recognise something. At the top of the hill, I couldn’t even argue with my optimistic self, as it was bloody obvious I had stuffed up! Still….maybe I could cut across to the terminal from here? Enquiries from a local led to a big fat NO!

Back down I trudged, right into the centre of town before coming across any form of transportation that could take me where I wanted to go. By now, I had had enough of traipsing up hill and down dale in the sticky heat and opted for a ride in a tuk tuk up the correct hill to the bus terminal. I soon saw my error, but it wasn’t in vain; I got to see a little more of this beguiling town. 

The journey from Marcala to Comayagua was interesting for reasons other than visual. As our little minibus chugged slowly up the hill out of town, the driver took opportunity to text his mate. All of a sudden, another vehicle cut in front of us, very nearly causing our vehicle to roll into the ditch on the side of the road. Evidently, this little indiscretion was solely the fault of the other vehicle and our driver awoke from his stupor to roar off and try catch up to the now targeted driver. It wasn’t long before we were brutally cutting him off and coming to a complete halt. As did the unfortunate driver who wasn’t planning on overtaking our vehicle anytime soon. Eventually, he realised he had to run the gauntlet sooner than later and passed us to a torrent of abuse from our driver. Then followed a half hour dissection of the event between driver, assistant and fellow passenger. At no point did it occur to them that perhaps if our driver hadn’t been texting on his phone, the situation may have been less perilous. 

The journey itself was extremely beautiful with the soft green of the pines punctuating the vivid blue sky. We drove slowly through mountainous country, eventually coming down to a long flat valley where our little minibus was able to pick up a bit of speed. I managed to get a seat up front next to the driver which meant I had a great view of the countryside, however, I also got the full impact of the midday sun. It was with mixed blessing when I finally got dropped off on the side of the road in Comayagua. 

After a shorter than anticipated taxi ride to the hotel I had picked out of the guidebook, I dumped my pack and went to explore this large colonial town. I followed directions to the Parque Central and eventually came to an impressive plaza, complete with large, ornate cathedral. By now, I had well and truly worked up a thirst, I found a little restaurant in the plaza next to the cathedral for a cerveza and quick read up of the place. 

Comayagua was the original capital of Honduras for over 300 years, until it was moved to the current capital, Tegucigalpa. Although hot, humid and choked with traffic, it has many beautiful colonial era buildings within its historic centre. The pace of life varies from hectic in the markets and commercial areas, to tranquil in the various plazas. In all, a rich and interesting place to explore. 

I went back to the little restaurant in the plaza later in the afternoon and watched the early evening parade pass through the plaza as the sun set. Throughout, a most affable señor kept up wonderful service and checked on me regularly to ensure everything was OK. When I left, he told me he was the owner of the restaurant. I asked if he was on Trip Advisor as I wanted to write a review to commend the place. He told me he wasn’t as yet as he wasn’t sure how to set it up. I figured this was as good a place as any for coffee and breakfast in the morning so offered to help him. Arrangements made, I walked back to my hotel, which to my delight, I found in the dark with most of my landmarks having shut up for the night. A much better effort than earlier in the day. 

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