We made it successfully through Honduras and are now in Nicaragua. We've been off internet for a while, it's sort of a long story (which will be detailed after the brief summary). I left my camera in the car, so a photo update will have to come later.
1. My father was mostly correct, the food in Honduras is fried and not very good.
2. Go see a cloud forest if you're in Honduras, very cool stuff.
3. We met a crazy tour guide at a overall bad hotel that took us up into the small towns and cloud forest of Santa Barbra Mountain, where we met some wonderful people and saw some cool things.
4. It's increasingly difficult to find hotels with wifi or anywhere that takes credit cards.
5. We can't stop drinking smoothies, it must be all the awesome tropical fruit.
6. Speaking of tropical fruit, we tried Naranjaliia, some crazy avocado that tasted like anise, a strange variety of raspberry and some fresh passion fruit. All were delicious except the avocado.
7. We got lost in a coffee plantation and had to slide down the side of the mountain.
8. We got out hiked by a man in jeans, that did not break a sweat in the most humid of climates.
9. We saw a man selling a monkey by the side of the road today. A started screaming when he saw it.
The long of it:
The crossing from Guatemala to Honduras was pretty uneventful, the boarder was much quieter and cleaner than most we'd seen. We headed straight to the Copan Ruins, since we missed all of the other Mayan ruins when we decided to skip the Yucatan Peninsula/Northern Guatemala. This was A's first ruins and I believe the farthest out ones. They were pretty cool, but a lot smaller than I remembered Chichen Itza being when I was younger (maybe I was just the smaller one...). We stayed that night in the town of Copan Ruins, which was cute and touristy.
We found a hotel online (the D&D) that was near Lake Yajoa and brewed their own beer, from everything I read online it seemed really cool. We drove there the next day, only it was not cool at all. The space was nice, but the beer was bad, the food was worse and the crowd was horrible. We were kept up all night by some drunk college kids' renditions of Hotel California. There was one redeeming factor though, we met a crazy English expat tour guide (Malcolm) whose specialty was birds. I had read online a lot about cloud forests in Honduras and really wanted to visit one. It seemed like most of them were inaccessible with our car. I had read online that there were tours up to Santa Barbra mountain (just above Lake Yajoa). When we found him at the brewery that night, he said that he couldn't do the tour like he usually does because the road up to the mountain was under repair. He said if we really wanted to go he could possibly do a three day tour, one day hike up, one day on the mountain and one day down, staying up near the mountain. Since we had not done much hiking yet on the trip, we decided to do it, though he couldn't leave until the day after. The next day, we ended up joining him for a boat ride out on the lake looking at birds (which I think would have made my mother the bird watcher super jealous) the next day. We also got to check out a really awesome waterfall park that day.
Our tour guide had traveled all over the world, so he had some interesting stories. Mostly, he seemed to be trying to live as much off the grid as possible. He'd stumbled upon Lake Yajoa and the brewery and realized he could make a living. We hiked up to a town above the lake called El Dorado, walking through various villages along the way. It was nice to see Honduras not from the car. We hiked a bit around the mountain before going to visit the local family we were going to stay with. The family turned out to be super sweet and the mother was a great cook (there were also two adorable daughters running around). A got to practice his Spanish, which is getting pretty good. Turns out there were two folks from the Peace Corps in town until about March, when the Peace Corps pulled out of Honduras. Apparently, there were a serious of incidents where a Peace Corps member was shot on a bus and another was raped and they deemed the country unsafe. This came at a really unfortunate time for the village since the Peace Corps members were trying to setup a library and training for nature guides in town. They are trying to add a visitor center to the mountain in order to help protect the forest land (which is being overtaken by coffee farming). The girl that had been working there had set up a beautiful library with equipment, computers, etc, but there was no one there to train anyone.
The whole area around Lake Yajoa is really pretty, but the cloud forest was definitely something different than we'd seen before. Much like a rain forest, everything is extremely damp. All the trees have many varieties of climbing plants on them as well as moss that holds droplets of water. The ground is covered in a layer of damp leaves, mud and fallen plants. There are thousands of air plants everywhere, where snails, lizards, etc feed. A got covered in about 1000 bug bites after forgetting bug spray. I will put up pictures soon, since I probably can't do it justice. The whole thing was really enjoyable and it was nice to have some home cooked meals.