During my taxi ride to Jungle River, Raul gave me a taste of Honduran reality and a few jokes in between. Apparently, in La Ceiba not that long ago, people were robbing taxi drivers at gun point when the sun went down. Especially early morning cab calls to the bus station or ferry. The robber would call a taxi to take them to the ferry and would have them come to a dark and deserted street then rob them. To combat the problem, taxi drivers teamed up with hotels and hostels to arrange for secure pick ups for both taxi driver and tourist. Raul had jumped on board with Jungle River after being robbed at gunpoint himself. He said it was terrifying to have cold metal put to your temple and all your money from the day’s work stolen. No money is worth your life.
He dropped me off at Jungle River Lodge and stayed around the lodge saying hello to friends and arranging a beer run for some people sitting at a table. This place was cool.
I walked down some steps into the bar area of the lodge and was greeted by a lot of friendly faces. I sat down at a big wooden table and got to know my housemates. The river raged in the background, music played, and beer flowed. I met a couple from Seattle living in Brooklyn and several military guys stationed in Honduras. A very flirty Swedish guy balanced out the bunch who sat next to an introvert teaching geography from Florida.
Raul returned with everyone’s alcohol and the drinking games began. Some Danish girls staying up the road came to flirt with the flirty Swede and the music got louder and the conversations more drunker. Around the table, we talked about life, traveling, love, and hardships. Everyone told a story that reflected who they were and where they were at in life. I was really impressed by the integrity of the military guys. They all had big hearts and a lot of good in them. They’ve been stationed in Honduras doing humanitarian work – they are the helicopter mechanics here.
I danced some salsa with the Swede and played dj with a helicopter mechanic. I waxed philosophy with the guy from Seattle and got hit on by the Jungle River resident cook.
We had a great home cooked meal and sat around the campfire with drums and music. After dancing, singing and drinking, it was time for bed. I have been trying to write a bit each night and while doing so and heard a knock on my door. Peter, the Swede, sweetly looked at me and with super innocent eyes pouted, “I can’t sleep…” I made fun of him and asked him what he wanted me to do about it and he came and sat on my bed. Hahaha….sigh. Ah, these youngins…He asked what I was doing and I started to tell him about my writing and he passed out. I nudged him and told him to go to bed, little one. Flirty Swede avoided, I hit the bed hard and fell asleep right away. I woke up to the sound of the river and a parrot saying, “What up!” Guess it was time to get up. Rafting awaited!