16th February, 2006 // Honduras
Here we are at the beginning of the trip, sitting with...
This is at the end of our 8 hour hike to our first...
Here are two of the rafts checking out the wild banana...
A shot of some of the boys checking out the rapids...
A beautiful shot of the river just after sunrise
this entry is more for keri and i to have when we get back, than for you all to read. lots of notes taken from our crazy adventure through the mosquitia jungle region of honduras. unreal trip loaded with adventure, near death experiences, and bug bites. but well worth it....so feel free to not read this, we wouldnt if we were you! stay updated for another entry soon about life in general, and a great visit from nicks parents.
take care :
Team Name: "Los Mojados" y "Vamos Mojados"
Inspirational chant: NOW, HERE, THIS!
Wednesday, Jan 11, 2006
Most of team arrive to Tegucigalpa….meet up and prepare for departure tomorrow.
Thursday, Jan 12, 2006
Catch the 4:00pm bus to Campamento (White Bread and Xavier´s site). 2 1/2 hour, 32 lemp ride. Painless. Entire group meets up for the first time. Go big – party hard. Zach comes to party with us. Facials performed with natural (and not so natural) sounds in background.
Friday, Jan 13, 2006
Everyone pretty hungover! Take bus from Campamento to Juticalpa (32 lemps) and from Juticalpa to Catacamas (19 lemps). Left Campamento at 1:00 and arrived into Catacamas around 4ish. Keri holds bolsa for Nick on both busses just in case. Zach is still with us. Once in Catacamas – chicken complications at Café El Mirador (not recommended). Stayed at Hotel Catacamas – big bed, baño privado, y TV for 150 lemps. (clean and close to bus stop).
Bus info : bus headed to Dolce Nombre de Culmi leaves at 7:00am
Saturday, Jan 14, 2006
Take bus to Dolce Nombre de Culmi and from there catch a jalón to Bonanza. Arrived at house unexpected. They thought we were arriving on the 10 th instead. Guides nowhere to be seen. Stony slides in mud like pig. Starts the trip off right. Around 7ish, after dinner and during heavy rain – guides show up, but car is stuck in mud. Boys help pull truck uphill – they get very muddy. "Los lodosos poderosos". Slept like sardines on cold floor. Rab snored.
Sunday, Jan 15, 2006
Destination: 1st campsite
Wake up time at 5:30am. Best fried chicken breakfast ever! Late start because we are waiting for mules to arrive. At 9ish we begin to hike. Mino stays behind for mules, so Francisco, our 14 year old friend, leads the way. Lots of MUD!! Lunch at first quebrada (2ish). Still no Mino. More MUD during hike. Create fake scenario to teach group not to walk ahead to fast – Jason pretends to be lost. Nobody notices he is missing except Laura G. Lesson did not get taught too well.
First to bail – Laura K
Most mud falls – Natalie.
Coolest fall – Rab
Best save – Keri
Arrive to campsite around 5ish – set up camp (but set it up wrong because still no Mino). Mino finally arrives at 6ish. Baleadas at 8ish. Bed at 8:15.
Monday, Jan 16, 2006
Destination: 2nd campsite (improvised - ewok village), 6 km.
Notes: Kelly´s 29th birthday
Rafts Day 1:
-Keri, Stony, Rab (Mino – big mamma)
-Laura G, Adam, Kraig (Moncho – baby blue)
-Laura K, Nick, CJ (Luis – rojo)
-Natalie, Kelly, Jasón (Eddie – uva pelada)
Nice tranquilo morning – pre-planned. Mules arrive with equipment around 9:30 – but don't leave until 1:00 (late start). Nice riverside pasta lunch at 3ish. First rapid ran by Stony and Rab alone (without Keri or Mino). Victims to fall out of boat on day 1 – Laura G, Jason, Eddie, and Kelly (creating new nickname Kelly Falls). Cool animals seen – witnessed a hawk chase around a bird for a couple minutes and then catch and eat. VERY COOL! Also saw 3 scarlet macaws. Arrive at improvised ewok camp at dusk. First use of goldbond (boys rubdown on balls – stings. 10 minutes later everyone happy!)
*Note – Kelly had birthday surprise tonight. We all put on caps and sang and ate cancans with Peanut Butter. Given odd gifts such as a hot pair of speedos and green nail polish ?) Dinner was delicious – sopa de res con coco.
Tuesday, Jan 17, 2006
Destination: 3rd campsite (“sardine” beach), 9.8 km, 460 m altitude
Notes: Kelly has taken 249 pictures
Rafts Day 2:
-Natalie, Adam, Rab (Luis – rojo)
-Laura G, Stony, CJ (Eddie – uva pelada)
-Laura K, Kelly, Kraig (Mino – big mamma)
-Keri, Nick, Jason (Moncho – baby blue)
Wake up call 4: 30am (arriba, arriba, arriba, wake up, wake up, wake up). Still dark and really cold. Put on wet river gear and clean up shop. Just coffee – Reina taken away too fast. Leave camp at 6:45. Cold but beautiful start (30 min after sunrise). Stony fell – first to draw blood. Breakfast at caves at 10ish. Prior to breaky did 30 min hike to cave – saw owl on way and wild pavo. Waded into dark cave, saw old pottery – very cool. Scaled dangerous wall (some without headlamps – DARK!) After caves eat breakfast cereal. Continue on river. Cool animals seen – 1.tapirs (2 sightings – both while bathing) 2.scarlet & blue macaws 3.spider monkeys 4.white tailed deer 5.green iguana. Fishing pit stop (nothing caught). Kraig poops while treading water (aqua deuce) – poo floated). Continue on river – water wars, boat yoga (very impressive), vine swinging, more fishing (Mino´s shirt gets snagged – puts end to fishing). Lunch stop on rocky beach (salami & cheese sandwiches, first introduction of TANG). Jason washes wardrobe – boys go track tapirs. Continue 15 minutes (very relaxed) and arrive to beautiful sandy sardine beach (named so due to Rab and Laura catching 5 sardines) at 4ish. Shower in beautiful sunny river brook – best bath ever! Kelly arrives in gifted "panties" (looking HOT!) (Mino has same pair). Set up camp (prior to bath) and CHILL. Looking forward to open skies full of stars and non-muddy campsite.
*Note – late night fishing expedition – 5 catfish caught and cooked on open fire late night (CJ, Rab, Jason, and Stony enjoy).
Wednesday, Jan 18, 2006
Destination: 4th campsite (after subterráneo, “Flooded” camp), 5.8 km
Rafts Day 3:
-Natalie, Stony, Kraig (Moncho – baby blue)
-Laura G, Nick, Rab (Mino – big mamma)
-Laura K, Adam, Jason (Eddie – uva pelada)
-Keri, Kelly, CJ (Luis – rojo)
Wake up a bit later (6ish) to WETNESS! Pancakes for breakfast with good mango jelly. Homerun derby session and easy takeoff - optimistic start to day. Sun already is shining (nice change from yesterday). Within the first hour we saw troops of spider monkeys (6 troops seen throughout the day). Cool animals seen – 1.lapas (macaws) 2.iguanas 3.hawks 4.river otter 5.spider monkeys 6.blue butterfly (a.k.a guardian angel) 7.grey blue herring 8.osprey hawk. Came across large trees that hung over rock-side above river – JUMP time!! Rab tests out and everyone joins in. Jason does yoga on branch. Impressive. Lunchtime (tuna rolls) – girls catch up on gossip, boys play baseball. Head off from there to subterráneo. First rapid alter lunch (5 min). Eddie’s boat in the rear high sides and everybody flips. Adam and Jason flip without helmets (jason without lifejacket also), and Laura K all come out OK. Other 3 boats come to help rescue boat from trunk on rapid. Jason and Rab act heroic – rescue Laura’s x-mas present (fishing pole) – valiant effort. *Right when flip happens, starts to rain. Everyone gets serious. BUT – beautiful blue butterfly flutters by (guardian angel) – everyone sees it, and rain ceases. Subterráneo (water goes 30 meters under rock) arrives – beautiful boulders on both sides of river. Stop to check it out – iguana jumps in water in front of us and heads down valiantly towards the unknown. Portage time. Do a chain on side of river to get all bags out of rafts and carry to the other side on very slippery rocks. Then take the rafts down one by one with Mino as guide every time. Only those wanting life/death experience do the rapids. Carry rafts over where they cant pass and re-load. Slippery rocks with moss – Nick, Jason, and Kelly all bail (Kelly gets his ass in gear). Get back in rafts and pass a very cool big rock in the middle of river. 10 minutes later arrive at campsite. Set up shop and prepare for tomorrow. Level out spot for tents. Kraig, Adam, and Stony do Indian rain dance to stamp down sand – circle and arms up chanting. Continue to put up tent without words – sound like monkeys. Tiny frog (translucent green) found in boys tent while tracking tapirs. More catfish caught (2 big ones) and cooked on open fire. Baleadas, pouring rain, Moncho tries to catch fish with bare hands.
Thursday, Jan 19, 2006
Destination: 5th campsite (“Venado” beach), 8 km
Notes: Kelly has taken 565 pictures
Rafts Day 4:
-Natalie, Nick, Kraig (Luis – rojo)
-Laura G, Stony, Jason (Eddie – uva pelada)
-Laura K, Kelly, Rab (Moncho – baby blue)
-Keri, Adam, CJ (Mino - big mamma)
Wake up call – already daylight. Last night the rain flooded kitchen and guides tents. All rubber boots (except Mino’s) lost to the river – they had to move their tent in middle of night. Take down our camp and prepare for 2 more porteadas first thing this morning. Paddle in boats for 10 minutes. River has grown significantly and looks like the river in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. After short time we arrive to 1st porteada. Repeat yesterday but a bit easier. Rocks less slippery. Just the guides bring down the rafts one by one. Slot but steady process. CJ’s elbow begins testicle growth. A small “masked smilinska” frog found near CJ’s finger. Very cool. Paddle again in fun rapids for 5 minutes. Beautiful boulders on both sides. Arrive to 2nd porteada. Re-do unload and carry process. After baggage has been removed – the crazies battle death once again. First to dare class 4+ rapids were CJ, Adam, Eddie, and Mino. 2nd was Jason, Stony, and Rab with Mino. So far so good. 3rd group – Kraig, Laura G, Eddie and Mino – go down first rapid and get knocked around. Kraig and Eddie lose balance – Eddie falls out. Unable to get back in boat despite crews attempts between rapids. Crew refocuses, Eddie continues rapids alone in water. He arrives to biggest most dangerous spot (deep and powerful), goes under water, boat swims over, miraculously eddie grabs lifeline without anyone seeing. Eddie under water for a good 7 seconds. Seemed longer! After boat goes down, Eddie pops up with smile on face. Trooper! Eddie loses sock and paddle in process. Everybody shaken up but thankful – could have been a lot worse! Last boat continues down without complications. Continue paddling on and stop shortly after for a salami/cheese/cracker sandwich. After lunch everyone is very relaxed going down a more tranquilo river. Iguana hunting begins – first siting of large iguana – Mino scares it to jump, Adam jumps in to try to catch it with no idea what he should do if actually caught. Not to worry – it got away. 2nd attempt – failed. 3rd, 4th, and 5th attempts – failed also. Day getting later – we saw two white tail deer on beach – this becomes campsite #5. Venado beach named por eso. Nick jumps out on “sand” bottom – SINKS to just below knees. Laughs at first, then takes 2-3 more steps and begins to get really scared that the mud is eating him. Funny for everyone else. Nick jumps/leaps into Kraig’s arms – Kraig slaps Nicks ass – both appear to enjoy it. Camp set up with plenty of light time to spare. Bath time – Stony loses CJs soap and Kelly loses his 2nd bar of borrowed soap. (*Kelly borrowed Nats soap yesterday – lost it. Today Kelly asks kraig for soap, but kraig is hesitant to lend it – but does so specifying him NOT to lose it. Kelly loses anyway but feels bad, so instead adds sand to soapdish and hands back to Kraig. Kraig puts away in bag unaware – Kraig’s reaction to be continued). Follow up with goldbond in butt – very enjoyable. The reina is in beautiful locale – unreal 360 degree view. Justin jams on barrels – provides great under star atmosphere with drums in background.
*Bets made today:
1. Nick vs. Jason: # of porteadas today. Nick says 3, Jason says 2. The bet – loser wears Jasons ripped shorts in Tela and do handstand splits in pool. ( NICK LOSES)
2. Rab y Keri vs. Adam y Jason: Rage vs. Avarice as 7th sin. Rab y Keri say avarice, Adam y Jason say Rage. The bet – losers buy winners beer in Tela (and Adams first born child) (AVARICE is official sin…but Jason looks up old latin wording…both win)
3. Jason y Rab vs. Stony: Whether or not the lost Eddie paddle would be found. Jason y Rab say yes, Stony says no. The bet – loser has to buy winner(s) good beer in Tela. (STONY LOSES – Keri finds paddle around the next curve).
Friday, Jan 20, 2006
Destination: 6th campsite (“Candle-rock” beach)
Rafts Day 5:
-Natalie, Nick, CJ (Eddie – uva pelada)
-Laura G, Kelly, Rab (Mino - big mamma)
-Laura K, Adam, Stony (Luis – rojo)
-Keri, Kraig, Jason (Moncho – baby blue)
Some boys start day with "jogging in the jug". Wake up 6ish. During breakfast hear Kraig down at river yell "KELLY!!" Joke has been discovered, he opened his soap dish. Stony slept on beach last night – woke up itchy. Tripod becomes useful for the first time – group photo taken prior to departure. Thanks Kelly!! Late start – head out on rafts around 8:30ish. Very chill morning with few rapids. Laid back beginning, Mino pounds rum – our life is in his hands…yeah! HUGE iguana sighting 30 feet above river on tree limb. Attempt made to catch it – iguana jumps all the way down to water and splashes close to boat…gets away. Nick and CJ play around on boat – Nick fakes falling out, CJ pulls him up and re-throws back into the water. Nick hits face first on rock – comes up bloody. First scar of trip. Jason, Kraig, and Keri make up tunes:
UVA: - uva is a slow boat, lazy boat, playing on the river, gonna get yourself hurt one day
- you got blood on your face, big disgrace, throwin' your boat mates all over the place
ROJO: - rojo's a stinky boat, smelly boat, gotta hold your nose when you paddle on by
- lost your bar of soap, you smell like dope, get your stinking demons exorcised by the pope
Singing – baby blue will ram you….baby blue will sink you!!
CJ acts as guide for a bit. Very close tapir sighting – see its white ear tips…very cool! Rab swings on tree vine like Tarzan – branch falls on Nick's head – luckily he is wearing his helmet. Lunch is upstream a creek…water is beautiful green. Have lunch before beautiful rapids – priceless. Nick aqua deuces. Cool animals seen – 1.tapir 2.river otter 3.turtle 4.tucan 5.iguanas 6.hawks 7.macaws 8.spider monkeys (seen up close). Gossip of the day: Mino thought wife was a prostitute in bar. He ended up dating her, impregnating and marrying her – a young girl of 15 years his minor. Arrive to camp early, plenty of time to set up. Boys go down rapid before camp with just vests and helmets. Had so much fun they wanted to do it again…adam loses shoe and recaptures and end of rapid. CJ rocks/jams on drums – very cool atmosphere with candles on rocks and drum noise in background.
Saturday, Jan 21, 2006
Destination: Las Marias, 20 km
Rafts Day 6 (last day in Rafts):
-Natalie, Jason, CJ (Mino - big mamma)
-Laura G, Kelly, Stony (Luis – rojo)
-Laura K, Kraig, Rab (Eddie – uva pelada)
-Keri, Adam, Nick (Moncho – baby blue)
Wake up late without “arriba, arriba, wake up, wake up” Eddie call. Rainy and wet morning – but hot pancakes and coffee for breakfast….YUMMY! After packing up, group decides to run rapid with just life vest and helmet to start the day. GREAT idea. Super fun and wakes you up. After everyone is refreshed – we jump in the rafts to start off with a rapid. Could the morning be any better? Continue rest of day very chill. Tranquilo paddling in pouring rain. Cool to be in but a bit cold and wet. After lunch we run into petroglyphs on rocks supposedly over 3000 years old. Run into first humans seen in a week. Pesch communities scattered throughout. Mino drinks rum and picks up on some ladies while informing boat how many of them he has banged. At 3ish we arrive to where we will be staying in Las Marias. People talking Misquito – very cool to hear. Our hospedaje is a wood bed with colchon, clean sheets, mosquito net, and thatched roof – very very lujo and it feels great to get and stay dry. First cold beer for 30 lempiras – expensive but tastes GOOD! Kelly and Stony run to a “pulperia” – talk to some locals on the way. Successful mission on finding cigarettes and thoroughly enjoy the walk. Dinner is yucca, rice, spaghetti, and chicken. So very good! Stony drinks the chicken juice from the pot – kind of gross but everyone understands why he does it. Early night – GREAT sleep!
* CJ goes from “cousin Justin” to “tio creepy”
Sunday, Jan 22, 2006
Wake up early to hot breakfast and rain. After breakfast load up canoe #1 with bags and pile ourselves into canoes #2 and #3. At first it is very fun and cool – especially for all the boys that “tracked tapirs” early in the morning. Sitting in wooden chairs lined in canoe and going at good speed with motor. First hour passes – rain is pouring down and asses are already sore. Only 4 more hours to go. Finally after going through river, then canal like mangroves, and then to what opens up to a huge lagoon – we arrive to Raista. One canoe breaks down and has to get towed in. Eat bomb ass lunch at Elma´s kitchen – hot fish, rice, and yucca. Delicious! Following lunch it is time to decide if we should continue on to Palacios or remain in Raista. After 4 or 5 frustrating vote – outcome is to stay. Turns out they have direct satellite TV – Broncos/Steelers AFC championship game on live! Wow, and in a town that has no electricity. Say goodbye to guides for first time. Half of group stays to watch game and other half takes a walk to the next town over. The walkers thoroughly enjoy themselves. Stony acts as ambassador – tries to speak spanish to Misquito children – they only reply in Misquito. Rain continues on/off all day. Meanwhile the Broncos are losing. Very relaxing, tranquilo afternoon. Night falls – fireflies go off! Like a firework show on the ground. Delicious dinner in which Kelly ate about 12 deep fried tortillas. Afterwards, majority go to boys cabin. Play some cribbage, drink beer, chat, and go to big comfortable bed with mosquito net. Turns out to be a great thing we stayed in Raista.
* CJ goes from “tio creepy” to “adolf”
Monday, Jan 23, 2006
Wake up at 4:30 – still dark outside. Begin waiting for boat at 5ish. Continue waiting for boat till 6:30. Finally boat arrives with young kid and drunk friend. No, belligerent friend better said. And it is only 6:30 in the morning. Pile into small boat with big motor – hard to get weight evenly distributed. Feel like we are going to tip. Change drivers (thankfully) and lose drunk friend (again, thankfully). While changing drivers see, see two motored canoes carrying big 4WD truck. Pretty remarkable. Continue on with new driver for about 10 minutes in tranquilo water – then get out to ocean. OH MY GOD! Scared for our lives – felt like we were in the “perfect storm” (without life vests too!). Luckily we made it out alive to the town of Iriona. There we see our guides again, who have arranged car to take us to Tocoa for 150 lemps a head. Say goodbye to guides again. Cram in the back of pila with all our stuff – most uncomfortable jalon ever. Exhaust fumes suffocating us. One hour into ride the car tire comes off. Stopped for 11/2 hours or so while they try to fix. Pushing it on time because last bus supposedly leaves Tacoa for Ceiba at two. Mino and guides drive by (looking for beers) and we decide to transport 4 of us in his car to make ride more comfortable. Tire gets fixed. Group splits for the first time. Say goodbye to guides for the last and final time. Rest of group continues on in pila. Rain outside, brakes don’t work very well, driver is FLYING! Scared for life AGAIN! Mud is splattering everywhere. Finally arrive in Tacoa to catch 2:40 directo bus to Tela! YEAH!! Just glad we are all still alive. See Mino and guides car – yell them down – group is back together again! Jason and Laura cant find bag with wallets and camera – bad news! Finally get on bus to arrive in Tela at 6:30 pm. We are all very stinky on bus and get looks from other passengers. Get to hotel, shower, and meet up for nice dinner at Cesar Mariscos. Everyone is clean and happy to be here!! WE MADE IT! Jungle Funk acquired: Stony’s feet are VERY swollen. He is not comfortable. Adam has weird red spots on bottom of feet. Natalie’s toes are swollen and burn.
* CJ goes from “adolf” back to “cousin Justin”
*Ropa Americana deal – tomorrow group will drop off clothes off at Laundromat, go Ropa shopping and buy outfit for person you drew:
1. Keri buying for Adam
2. Nick buying for Jason
3. Kraig buying for Nick
4. Kelly buying for Keri
5. Natalie buying for Kelly
6. Jason buying for Rab
7. Laura K buying for Natalie
8. Adam buying for Laura K
9. CJ buying for Stony
10. Stony buying for CJ
11. Laura G buying for Kraig
12. Rab buying for Laura G
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