Curiosity got the best of me! Certainly I was thoroughly enjoying the beautiful white sand beaches of Roatan. The cool eastern breeze, the flow of ice cold “salvavidas” and beautiful sunsets were doing their thing also. But, that beautiful skyline in the horizon, showing towering mountains that would cut through the clouds as they reached out to heaven started a flurry of questions that soon got me in adventure mode.
When I asked the local islanders, I got mixed reviews, they said oh that is Honduras, you are seeing “Pico Bonito”… but then, before I could even ask, they would mostly say…. Ohhhh is dangerous there, you shouldn’t go! Well, obviously, they didn’t know me well enough… this just got me even more curious! I started investigating online, to see what I could find. Government web pages seemed to coincide with what the people where telling me, however when reading actual reviews of travel bloggers and hotel reviews on tripadvisor, I was getting just the opposite: a beautiful land of friendly people where the travelers have a great time and where nature and adventure abounds! That did it! I decided to make a trip to “mainland Honduras” and see it for myself! Where to go? How to get there? I actually found easy answers to both!
From Roatan, the closest point on mainland Honduras is the City of La Ceiba, and getting there is easier than I had thought on the state of the art Galaxy Wave water-jet catamaran. After some brief research, I found the area that seemed most enticing to me: The Cangrejal River Valley. Located only 10 miles from the ferry terminal, it was close, offered a variety of hotels to stay in and best of all, there were so many options for day tours and activities that I would be able to choose the perfect activities to fit my preferences!
It turned out the ferry has two daily departures, which means that I could choose my departure time! Since I was anxious to see what was there, I decided on the morning ferry, which departs Roatan at 7:00 a.m. Departure was truly on time, and I was in La Ceiba before 9:00 a.m. I had previously arranged for transportation and a night at La Villa de Soledad B&B, so my ride was waiting for me as I walked out of the ferry and onto the terminal! John the owner of the B&B was there waiting for me personally, I jumped in his car and off we went for a short 25 minute ride to his place on the Cangrejal River Valley.
Now, as I was on mainland Honduras, the mountains that had sparked my curiosity from Roatan appeared huge, rugged, but mostly green! Our short trip took us up a dirt road following the Cangrejal River, which at first seemed rather unimpressive, as we went through some city neighborhoods, however it quickly began to look better, and then even better, and then WOW what a beautiful setting! An impressive jungle on both sides of the road, a river with an inviting blue green color meandering through steep mountains and huge boulders on its way to the Caribbean. Am I glad I did come and to visit and explore! After a few minutes we have arrived at our destination, and although it took only minutes, it looks and feels remarkably remote!
We had passed by a few lodges on the way to La Villa de Soledad, and they looked really nice, so I was wondering if I had chosen wisely. As we drove up the entrance to La Villa de Soledad B&B I was taken aback by the style of this place! A lovely Spanish Colonial like construction on a small hilltop with magnificent view of two national parks. The lounge and porches blended perfectly with the great outdoors. The rooms turned out to be spacious, cool and with my own private hammock in the porch just in front of my room. Best of all, I could clearly hear the murmur of the Cangrejal River as it hurriedly flowed towards the Caribbean Sea. Yes! What a great decision to have listened to my inner me and researched what other travelers had to say about mainland Honduras!
After checking in, I am excited about arranging activities for my short stay. Although John is truly helpful, I have this nasty habit of researching on the net, but of course, I am in the middle of the jungle, so surely there is no access to it here, or if there is, it is surely super slow… But, hey my tablet picks up a wifi signal, and guess what? The signal is strong and the internet is FAST! Can this be???? Let’s get rolling and figure out what to do!