The travel day to Gracias was a doozy but you hung in there all the way. We did our usual routine and got to the bus terminal in La Esperanza by 7:45am. We asked around if there was a direct bus to Gracias and several people confirmed that there was. We have not waited for a bus yet in Honduras so when 8:30 rolled around, we started asking around again. Turns out there is no direct bus, and you have to take a bus to San Juan and then transfer to a Gracias bound bus. The real annoying part is that we watched three San Juan buses leave the terminal and the next one wouldn’t leave for an hour. This didn’t seem to phase you and you showed off your EC skills in the terminal while we waited. The roads to Gracias were definitely considered “secondary” but potholes and all, they were still much better than the roads on our Central America trip five years ago and once again, we were rewarded with spectacular views. La Ruta Lenca, the back door culturally rich route to Copan, is not on the Gringo trail, yet it is the most traditional we have experienced in Honduras thus far. In San Juan, we crammed ourselves into the front of a twelve seater minibus and you enjoyed the window seat with the breeze blowing in your wispy blond hair. You were awake for this entire two hour ride, entertaining the guests and distracting the driver with your cuteness.
When we arrived in Gracias, we all piled into a three wheeled tuc tuc with our packs and drove to park central. From there, we scoured the town on foot looking for a hotel in our budget. Your mom has a knack for spotting things and it wasn’t long before we found a nice hotel with a garden courtyard for just $12 a night. We dropped off our gear then beelined for the market to buy supplies for a dinner salad. With bellies full of fiber, we spent the evening strolling around central park which was all lit up with Christmas lights. Of all the central parks we have seen in our travels, we agreed that Gracias has the best vibe. Throngs of kids climb all over the jungle gym while parents mingle nearby, eating food prepared by the friendly street vendors. Young couples in love walk hand in hand and the aged sit on park benches soaking it all in. Central parks are supposed to be the heart of the community and in Gracias, this park was pulsing with spirit. Gracias, Gracias.