The Lung of the City

I am equally grateful for and fed up with uneventful weeks in Tegucigalpa. In a place where so much could go wrong, we’ve yet to have even a minor crisis (unless you count my unfortunate first attempt at parallel parking). On the other hand, the days are long and often without much positive excitement either.

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Following the yellow dirt road into the clouds.

In an attempt to restore sanity, I pestered J into venturing to La Tigra National Park, just north of Tegucigalpa. Of course when I say “just north” I mean a 13 mile drive that takes no less than an hour. Because Honduras. You simply follow the mountain road past El Picacho and keep going until things get a little sketchy and you feel good about buying a 4WD vehicle after all.

Established in 1980, La Tigra was the country’s first national park. To my surprise (and contrary to what the road there would have you believe), it’s home to a number of well-marked and well-maintained trails. We opted for the shortest trail, aptly named “Bosque Nuboso” (cloud forest), as the park literally nestles inside the clouds at 6,000-7,000 feet.

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Jurassic Park vibes

Other trails will lead deeper into the cloud forest where you can find a small waterfall and probably the wildlife that eluded us this weekend. La Tigra is home to many of the magnificent birds in Honduras, including toucans and quetzals. For reasons unknown, they didn’t respond to our coaxing shouts of “Where you at birds?” I blame the language barrier.

The lack of animal sitings didn’t dampen our short hike (though the thick mist from being inside a cloud dampened just about everything, so camera lovers beware.) If nothing else it was nice to remind our neglected legs that they are indeed made for walking. I’ve heard La Tigra described as “the lung of the city” and I’d have to agree. It was a welcome breath of fresh air, quite literally, as this sign reminded us.

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Breathe deep; clear air area.

 

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