Cross the border at El Amatillo, El Salvador, enter Honduras, turn left, keep going and eventually you reach the tiny municipality of Aramecina.
This is the second part of my story going off the beaten track in Honduras… (Read the first part here)
Pig led us sleepily to the heart of the town. A deserted playground and some dried out trees sit in the centre opposite the town hall – a grand building like something out of an old western movie. I want to explore and take photos, but the heat has made my legs so heavy, that I have no choice but to rest.
My stomach rumbles as the long journey takes it’s toll. There are no convenient tourist food stalls here. A large painted pepsi logo on the side of building suggests food – it’s a Pulperia – but it’s closed and there is no sign of life within. My heart sinks a little.
The buildings are low and painted in bright colours. We approach one that has bars on the windows and as we near it I spot a small sign creaking in the breeze. Comedor Abigail – hooray!
Abigail is nowhere to be seen. Approaching us is a large and serious looking man, who lets us in the door with a stern look. We are either late or early for lunch, but we can’t tell which.
There is a choice of chicken or fish. We both opt for chicken and essentially an ice cold beer.
The room is like a family dining room, with photos on the wall and it feels like we’re sitting in their personal space. Two small tables and a sideboard make up the comedor and the rest of the long room houses a comfy looking hammock and television.
The food is simple and really good. We eat in silence – ravenous after our long morning journey from San Salvador. The humidity rising steadily.
The atmosphere is hot in a way I have never experienced before. Like a weight on my whole body, the heat sits on and around me holding me in my spot. After my stomach is full, there is only one place I can go.
I sink into the hammock and the stern man brings me beer, while my friend curls up on the floor nearby. There is nothing else to do in this consuming heat and his family is not back until the work day finishes.
The local men arrive around two o’clock for their lunch. Everyone knows everyone and the banter is lively. A tall man wearing a full army uniform notices me sprawled out in the hammock and begins to approach.
Tourists don’t fit in here and I stand out with my glowing face – red from the heat and beer. I nervously sit up and fumble some Spanish as he addresses me – my friend looking on amused and waiting to correct my pronunciation. A huge smile creeps across the army man’s face as he hears my accent.
“Inglaterra!” – he beams and begins to wrack his brain for the English he learnt in school. I want to practice Spanish, but it seems to make his day to show off his language skills in front of his lunch buddies, who he animatedly translates the conversation back to. He is welcoming, but like I will discover of local people throughout my journey in Honduras, he is concerned for my safety and warns me to be careful.
It’s hard to understand how a country can be so dangerous, when all the people I meet are so incredibly friendly.
Next time… local festivities, iguanas and a scream mask…
What is your favourite memory of going off the beaten track?