We rushed into and out of Utila because we had a very important meeting to attend; the first Central America Couchsurfing meetup in the history of the world. Active in couchsurfing back in Washington, DC, we’ve been trying to CS when possible on this trip and so far have had two amazing CS experiences. Hoping to meet more CSers in Central America, we emailed the meetup organizer and headed down to Comayagua, Honduras without so much as tent.
Arriving in Comayagua early Saturday morning, we met the CS group that we would spend the next 48 hours with and everyone hit it off quickly. Sometimes groups just click and as we’ve found time and time again, with couchsurfers the groups always seem to clilck. In the end, the original group of 30 CSers from all over Central America turned into about 10, mostly long term travelers and Honduranos from the capital. We took a quick tour of the city, the former colonial capital of Honduras, piled into the back of a pickup truck (two trips) and began our camping trip. Once outside of the city, we began an hour long walk to get to our hosts coffee plantation. With no less than three stream crossings, getting there was a fast bonding experience for the group.
Most of the group was not native to Central America and so it made for some interesting learning and a great cultural exchange. Besides us there were two others from the United States, both working in the capital and another US traveler. Several Europeans as well, each of whom speak 5 or 6 languages…talk about us to shame and finally a big group of Honduranos. Hiking to our campsite, everyone shared jokes and travel stories in a mix of Spanish and English.
Our host, Rony, and his family own some land bordering a national park in Comayagua so we walked to their finca where we set camp, swam in the river, started to make a fire and began to cook some dinner. It wasn’t long before the heavens opened up, killed the fire, and sent all of us (and our rum) into our tents for the night.
The next morning though, it was a new day filled with adventure for us. We packed up our campsite and headed back down the road for our hike to the waterfall. Rony told us that there would be five stream crossings and, although this was technically accurate, he neglected to tell us we’d be walking about 100 yards upstream – while in the river – as well. Eventually, soaked with water and grinning from ear to ear we reached the waterfall and we all dove right in. The water was frigid and powerful as it came over and standing under it was nearly impossible. Nonetheless, we swam in and out of the cave under the falls and just all around enjoyed the cold water after the long hike. Some of us, myself included, were stupid enough to climb the rock face up the falls to see what laid upstream…more waterfall.
When it came time to make an attempt at a group picture, we put our CS teamwork to the test. One person had a tripod and another rigged a couple of logs to set-up the tripod in the middle of the river. A third (that’d be us) supplied the waterproof camera with a 10 second delay and a fourth figured to tie the camera to a vine so that if everything fell off we wouldn’t lose an of our valuables.
We had a great time with this group of people and hope to see many of them again once we arrive in Tegucigalpa, the capital, a little while from now. Our only regret was that we had to rush out in order catch the boat to Belize where we met some family and had another great time…and an earthquake too!