Cerro Azul Meambar National Park

The evening rains have begun, pouring down upon a country in true need of the life-giving water. Yesterday, as we drove past sloping fields of corn and sugarcane, Roman told me how dry the spring had been. 

The downpour has gathered us around a simple wooden table, like family united by the bonds of travel. The steady rhythm on the metal roof began gently, but is growing ever stronger, accompanied now by some serious thunder. Safe and dry, we travel with our stories, from continent to continent, and it is amazing to think that this is the life that all the others have been living for months or even years.

Later, while I was writing this, a swarm of brown, lacy-winged insects appeared, driven in perhaps by the solid wall of water. On the rafters above, a gecko is in heaven, feasting, his tongue flicking out again and again amid the bounty. This day has been a good one.

The future of Honduras lies with people like Walter, who used resources like missionaries and a well-known ornithologist living nearby, to learn both birds and English.

A rustic cemetery, alive with birds, was our first stop. The hour was still early and Walter was quick to call out the species. The golden-fronted woodpecker, crimson-colored and blue-gray tanagers, the Montezuma oropendola, white-collared seedeater, and sulphur-bellied flycatcher. The exotic names and brilliant colors were soon swirling around in my mind as I jotted notes.


When we walked down from the cemetery, we discovered a vehicle full of soldiers waiting for us. They were assigned to protect the national park. Walter assured me that it was the park resources that were in danger, not us. However, one of the soldiers, Luis, walked with us for a couple of hours (with his gun) as we continued upward toward the park. 

Once inside the park, we were free to roam on our own and quickly found a blue-crowned motmot. Walter was able to set up his spotting scope and I got a good look at this beautiful species, with its long and delicate double tail. PANACAM, as the national park is commonly known, is home to over 250 species of birds, many butterflies, and the waterfall pictured below.Tomorrow I go kayaking on Lago de Yojoa!

A swim under the waterfall brought me back to life after the long, hot walk.