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'18 Oct: Buenos Aires, Argentina
A few days before Uruguay and then back in November.
'18 Oct: Iguazu Falls, Brazil and Argentina
2 nights in Argentina
1 night in Brazil
1 night in Argentina
'18 Oct: Asuncion, Paraguay
Only four short nights.
'18 Sep: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
First stop in a big city run through the East coast of South America. Here you'll find many of Rio's greatest hits.
'16 May: Cuenca to Quito, Ecuador
From Cuenca to Quito and a week of homestay and Spanish class.
'16 May: Galapagos, Ecuador
This is going to be amazing.
'09 Feb: Antigua, Guatemala
The town center is a UNESCO World Heritage site and a very cool place to visit.
'09 Mar: Lago Atitlán, Guatemala
Visiting the lake villages of San Pedro, San Marcus, Panajachel, Sololá, Santiago, and the market town of Chichicastenango.
'09 Mar: Copán Ruinas, Honduras
Another UNESCO World Heritage site (can't go wrong there), a sweet town, and another week of español.
'09 Mar: Finca El Cisne, Honduras
Worth a trip to Honduras.
'09 Mar: Flores & TIKAL, Guatemala
Isla de Flores, a veeery small place, and TIKAL, the largest Maya city yet uncovered.
'04 Oct: Patagonia
Breathtakingly gorgeous Patagonia including Punta Arenas, the Seno Otway inlet, some other places but most staggeringly breathtaking of all, Torres del Paine.
'04 Nov: Machu Picchu
As Utterly aSTOunding as they say.
'04 Nov: Amazon Jungle
Puerto Maldonado, our camp, Reserva Amazonica along the river Madre de Dios in the Zona Reservado Tambopata.




Click HERE and all the pictures in this chapter will get big.

March 22-23

What we have now is a 24 hour tour full of Such delights, here at Finca El Cisne, home of Carlos and his extended family.

Out the window of the van. The countryside was as pretty as any I have ever passed through with trees of many varieties, rivers, crop lands, just every green thing. It was gorgeous.

This is the guest house where the overnighters stay. It was here where Carlos greeted us...

...and then stayed with us for the whole day and night entertaining us with stories and activities.

There were seven tourists for the day and three of us spent the night.

The finca, meaning 'farm' or 'property', was more like a feudal estate with miles and miles of various crops, livestock, processing plants, and a huge number of resident workers whose homes are owned by Carlos's family.

It’s Sunday and Sunday is payday at the finca. It was like a little mini-fiesta on the road where whole families gathered out in front of the line of workers waiting to get their turn. Even the ice-cream man was there.

After our welcome cup of coffee, grown and processed there with milk from their cows, it was time to head up to 'the big house' (meaning Carlos's parent's house) from where we walked to the horses, saddled up and ready to go.

That's Carlos, leading the way. It was such beautiful countryside, a little hot too but not so hot as to bother the fun especially since it was also cloudy and the riding kicked up a breeze.

Carlos was SOO proud of his three baby horses all three born within three days of each other and less than a week ago.

He has 33 horses now and told us the lineage of every single one.

Yipeee. Again, it's Carlos Carlos all about Carlos. At this point in the ride he had us stop, he gathered up all the cameras and snapped away, telling us to move here or there, exclaiming each time that he was an excellent photographer and this was the best picture he had ever taken. This one might very well be.

Like I keep saying, the countryside was gaga on top of which the horses were a total blast to ride, going when you said go and stopping when you said stop. We could just ride. Can't hope for more!

This is the mother-daughter pair from Belgium who also spent the night.

The daughter, 18 years old, had been in Honduras for 8 months and her Spanish was excellent, as was her English and no doubt her Flemish and her French. It's a long story about how miserable she has been and her mother came out to figure if anything could be done since they had paid for a 10 month stay.

The mother promised to write with the end of the story which I am very curious to learn!

Here's the whole gang. The two from Belgium, two from Italy who compared all things to what similar thing they had in Italy with the Italian version coming out the superior, which makes them sound like a pain but actually it got to be quite funny, and a young couple from San Diego who had done a lot of adventure travel, and of course, Carlos.

We're taking a break from riding and Carlos is telling us about the fish farm, more horse begats because we could see several from this spot, about what grows where...it was charming.

Then after a wash-up we ate a truly delicious meal back at Mom's with every ingredient coming from the finca.

Time for the coffee tour. Coffee is their main crop and the focus of the tour.

Oh yeah, Carlos knew stuff about coffee. We learned about shade-grown, about the different roasts, how good coffee and bad coffee can come from the same plant etc etc and more.

A part of the processing facility. You might remember from San Pedro La Laguna that the coffee was in the processing phase there. By now that season is over and the coffee is going to be growing until around September when the process begins again.

We ended the day at a local hot springs. Because it was Sunday there were crowds of local people filling the soaking pools so we, all eight of us, slogged through that river to sit where you see the woman there. Maintaining my 'g' rated narrative, I had to photoshop her a top!

The waterfall is pouring out scalding hot water directly from the spring while the river runs cold from its source and in that place you can control the mix of hot and cold by where you place some diverting rocks. We all looved it.

So the going-back people went back and the staying people settled in for a candle lit dinner and evening. There was electricity in the bathrooms but otherwise, we went with candles. And we went to bed very early!

Good morning! Setting up for breakfast. YUM!

Half the front patio of the guest house.

A neighbor off to work...

Then I decided to take advantage of the free-wheelin' non-laws when it comes to pick-up trucks, and rode the hour back to Copán standing in the back. F.U.N!

(It was of course Carlos who stopped the truck and organized this photo.)

Carlos, at the office in town catching up with his emails and doing some paperwork. He has to take a break from guests every now and then since when he has a tour he doesn't do anything else.

I almost didn't get to go because Sunday was my only day and he was hoping not to work on Sunday. So if you are ever going to find yourself in Honduras, make sure you plan ahead to go to Finca El Cesna. You'll be glad you did.
Click HERE and all the pictures in this chapter will get big.


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