Tag Archives: hot springs

Gracias Lempria and Gracias Suyapa

2 Jul

“I can’t think of anything that excites a greater sense of childlike wonder than to be in a country where you are ignorant of almost everything.”

~ Bill Bryson

My last weekend in Honduras was spent with my host-mum and her friend Claudia in Gracias Lempira. It was a relaxing, terrifying and lovely way to end my trip.

I’ll get to the terrifying bit in a moment, first the relaxing part. 😉

Gracias Lempira is a small colonial town famous for its aguas termales (hot springs). It’s about a six hour drive from Tegus in the north-west of Honduras.

We left at about 3.30pm on Friday after work and arrived around 9.30pm that evening. My host-mum said the first thing we’d do after checking into our hotel was visit the hot springs.

I thought she was joking, but she was serious. After four and half months of having a ‘night time is dangerous’ mantra drilled into me, I have to admit I was a little nervous at the thought of being out and about so late.

Gracias Lempira is a tranquil and secure little town though, so people visit the hot springs at all hours with no worries. It was lovely. There were families and groups of friends and everyone was chilled out and relaxed.

The water was the perfect temperature and I swear I fell asleep for a moment while floating. It was like being in a giant bath. We returned to the hotel just after midnight and as soon as my head hit the pillow I slept like a rock. Bliss.

The next day we strolled around a local market before heading to a store that sold a huge variety of jarred and pickled fruits and vegetables, chutneys and chillies. I loved all the vibrant colours and shapes in jar after jar lined up on their shelves.

Pickled veges

They also sold a range of natural paletas (ice blocks). I had a pineapple one on day one and a passion fruit one on day two. Both were delicious.

Paletas

That afternoon we headed out to an even smaller town called La Campa. This is where the terrifying aspect of the weekend comes into play.

La Campa is famous for having Central America’s highest canopy zip line. There are six lines that zig zag across a canyon, the highest being more than 300 metres above the valley.

My host mum and Claudia had both indicated they would throw themselves off the cliff with me, but once we were there and they could see the impressive drop they both chickened out. I was abandoned!

Extreme Canopy

The first line was the scariest. Waiting and watching the others only increased my nerves, but once I’d done the first zip line (and my hands and legs stopped trembling) it was simply a blast.

This is a video of me on the second line. I was calm enough to hold the camera reasonably steady.

And after the second line I even got up enough confidence to give myself a running start off some of the other platforms. It was a huge amount of fun.

There are two sets of hot springs in Gracias so that evening we headed out to the other aguas termales. This time I remembered to take my camera, although it was a little difficult to take photos with all the steam.

Aguas termales

Before I knew it, Sunday had arrived and it was time to head home to Tegus after a brilliant weekend away.

* * * * *

I’m dedicating this post to my host-mum, Suyapa. In our short time together she has travelled with me to an amazing number of Honduran cities and towns. I can’t express how grateful I am for her generosity and the time she’s dedicated to showing me her country and culture.

She’s been a wonderful ‘tour guide’ and friend. I feel blessed to have been placed in her family and to have had her support throughout my stay.

Suyapa, gracias por todo. ¡Le extrañaré un monton!