On the way back to San Pedro Sula the day before flying out of Honduras, we stopped at the "aguas termales" (hot springs) outside Gracias, where an approximately 400-foot high zip-line was set up. Though I gazed up in horror at the thin wire high above our heads, my braver team members coaxed me into participating. We were strapped into harnesses and helmets and accompanied by two guides along the zipline, which consisted of six distinct ropes above the treetops, separated by small wooden platform "stations." The most impressive and highest line ran across the valley that housed the main building of the recreation center, and afforded views of a shallow river that ran between the two mountains.
Being small and relatively lightweight, I had the luck of being pushed off each station by one of the guides so that I would retain enough momentum to reach the other side, where the line began to curve upward slightly. On the longest wire, I didn't quite reach the opposite end, and felt myself begin to slip backward toward the middle for a terrifying moment while our guide rushed down the line, monkey-bar style, to pull me to the precarious platform that seemed it might tip off the mountain and into the valley at any moment.
By the final line, as I glided into the last station, I forgot what I had been afraid of.
Back in San Pedro, we had our final meal at El Costillal, a barbecue restaurant in a residential area of the city with huge portions and delicious food. We stayed up late by the pool at our bed and breakfast, reminiscing on our trip and drinking cheap beer out of the hotel fridge before our flight the next morning.
I left Honduras the next day struck by how much my expectations and the reality of the country differed (at least the reality I saw). Honduras has one of the worst reputations of any country I have traveled to, but my only impression when I left was that I would like to return to complete one of the cheap SCUBA courses in Utila and visit the Copan Ruins. The country may not have the variety of attractions or tourist infrastructure of its neighbors, such as Guatemala or Costa Rica, but it's certainly not a place to avoid. I have a special place in my heart for Latin America, and Honduras did not disappoint.