44. Lago de Yojoa
When looking for accommodation, we often used recommendations from guide books to steer us towards decent places to stay. While considering whether it would be worth visiting Lago de Yojoa, there was one word in the accommodation section of the guide book that stood out to Danny: brewery. That's right - we could stay at a brewery. I didn't have much say in this.
The D&D Brewery was in the middle of nowhere but the setting was lovely. Located in a jungle and surrounded by dense foliage, the brewery contained a swimming pool, campfire area (lit at night, even though the weather was hot), a restaurant and, of course, a bar. Danny hit the beer almost immediately. They had run out of cider and their root beer tasted like Deep Heat, so I was left with cocktails. The things I do for Danny.
As reluctant as I was to stay at a brewery, this was easily the best one I had visited.
We booked a sunrise hike for the following morning, starting at 4:30am. Incredibly our guide spoke English, which was a rarity for us. For about an hour we climbed up a mountain called "butt cheek", arriving out our viewpoint just as light was coming into the sky. The sunrise was off to the side, partially blocked by the surrounding trees. There was also a haze between us and the lake below, but overall we thought the view was fantastic. On our way back down the guide pointed out various birds, showing us through his binoculars. Not knowing anything about birds, I just nodded and pretended I had a clue what he was talking about. The only birds I remember seeing were the woodpecker (going nuts on a tree trunk) and the motmot (great name, great looking bird). The guide imitated all the bird calls he heard during the trek, which we found a little funny but he seemed very passionate about it.
After a massive baleada breakfast at the brewery we caught a bus out the Pulhapanzak falls, a tall, fast-flowing waterfall with natural swimming pools at the top. It was wonderful to cool off in the refreshing water, but what I really wanted to do was the "Behind the Waterfall" tour. Danny, not so keen. So I joined a Honduran-American family to trek into this giant force of nature, not really knowing what I had signed up for.
Initially we walked down a muddy, slippery path directly into the falls' spray. I discovered quickly that my thongs/flip flops were not going to cut it, so they were abandoned and I barefooted it for the rest of the tour. The slipperiness factor didn't improve.
Once we arrived at the bottom of the falls we jumped from a rock straight into a rock pool, getting completely drenched. I had no idea I needed a change of clothes for this tour. We climbed around rocky outcrops and swam into small caverns before reaching a ledge directly behind the main drop, using a rope to pull ourselves up. I also had no idea I would be getting such a great workout. From the ledge we could poke our heads out and look directly up to see the water coming over the top of the falls. The water then landed only a couple of metres away from us. It was hard to describe the feeling of being in that spot, with the deafening water surging past, but invigorating comes close. It was almost like an adrenaline rush, creating an energy in me that was being fed by the power of the water. Danny really missed out.
The front of the falls.
The back of the falls (looking up).
From the falls we caught three buses to reach Taulabe caves. A middle-aged local man on the last bus thought we looked friendly, so decided to chat to us for the entire trip. At some point we apparently came best friends, and he told us to call him next time we were in Honduras so he could come and pick us up. Our stop could not come soon enough. The caves were decent, quite tall and headed a fair way into the mountain. Coloured lights lit up various structures all the way along. The word "tacky" comes to mind.
By the time we arrived back at the brewery we had caught seven buses that day, and never waited more than five minutes for one of them. Now that was a well set up public transport system. Danny went straight for the beer while I took a walk to the lake, determined to see it at ground level before we left. I found a path heading towards the water, through a tropical forest and along a canal. 30 minutes later I hit the lake, which was still hazy but peaceful. There were a couple of small boats cruising around and the sun had just disappeared behind the mountains. It would have been much nicer to stay directly on the lake rather than in a beer factory, but I also knew that being able to say, "We stayed at a brewery" would probably be the highlight of the whole trip for Danny.