Rawacala Eco Park - Honduras
There are places that have the power to trap you from the moment you come into contact with them, even for a short time. A few months ago I convinced my girlfriend to make a surprise trip to a place near where we live. The idea was to get out of the stifling routine of the city and into the wilderness of the mountain, where we would explore an Eco Park called Rawacala.
My girlfriend is like a small lazy bear and that particular characteristic is more accentuated on weekends, because of this the departure to our destination was not as early as I expected.
The trip to get to the place was quick, about an hour by car from San Pedro Sula. As we left the international highway and detoured to our destination on a little-traveled dirt road put my partner in "crazy alert mode", I reassured her that the place was a few kilometers away.
Entering the Eco Park we come across a picturesque welcome board, where we take our respective photos. We crossed a small crystal-clear water creek and arrived at the parking lot of the place where we were attended by the manager who kindly mentioned to us the features of the place. In summary, Rawacala has a canopy of considerable height and a good stretch of cable laying, trails for walking and mountain biking trails, a crystalline fresh water river that also has a small waterfall, a viewpoint, a rest area on the river overlooking the waterfall.
Minutes after we spoke with the manager, we signed some registration documents and began the exploration.
The weather was cloudy, with a light drizzle that didn't last long, cooling the place even more.
As we entered the trail, we were overwhelmed by the sound of birds, the dripping rainwater on the leaves, a path full of trees whose roots surrounded the stones and made it look ancient. We quickly realized that next to the hiking trail was the biking trail, with steep nooks and hills.
The trails zigzagged close to the river, and when we were a few steps away from the water we could see the splendor of a crystalline water, whose temperature also indicated its mountainous origin. We reached an old building through concrete steps, of which only the columns remained and which was apparently being demolished in order to be rebuilt. From there we could already hear the sound of the waterfall, we hurried to get there and rest our eyes briefly on this natural spectacle.
We found a small group of people who were conversing next to the (artificial) backwater that forms after the waterfall. As we did not want to stay to rest, we proceeded to continue with the ascent to the viewpoint. After several (and distressing) minutes climbing the path delimited by rocks and cement we arrived at a viewpoint which is a small clearing that has a beautiful view of Lake Yojoa, some benches and one of the canopy stations.
The curiosity to know and explore more made us continue on our journey, again we got into the mountain and continued ascending. We walked a few meters and to our surprise we found another of the stations of change in the laying of the canopy that crosses from one mountain to another passing over the river. Our surprise was that after a while walking we found a dirt road with a very steep slope, by which we decided to travel about 200 meters to see if we found a reference point that would allow us to locate ourselves and find the beginning of the canopy (I must emphasize that we could not jump in by the time we arrived). Seeing that the road continued much more than we expected, we gave up and went back on our steps towards the path, followed another route and there we found what should be the initial station of the canopy, from where we could clearly observe the considerable height to which the cables rise over the base of the mountain.
Having satisfied our curiosity, we descended towards the waterfall to relax properly and eat something light.
To my liking, there were no more people than we had met before, so we were very comfortable for the next few hours.
The challenge now was to enjoy crystal clear water without suffering from hypothermia (I love cold water but my partner suffers from a strange condition, in which after exposure to cold temperatures begins to itch the skin that experienced the cold). When I threw myself into the water I noticed that it was not as cold as I imagined, which was beneficial for both, when I submerged myself in the water I noticed that in the pool there were several fish, so I requested my partner to pass me the visor, my amazement was that the amount of fishes was not a few, there were several dozens of various sizes. Elsa (that's my girlfriend's name) got a little scared when she felt persecuted by the shoal of harmless scaly fish, which we thought was very funny.
The throws in the water (with acrobatics worthy of a competition) were not long in coming and when entering in confidence until Elsa demonstrated his skills as a diver.
At dusk, we decided to leave because a storm was coming. Once we changed our clothes and got back in the car, we said goodbye to this beautiful place, not before promising that we would return to enjoy all that Rawacala has to offer.