One of the big reasons we love longterm travel over short one-week vacations is that if there is a hiccup in plans, like getting sick or poor weather, it does not have an effect on the overall experience. When traveling for 120 days in a foreign land with varying climates and levels of sanitation, one is bound to get sick. Travel days are sometimes a challenge and in the previous four days, we spent an hour on a ferry, six hours on a bus and five hours in a car. We decided to stay put for a few days at D&D Brewery and Lodging in Los Naranjos to rest and recover and this sleepy town was the best place to do it.
Aside from the postcard mountain top town of Alegria in El Salvador, we have not come across so many flowers in all our travels throughout Central America as we have in Los Naranjos. Over the past three days, we spent hours walking up and down all the tiny dirt roads where flowers and fruit trees literally spill over the yards onto the street and the smiles on the locals are as bright as the paint on their colorful homes. In Los Naranjos, hibiscus and poinsettias are 8 ft tall, Japanese pears are falling from the sky and branches droop from the weight of plump fresh limes. Every single person in this village would stop what they were doing to either come up to touch your cheeks, pinch your toes or wave at you as we walked by. Los Naranjos lays in a valley between 9000 foot mountains that seem to shoot straight up out of the earth, so no matter which direction we walked, a towering peak draped in clouds was in our field of view. Combined with little old coffee farmers wearing cowboy hats and swinging machetes as they walked, kids of all ages playing barefoot soccer and neurotic chickens scratching their way around town, Los Naranjos could be miniaturized into a snow globe to reflect authentic Honduras.
We also took a few days to really load up on our fruits and vegetables. The bulk of typical food throughout Central America is rice, beans and tortillas which are usually fried with vegetables found in trace amounts. While walking one morning, we saw a man selling fresh produce out of the back of his pickup truck. We love finding these guys because you know this is as fresh as it gets. We bought a head of lettuce, carrots, green pepper, tomatoes and avocado for salad and used lime and fresh cilantro for a dressing. This became our lunch for three days and boy, did we all enjoy it. It is funny that a couple of non-drinkers found their way to a Brewery, but we were also the only three on Utila not diving. D&D also has a fantastic menu and over the course of three evenings, we indulged in the hearty pumpkin cashew soup, vegetable soup and broccoli cream soup. We also tried a vegetable burrito, strawberry and banana smoothie as well as a large piece of chocolate cake. Asher, you loved all of it (aside from the cake) as much as your parents did and we were happy to see you filling up on quality calories.
With our bellies full and our bodies rested, we did some pre-packing so we would be ready for our 6am departure to Siguatepeque.