Week 2, part A - Plantation Beach Resort to Cuero y Saludo Wildlife Refuge

Dec. 13-14, 2005 --- We had been south of the border for a week.  This album starts with the last full day (the 13th) at the resort on the scenic large island of the Cayos Cochinos group in the Honduran Bay Islands.  The next day we would head back to the mainland, the town of La Ceiba and then 33 km west to spend the night at a nature preserve on the coast.  This remote preserve is known for its local manatees (which we didn't see), howler monkeys (saw & heard), a wide variety of bird species, crocodiles (ripples not photogenic), and a small village population that was allowed to stay when this area received "national designation as a protected area" in 1986.


Peg pauses on the trail from our room to the dining hall for breakfast

From the same trail, a view of the dock on the bay - a view of which we never tired.

Taking a little break in the hectic morning, we gaze out over the water.

A local fisherman passes by in his home made sail boat.

Hadessa gives Suska her daily language lesson at the dining hall table.

Leaving the dock for a tour around the island, we look back toward the dining hall and dive shop.

Interesting ancient rock slides and dwarf palm plantations surprise us on the north side of the island.

Keith, Captain Danny, and Suska enjoy the vista as we near Danny's recommended dive spot. Clear blue water & magnificent coral enhanced the already gorgeous fish.

We arrive at the best snorkeling place on the island.  We are met underwater with colorful tropical fish & get a special treat as a large tortoise shares her area. 

Returning to Plantation Beach Resort, we try to spot our rooms through the jungle greenery (bits of red roof showing center).

We watch the evening sun set over the "brontosaurus" shape of the island to the west.

Roger Remington, manager, entertains Suska and Peter, the Resort's Mr. Fix-it & carpenter, with some tall tale.

Mauricio make his second set of pina coladas - another sweet success to end the last day here.

Saying goodbye to the lovely, relaxing week becomes inevitable (l-r: Mauricio, loyal Cuba, Peg). Acting as tour agent, Mauricio helps line up our next days of touring.

Those going to the mainland gather at the dock and start loading. A difficult time saying our goodbyes to new friends.

The launch pulls away from the dock at PBR taking us back to LaCeiba.

Suska watches her retirement dream island go by and disappear from view. 

Roger and Danny maneuver us toward the dock at La Ceiba getting ready for their week end on shore. (Peter's beautiful wooden sailboat is docked just behind the top of Danny's cap in this pic.)

A parting shot of the crew that provided such a great week for us.

On to our next adventure, a visit to a nature reserve area where the Cuero and the Salado Rivers join (this sign at highway turn-off).  

The road to the wildlife refuge led first through local pineapple plantations.

The tiny village of La Union was the drop off point for the old narrow gauge railway . . . yes, that's the engine (center of picture)

Passengers ride in the front car on tiny tracks that often disappear into the grass - rear car carries cargo. The tiny "engine" is gasoline powered.

A brief stop at the place where cassava roots are made into a flat bread-like food product enjoyed by the native Garifuna people and others.

Here the sheets of the yucca product are lightly baked before packaging under the brand name of "Poli."

Soon we arrive at the study and interpretive station for this national preserve.

Walking the river trail towards the sea, we see the fishermen returning from their day at the river's mouth.  The dramatic black plastic sails are very functional.

Suska gets an opportunity to look closely at some local varieties of birdlife on the shoreline.

Keith enjoys a great plate of local Garifuna cooking with platina, a freshly caught fish and rice.  

There was a late afternoon walk where we enjoyed indigenous trees & caught brief glimpses of several tropical birds, plus monkeys. 

The special time was the early morning boat trip up the river to see & hear many special bird species - Crocs swam nearby.

Something there is that loves the sun rising in a strange and new place on the planet. 

We return just in time to quickly pack & board the return "train" to our car for a ride to Tela, further west along the north coast of Honduras.

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