Day 3 Honduras 7/17/2010

7/17/2010 Woke up this morning at 7am due to the rooster, chickens, parrots, and possible monkey right outside our room. (and possibly due to the super annoying itching from fire ant bites on my ankles from the first night-SO much worse than mosquitoes) Sooo I’ll take this time to write about yesterday (7-16-2010) arriving in Tela. Tela is somewhat of a sleepy kind of town with a beach at the end with blocks of colorful buildings of stores, bars, and homes mixed all together.  We walked about 3 blocks from the bus stop to Hotel Bertha.  At the front door we met Marta, a sweet older nice sized woman who was very hard to understand. In the lobby there were a few chairs and beach murals painted on the walls.  We checked in with Marta for 250 Lempiras a night ($12.50) into room #14.  She led us around the corner to a courtyard of terra cotta tiles and a few plants, up the stairs to our room, pointing out a little green pareeto in a tree on the way.   The balcony by our room door overlooks the neighbors backyard, where they have a pretty simple living.  Their house is open on part with metal corrugated roofing , chickens in the yard, and a small banana tree. After settling in and grabbing our day bag we decided food was needed.  We walked about 7 blocks until we reached the beach; no white sand or turquoise waters but it was the best so far. Short fat palm trees provide shade on the beach next to the boardwalk, this is where you would find a gringo if you wanted.  There’s a few big hotels on the boardwalk  and a handful of restaurants and bars.  We walked to the end first checking everything out and bought pan de coco from a woman selling them on the walk.  One was like a biscuit/roll and not what we were looking for and the other was a sweet coconut, cooked sugar, nuts, and fruit–delicious (I miss it as I type this now)  We decided on a restaurant with outdoor seating in the shade with a nice view of the beach and because we skipped breakfast we decided to treat ourselves to a hearty lunch of ‘filet mignon’, Matt a pina colada, & a beer for me. Let’s just say the ‘filet’ is NOT the same here, it was wrapped in fatty bacon, chewy, and over cooked.  We both learned our lesson as we enjoyed our fries and I really liked the rice with the chili picante sauce mixed in.  After we headed back to our room to change into our swimsuits, as we were changing a downpour started and with all the metal roofs it was quite loud and musical almost.  This was rain. Matt grabbed his guitar and we enjoyed a relaxing moment on our balcony listening to natures rhythm.  The rain stopped after about 15 minutes and blue skies were upon us again, we grabbed our stuff and headed for the salt water.  The walk to the beach was much more interesting after the downpour, the streets were rivers! Not kidding just rushing water-I couldn’t help but laugh as we winded through the open areas to the beach.  When we arrived the sun was riding behind clouds and a giant barge lit up the water like an illusion.  We jumped into the water -me after a little work from Matt as I do not like the initial cold of the water unless I am hot or dark water.  We bodysurfed for about 20 mins, the sea water being warmer than the air made it quite enjoyable.  This weather is proving that we do not need air conditioning, a fan does quite well at night and we are out during the heat of the day. After swimming we walked a few streets and bought a big bottle of rum for about $4, some $1 beers and $1 tacos or baleadas and got caught in a sudden rain.  Calling it a night. Slept great which brings me to here-puffy eyes, crazy itchy feet, loud birds outside, puffed sea water hair, and pure contentment 🙂 Now on to today’s adventure–going to East Tela for the best beach they have here. 7-17-2010 So lonely planet says Tela has the best beaches on the mainland and so far they are far better than Travesia.  They are clear enough to see underwater with our goggles, have tawny sand, and coconut groves for shade.  Tela is in a curve of land from Punta Sal on the West to ? on the East, they call it Tela Bay.  Oh sorry I am getting ahead of myself…. We woke up very early because of the roosters and the shuffle of life.  It took a little work getting Matt up and going but we were off to find breakfast (desayuno) and a new place to stay (rooster!).  We ate at Luces del Norte (Northern Lights) where I had desayuno tipico- eggs, beans, tortilla, fruit, and a small block of cheese along with cafe con leche.  Matt had the most incredible orange juice I have ever tasted and his mangos and bananas had a fresh ripe sweetness we just don’t get in the US.  After paying I picked up a few postcards and a book from the exchange pile-1984 George Orwell I had to. After checking my lonely planet we packed ourselves up and headed out of Hotel Bertha’s and went to check on a place called Basia del Mar, this proved to be too much for our budget and she pointed us down the street to a bright aqua blue building.  We were now in the hub of Tela-el centro with loud street markets everywhere.  When we entered the long stairwell we met an older man with a name like Manuel (I can’t remember), he was kind and spoke slower with humor as he showed us some rooms.  We chose #18 for 300 Lempiras ($15/night) with a full bed and a twin bed/couch ;), a private bathroom and our large window faced the city and sea.  The hallways were bright aqua and blue with a front balcony looking over the main part of town and a back terrace with a view of the mountains, I think Pico Bonito, beautiful.  The rooms are very modest and plain but it is a welcome step away from the consumer based American vacation.  After throwing everything in the room, we were off to find the best beach we could-FINALLY.  We walked east along the waterline-past an old railroad pier where locals were fishing and just past a high end hotel.  We found a quiet private spot and dove in…the best so far. Men and children were walking the beach selling fresh cut open coconuts and pan de coco and we watched small crabs disappear into their holes as we walked by. We played and walked on the beach for a few hours until we noticed we were getting a bit pink and started to head back.  No complaints…except the ant bites they got me good and all day I have found myself rubbing sand on them to relieve the itch but the swelling is down.  When we returned to our new spot Hotel de Porvenir (Hotel of Future I believe)we have a brief cold shower, put on lotion and had a nap. 🙂 Ahh vacation. When we woke we both wanted baleadas and internet.  We headed to Mamma Mia’s Internet Cafe where we wrote a few brief emails to my kids and parents for $.75/hour and were off again on a quest for food. The taco/baleada place we liked was closed so we got a quick snack to share of fried chicken at Auto’s Pollo for $1.50 and then headed to the boardwalk for a coca-cola.  We walked back to our room for a bit of rum with our cola and a little reading, as we sat the downpour started again…nightly downpours=awesome.  When it stopped we headed down to a baleadas place for 2 each–so good but I was very hungry.  Grabbed a big thing of soda, yuca chips, and a few cheap beers for the room.  Our hotel closes its gate at 9pm so we needed to get back. We enjoyed our beers on the front and back terraces until another rain came and we headed off to bed.  The weather has surprised me, it gets hot but nothing unbearable, the morning and night are perfect and a brief midday swim cures all.
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