Sunday, September 6, 2009

Pulhapanzak Falls

Before the soccer game yesterday, Elisa and I went trekking out of Comayagua for the first time and took a bus north towards el Lago de Yojoa. It was one of those days where we didn´t really have a plan, we just went out on a scouting mission to see what was there. It´s this beautiful lake in central-western Honduras that´s fed by waters from a nearby cloud forest. The bus passed by all these little restaurants with fresh fish from the lake that we have sworn to go to next time when hopefully we find a more flexible mode of transportation.

The waterfall, about 25 minutes north of the lake, was AMAZING!!! It had the same soaking mist as Niagara Falls so I´m surprised that any of my pictures came out with all the water droplets on my lens! I didn´t learn too much about the history of the area, but I did figure out that Pulhapanzak is a Mayan word (western Honduras is about the farthest extent of the range of the Maya). I was glad I had Elisa as my day trip buddy because she helped me notice a lot of amazing little creatures and details while we were walking around. We saw leaf-cutter ants (she told me that they harvest leaves not to eat themselves, but to feed the fungus that they cultivate to feed their entire colony--how cool is that?? Agricultural ants!), a whole bunch of amazing land snails that loved soaking up the moisture from the spray from the falls, and Elisa´s favorite, the fuzzy white caterpillar (barely visibe in the picture below). I enjoyed checking out all the crazy plants climbing up and hanging down off the trees.

Right when Elisa and I had finished checking out the falls and were wondering what else there was to do, one of the guides there convinced us to take the ¨cave tour.¨ This consisted of getting into our bathing suits, walking down under the waterfall under slippery rocks, getting a pounding from the water above, and tucking ourselves into a few little coves and a bigger cave behind the waterfall. The water was pounding down so hard that all I could see was white spray, sometimes my feet, and my sopping wet hair in my face. The guide would grab us by the hand and lead us one by one through the sections under the falls, showing us where to place my feet. because visibility was so short, I wonder how anyone was able to find the caves in the first place!! Essentially every time I would go ahead and wait for the guide and Elisa to come meet me, all I could see was white, thinking, are they coming? Are they ok? And then at the last second they would appear out of the mist right when they were upon me. It reminds me a lot of the scene from the last of the Mohicans when they do the same thing, only in our case it was a lot more waterfall and a lot less cave. It was so much fun and definitely an adrenaline rush. Here´s a gratuitous swimsuit photo with our guide, Luis.

I can´t wait to get back to el Lago de Yojoa to be able to explore more. There´s a microbrewery that was unfortunately not open for lunch when we got there, and I must get back there!! The beer here is not much to write home about, haha. There´s also several national parks and private ecological reserves in the area that are great for wildlife watching. Perhaps next time it will be a weekend trip instead of a day trip for scouting. Anyone who´s considering visiting... this could be a lot of fun!! :)

1 comment:

  1. jealous!

    it will make you feel even better to know that as you are exploring waterfalls and parks, we are working our butts off. so, uh, what spots do they still have open? :D

    ps you are now added to my google reader so i will know instantaneously when you update. so i expect updates :)