If you have any contributions, I would love to add them to the notebook!

>From EM.AGR.CA!mccurdyp Wed Apr 17 17:14:36 1996
Date: Wed, 17 Apr 1996 16:13:43 -0400
From: Paul McCurdy mccurdyp@EM.AGR.CA
To: sgoodf@oeonline.com
Subject:  Honduras Update
Status: R

Hi Stephen,

The 6 of us left Vancouver bound for Honduras on the evening
flight - Curds (that's me), Charlie (my wife), Scary, Jed,
Stagger Lee & Joe. Of course we were travelling with aliases
since we were going to a Central American country. We planned on
meeting up with our buddy Pablo on Roatan. Our flight took us
first to LA, then on TACA airlines to San Salvador, where we
needed to change planes for the final leg to San Pedro Sula. In
LA, we found out our flight had been combined with another, with
an additional stop in Guatemala City. OK, so we'd now arrive in
Honduras about 30 minutes later than originally scheduled, which
with the normal delays experienced with C.A. airlines, meant
probably an hour or so. However, the service on TACA was superb,
the food amongst the best any of us had ever had on an airline
(we were late tho'). The descent into Guatemala City was
beautiful - the volcanic mountains surrounding the city mystical
in the early morning haze. We were all pretty tired when we
arrived at our next stop in Honduras and joined the rush off the
plane. Who wouldn't be anxious for land after a full night of air
travel. Customs looked a bit different than I had remembered it -
must have modernized it a bit.
We had all taken carryon luggage except for Joe, who ended up
losing it (of course) to the chagrin of us all, with lots of
grumbling about having to wait around while he filled out a claim
with the airline. While this was going on I negotiated with a
taxi driver to take us to the bus for Tela, where we had planned
on spending our 1st day & night in Honduras - the beaches are
nice and there are no bugs. He offered to drive us all to Tela
for $300; a bit steep (to say the least) for a one hour drive.
Did he think we were stupid gringos or something? The route he
took into town sure looked different, and the bus station was not
at all what I remembered. It turned out the bus from that depot
wasn't leaving until about 6 hours later. I knew that there were
buses every hour from SPS to Tela, so after trying to get him to
take us to a different bus depot ( in our very poor pigeon
Spanish) asked him to take us to the Gran Hotel Sula where I knew
the Adventure shuttle used to run. "Pero el Gran Hotel Sula esta
en San Pedro Sula" he said, "y estamos en Tegucagalpa". What! We
had got off in the wrong city. 
We ended up catching a plane direct from Tegucagalpa to Roatan
for a very reasonable fare of  $45 each. However, Joe had to go
to S.P.S. in order to pick up his bag (which had of course gone
to the right place). The plane we were on was Canadian-built: a
Twin Otter, used regularly up and down the west coast of Canada.
In fact the one we were on probably did that run about 40 years
ago. Well, I figured the pilots wanted to get there as badly as I
Roatan was everything we had been told it was - beautiful
beaches, snorkelling, lots of eateries, and they speak mainly
English. Spent most of our time in the West End, at a bungalow
Pablo had arranged for us at Rudy's Place. A duplex on stilts,
just right for the 7 of us. Good meals at Keiffer's, the Sunshine
Inn and Rick's American Cafe, and dancing music at Foster's with
lots of tourists out to have a good time.
After 4 days of heavy partying (Rum was about $8.00 a bottle -
it's more expensive on the islands) we flew to La Ceiba on the
mainland and took a chicken bus to Trujillo. Charlie and I had
been there twice before, and the previous year had bought our bit
of paradise nearby. We rented two houses in town for $250 each a
week. This for a new 2 bedroom, fully-equipped house on the
hillside overlooking the bay (just below the Villa Brinkley) with
daily maid service. Great deal, eh? Anyone interested in doing
the same should get in touch with Henry Peters through the Bahia
Bar, or write him at Box 33, Trujillo, Colon, Honduras, C.A.

The Villa Brinkley hasn't changed - some new partly-completed
additions - still in desperate need of some general maintenance.
At night it's a romantic spot for dinner or drinks. A couple from
Denmark have been running the restaurant for the past few months
and serve an excellent dinner for a good price. Breakfast wasn't
bad either - just don't ask for Eggs Benedict - and it was just a
short walk from where we were staying.
Scott still runs the Bahia Bar on the beach down near the runway,
and it's still the best place to find out what's happening around
town. We spent a couple of fun nights there, and Friday is pizza
night with the best I've tasted anywhere. They hold a volleyball
tournament on the beach in front of the bar every 2nd Sunday. A
new spot - The Gringo Bar & Restaurant - has been built next door
in anticipation of the increased tourist trade. Went on a visit
to a Crocodile pond located on a very large ranch near Trujillo.
Quite something to see these 20 foot prehistoric monsters lying
around. We got one of the local guides - Richard Day of Adventure
Travel - to take us out. He's originally from California, is
quite knowledgeable about the area and is very personable -
highly recommended. Had a wonderful lunch at La Cabellero (Pete's
place) in Santa Fe (a Garifuna village just outside Trujillo). 
After 5 days in Trujillo the group split up - Joe, Stagger Lee,
Scary and Jed went on to Tela and Copan, while Pablo, Charlie and
myself stayed. Trujillo isn't for everyone, and a couple of those
who left were not reluctant to leave . There are few fancy hotels
(although the Christopher Columbus in Trujillo would certainly
qualify in my books), and it can be fairly primitive at times.
Roatan is a better choice for the tourist who wants to be
Finally it was just me, as Pablo went back to Roatan to finish
some work on his land there, and my wife (Charlie) had to go back
home. The 1st couple of days by myself were great, lying on the
beach soaking up the sunshine, talking to the few tourists who
showed up, but then it rained for 3 days, and you haven't seen
rain until you've been in a rainstorm on the north coast of
Honduras (and I'm from the Pacific Coast of Canada, known as the
Evergreen Playground, or by the disenchanted as the Evergray
Met up again with Pablo in San Pedro Sula, then we went on
together to Lago Yojoa, Honduras' biggest lake and a bass
fisherman's paradise. Stayed at the Hotel Agua Azul,  which
reminded me a lot of summer camp when I was a kid: a bit
run-down, but great fun nevertheless. And they played super music
(something I never had in camp!). We took a local bus to the
Pulhapanzak falls, about 1 hour away, not to be missed. Go to
Buena Vista (or San Buena as it's called by the locals), walk
about 20 minutes through the town and you're there. There's a
nice park (which I've heard is very busy on weekends, but
deserted when we were there), and a miniature Niagara Falls. 
Next day Pablo & I went and visited my foster daughter in San
Vicente (near Santa Barbara), who we've been sponsoring through
the Foster Parents Plan International. The Plan is doing lots of
good things there. The past year they've built 5 new houses, and
are planning another 7 for the next year. Our foster child is
growing up - she's 4 now - and getting prettier all the time.
Santa Barbara is a quaint Spanish village with cobble-stoned
streets and red tiled-roof houses. The next time we go to
Honduras, Charlie and I will have to spend a night there.
That afternoon, it was back to San Pedro Sula for the flight
home. I can't wait until my next visit down there - probably in
January or February of 1997. Maybe we'll see you there!  

Paul McCurdy