It all started with a question to the woman at the counter of Hotel Molino, where I stayed for the night in La Esperanza, Intibuca, Honduras. Maybe I should blame Wikipedia for planting the idea – where ever I stay for the night, I try to find something interesting and worthy of time spent to check out.
Here is the entry in question: “Parque de Bosque Enano (Dwarf Forest) – A short drive out of town on the road to Marcala, the forest contains can encounter over 500 unique dwarf trees that grow less than half a meter tall. Scientists still do not know exactly why this forest exists, but it’s an interesting sight to see. There are no signs, services or designated areas; it is necessary to ask a local resident.”
So, the woman pointed me to the Oficina de tourism, near the church and police station. I was just about to give up because I was frustratingly lost in the busy centro of town, when I pulled right in front of the station. I went in to ask for a map. They looked at me funny. I went outside and asked the woman for directions, she looked at me funny, then spoke into her radio. All of the Spanish I just learned went out my ear. Honduran Spanish is something else and I couldn’t understand what she just said to me so I stared at her blankly. She radioed again. Two officers pull up on a little 125cc dirt bike. Follow them, she motioned. I looked at her blankly. She couldn’t really be motioning for me to follow. What am I getting myself into? But I did. I watched as they turned down a dirt road, then down an even smaller dirt road, then a rocky, water worn dirt road. There were several points where I wondered if this was a good idea as I watched this tiny motorcycle carrying two small Hondurans and a very large gun, bounce along the trail. There was no way I could have found it on my own. They couldn’t even find it and ended up asking two local for directions until we finally found the location. It looked like little twigs sticking out of mounds, but that was it. They were very helpful in pointing out every tree once we got there, so I obliged and took pictures of most of them.
The wind started picking up and I cold see rain starting to accumulate in the distance over town and heading our direction. The excursion of the dwarf forest was over and I wanted to head back before the dirt roads we just rode in on turned to a mud slick. I did not want to add picking up my fully loaded bike to my list of things to do today. So, we loaded up and headed back, slowly, and when I got to asphalt I honked my horn and waved and turned the other direction.
The two full days I spent in Honduras were a great time spent motorcycling. Honduras has some of the best roads and worst roads I have ridden on this trip so far. Big sweeping, banked curves for miles and miles up and over mountain passes. Then some portions haven’t seen maintenance in years and dodging potholes the size of my bike became a very attentive game. It was worthy of a pass through, but not on my list of countries to visit again.