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losing it in la moskitia, episode 3

After days of eating and resting in Ahuas, I decide the time has come to tackle the next section of La Moskitia wilderness. Leaving the settlement, as I ride alongside the official Ahuas airstrip, young men on motor-bikes pass me on their way to work on a clandestine narco airstrip somewhere not far away.

Ahuas airport doesn't get as much traffic as the clandestine airstrip nearby.

I manage to follow the trail to Warunta without too much trouble. There are more people here and, in the places where I have doubts, I find people to ask for directions. In Warunta a couple of kids paddle across the river to ferry me to the other side where I am escorted to the local church elders who sit me down under a shady tree and ask me my business.

Warunta - kids ferry me to the settlement across the river.

After due consideration, the church people take me to the military outpost where soldiers congregate and decide to accompany part of the way to the next settlement.

First there was one,...

...then two,...

...and then three.

Not exactly leading the way. These guys should ditch their guns and get bikes.

The terrain looks almost perfectly flat but there are subtle dips and rises and the lower lying areas are treacherously soft. As the going starts to get a bit more difficult, the army guys head back to Warunta leaving me to flounder through some pretty mucky stuff on my own.

Mud. It had to come, sooner or later.

After struggling through something of a quagmire, I reach a tiny settlement without electricity where I spend the night. Clouds gathering in the morning promise more rain.

Clouds.

Three hours across the savannah brings me to another tiny village.

A canoe ride down the river gets me more or less back onto the road system before ...

...the rain comes pouring down and the savannah transforms into impassable swamp.

A pass a day or two in Mocoron before setting off to cross the border into Nicaragua.

Hunting. Leaving Mocoron, back on the road system I pass a man in a tree stealing baby parrots from their nest.

And gathering. A woman and her son wait below to stash the haul. There are not a lot of economic opportunities available to local people outside the narco trade.

One last river crossing marks the border to Nicaragua.

On the other side bored Nicaraguan soldiers detain me for some time before I also get bored and demand that they let me go on my way so that I can find somewhere safe to camp before dark.

The road to Puerto Cabezas - it's a few days ride still but this gravel track seems like a super highway to me.

*For some recent news stories on Honduran Moskitia click here and here.

{ 1 } Comments

  1. Evan smith | January 16, 2015 at 2:46 am | Permalink

    Wow! I just read the Honduran moskitia part of your trip. Very impressive! And you are a great writer. If you haven’t considered writing a book, you should.

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