Cave Spiders, Headache Herbs, and Elephant Ears — Oh My!
I’ve been meaning to blog about the last trip we took to what has become our go to weekend destination, Lago Yojoa, except life kept getting in the way. But if I don’t send out family-focused blogs now and again grandparents get twitchy and nobody wants that!
Yajoa has become our go-to weekend destination — it’s only a few hours away and the roads to the lake are good. Also, why wouldn’t you want to spend as much time as possible here …
Normally we stay at the absolutely awesome D & D Lodge but my dad was visiting so we wanted to rent a house and we snagged this one at the coffee finca next to the D & D . The house is on stilts and it was fun to feel like we were sleeping in the trees!
There are beautiful trails in the finca, which we always enjoy exploring!
This time we found a gorgeous blue lagoon!
D & D offers fun excursions and we decided to take a day long hike to a cave up in the mountains. Quite some time ago, when the Peace Corps still existed in Honduras, a volunteer, together with people who live in communities in the mountains, organized a tourism co-op. Once the volunteer left, the co-op continued on and D & D works with the local guides when they have visitors who want to find a bit of adventure.
Ours began with a ride in the back of a pickup. The kids thought that was pretty much the coolest thing ever, I was only slightly terrified because what could go wrong while riding in the back of a pickup truck up steep, muddy, mountain roads, right?
There were some spots in the road that were extra rough so we got out an hoofed it behind the truck.
Eventually we got to the point in the road where the truck just couldn’t go so the hike began.
Our first stop was a spot where folks gather the coffee beans and ginger they pick in the mountains. So. Much. Coffee.
And then we started our climb up into the jungle!
Along the way our amazing guide, Dennis, taught us about the local plants and what their different uses were. It looks like Liam isn’t too sure about the taste of this one …
But he was totally down with the one that cures headaches!
Dennis also picked some very yummy citrus fruit for our snack!
And, fortified, the hike continued!
Eventually we reached the cave, as you can see everyone was quite chuffed! Okay, just Liam, I think the others were just happy to have arrived.
I’m going to stop here and say I love caves — when they have interior lighting and you don’t have to noticeably descend while you’re in them. As you can see, there were no lights in the cave and the reason everyone is looking down is because they were watching Dennis climb down the rickety, wooden ladder that took you deeper into the cave.
Eric and I were more than a little nervous about our kids going down the ladder and deeper into the cave. Our youngest was gung-ho from the beginning, he tends to be rather fearless. The older two were a tad uncertain but, in the end, decided they wanted to do it. Eric and I talked it over — firmly on the side of “no” at first and then realized, why the hell are we in Honduras if we won’t let the kids go on adventures like this? So, down the ladder everyone climbed!
We explored the main section a bit and decided it was wise to not go any deeper since we had only flashlights, but it was pretty cool to wander about, at least until Aisleen came within a hair’s breath of putting her hand on this spider …
She had been chatting away until Dennis got her attention and told her not to run her hand along the wall, which she’d been doing as she talked. Then he shined his light at the spot right in front of where her hand had been, I was certain her screams were going to cause a cave in — she and I have a spider thing and this guy was the size of Eric’s hand (he’s nearly 6’5 so you have an idea of how big the spider was).
We decided it was time to head back and have lunch so we said goodbye to the cave
and headed down the mountain, stopping for some freshly picked bananas along the way!
Of course, it started to rain because — jungle. But that’s what the huge leaves, called Elephant Ears among other things, are for!
The hike ended at Dennis’ house where his lovely family hosted us for lunch. We were tired, a little muddy …
but thoroughly enjoyed ourselves! Despite the look on Ry’s face here …
After lunch we climbed into the truck and headed back to D & D!
The next day, before heading home, we took a morning hike through the national park down the road from D & D, where there are Lenca ruins. This is a spot we always hike when we come to Yojoa because it’s so gorgeous — also pretty cool to think about walking in the footsteps of the Lenca.
This was a wonderful adventure for us, complete with doing something that was a bit frightening but, as we say in running, the only way to get comfortable in your discomfort zone is to spend time there! Also, we’ve decided to take advantage of the fact that Honduras is a hardship post and we, therefore, have the option to extend our assignment for a year. So we’re here for another nearly two and a half years — loads of time to find more adventures!