Today was my first full day in Honduras and I had a choice of a couple of destinations. Nacaome was about 30km south and San Lorenzo was about 50km. I initially wanted to kick on to San Lorenzo and that was my intention when I set off. A few km into the run I started thinking about what I was doing. If I continued to run 50km days I would only be in Honduras for two or three day and would most likely not see or experience very much other than the highway. I had done a little research and it appeared that everyone’s blogs talked about trying to get from El Salvador to Nicaragua as quickly as possible without spending any time here. It also made me remember that I am not in a race I am on an expedition and expeditions are about experiencing new things. So it was decided that I would break Honduras into more, smaller days and try and actually enjoy myself while here. Later in the day I was glad of this decision as my body rebelled against the undulating terrain and the oppressive sun.
There is only one road from the border so navigation was easy. The scenery was noticeably different from that in El Salvador and remained, on the whole, consistent throughout the day. Due to the extreme heat and relentless sun the land is yellowish brown with dead grass and leafless trees and shrubs dotted the hills. On both sides of the road there are pyramid like hills pointing to the sky. The road is bordered by trees with new bright green leaves and scrubs. The houses are on the whole pretty basic and all face the road with families congregated round the entrance, either relaxing in hammocks or going about their daily chores. Everyone is very friendly and there are lots of waves, whistles, shouts and smiles.
As with all of Central America the roadsides are strewn with rubbish of all kinds. Plastic bags hang from tree branches and bottles line the drains. It is really sad to see such a beautiful countryside so blatantly abused. Wherever you see people you see people polluting. Plastic bags and bottles fly out of passing cars and buses and people consuming goods on the side of the road feel no qualms about just dropping their garbage at their feet. Signs asking people not to throw rubbish stand sorry and ignored. Someone needs to do something because it can’t continue without there being horrific consequences at some point in the near future.
As I mentioned earlier my body started to give up at about the 25km mark and the last 8km were a struggle (might have something to do with the 57km yesterday!) Nacaome is a decent sized town that lies on a low hill to the south of the highway. When you get to the centre there seem to be two very different areas. The first is the market where stalls line the streets selling anything and everything. The stalls run down the main roads and delve into the backstreets. Fruit and vegetables are the predominant goods but mobile phone shops are staking their claim as are the fired chicken restaurants. Further into the town is the more picturesque area with a large church facing a nice central square. There are pedestrian streets with benches and trees but as with many of the towns I have passed through there is a sense that Nacaome has seen better days. The building look tired and in some places have given into the ravages of time. That said there is a charm about the place and the people are kind, helpful and as always smiling!
My stomach problems continue which is unhelpful. There are a couple of ways I can deal with it – lock myself away for a couple of days and recover or just get on with things and suffer the potential consequences. Those who know me will not be surprised that the second option is what I have chosen. So when it came to dinner I decided that cooking in my room was not the way forward and I struck out into the dark streets. While the restaurants are pretty basic and not that inviting the main square seemed to offer an alternative. Street food! While probably not the sensible option for a man with a delicate tummy it was definitely the more adventurous. I did a lap of the square sussing out what was on offer and settled on my preferred option. It was called “Pamela” and was the best lit and had the most patrons – good signs! There was a long cooking area split into two areas. On the left was a hot plate with sizzling, marinated pork on one side and Gringas (tortillas filled with a tomato based sauce and fried) on the other. On the right was the deep fat frying section, again split into two sections. On one side was the fired bananas and on the other was the French fries with chorizo. I opted for the pork. It arrived in a large polystyrene foam box (and would probably end up on the side of a road!). Fried bananas, sliced length ways, were piled high with a coleslaw on one side and beautiful succulent meat on the other. A combination of mayonnaise, tomato and BBQ sauce is liberally dribbled on top. It was an amazing meal and while risky with my current stomach situation well worth the risk.
Tomorrow will see me make my way to San Lorenzo which is a mere 15-20km away. There I am hoping to sample some of the beautiful seafood ceviche I have read about and maybe enjoy a swim.
For anyone interested The Guardian, a UK national newspaper, published the following story on their running blog. I am very grateful for their support and interest.