Angel Valley

Angel Valley

Valle de Angeles, Honduras – September 27, 2014

Unexpectedly on Saturday, a friend working at the United States Embassy called me to see if I wanted to go to the small town of Valle de Angeles.  I jumped at the chance.

My friend speaks fluent Spanish.  That easily enabled arrangements to take three of us by taxi to Valle de Angeles.  It was 400 Lempiras each, or about US$20 for the roundtrip.  We headed out of Tegucigalpa mid-morning.

The town is only about 18-miles (30 kilometers) to the northeast of Tegucigalpa.  It takes 40 to 50 minutes one-way, mainly because of the twisting mountain road.

We parked near a still-closed artisan mall, so we just began walking through town.  Numerous shops selling tourist trinkets lined the streets, punctuate periodically with small cafes/restaurants.

A street intersection in the small village of Valle de Angeles, Honduras.
Several colorful shops adjoin the entry to the Casa de Huespedes (Guesthouse) Hotel.
The main street toward the center of town was crowded.
The old section of Valle de Angeles was bustling with activity.

Our preliminary journey ended at Restaurante Manolo, a small café on the west side of Central Park. The restaurant had several tables on the street, which was closed to traffic, and a couple of tables on the sidewalk. We all ordered a beer. I had a Salva Vida (Life Saver), my favorite Honduran beer. Our server brought a complimentary plate of meats and corn tortillas, cooked by a woman on a flat grill placed directly on the sidewalk. The dish had both beef and chorizo. It was delicious.

Some other patrons and the servers at Restaurante Manolo on the west side of Central Park.

There was a small Catholic church on the north side of Central Park, with the municipal building located directly across the square. Just across the street from our table, on the western edge of Central Park were some women selling trinkets and inflatable toys. Some of the toys were plastic blow-up airplanes and balls. They must have been quite ancient. That is because the blow-up plastic planes had the name “PanAm” emblazoned on the side.

The Catholic Church of Valle de Angeles is on the north side of Central Park.
The vendors at the table had various types of jewelry trinkets for sale. The woman in the red striped shirt sold inflatable toys.

We departed the café, walking from shop to shop. The local taxis are a unique aspect of the town. Many of them are three-wheel tuk-tuk taxies. I did not get in one. I am not sure I would have fit anyway.

Various colored tuk-tuks provided taxi service in Valle de Angeles.
A red tuk-tuk in Valle de Angeles.

Among the tourist trinkets in the shops are some charming pieces. Many of the oil paintings have very vibrant colors. No tourist shop is complete without the requisite ceramic roosters. No one we came across could provide a reason behind why virtually every shop sells the roosters. I guess the story is that one cannot buy them anywhere except in Honduras. The other mainstay of items for sale is hand-carved wood items. The pieces are incredibly intricate. One can choose from bass relief wall hangings, coffee tables, and chests, to name a few.

Detail of some items for sale in one of the gift shops in Valle de Angeles.
Some buildings on the east side of Central Park.
A huge tree covers the road on the east side of Central Park.
The Casa de la Cultura on the east side of Central Park in Valle de Angeles.
Another of the streets in Valle de Angeles.
The street on the way back to where the car was parked.
Some of the many gift shops lining the street.
People walking down the street lined with gift shops and restaurants.
A couple walking uphill toward the center of Valle de Angeles.
Two colorful restaurants along the street in Valle de Angeles. The green restaurant specializes in pupusas, the national dish.
A young man riding his bike uphill toward the center of town.
A front view of the guesthouse in Valle de Angeles.
A couple walking up the street in Valle de Angeles.
A couple approaching a gift shop with colorful murals on the wall.
A man riding a bicycle in Valle de Angeles.

When we finished shopping, the taxi driver took us to a restaurant, La Florida.  It is on the edge of Valle de Angeles.  That is where we had lunch, well, really a snack.  One of the national dishes is called a pupusa.  We decided to try a pupusa at La Florida.  A pupusa is a relative of the quesadilla.  They are about the diameter of a standard corn tortilla, but about a quarter of an inch thick.  They use the same type of corn flour used for tortillas.  Our pupusas had a cheese filling; although, one can also get bean filling and chorizo filling.

A welcoming sign for Valle de Angeles.

Pickled carrots, onions, and jalapeños, as well as a type of local coleslaw, come with the pupusas. Once everything is piled on top, the pupusa is eaten with a fork. I enjoyed the two I had, chased by a Salva Vida.
After “snacks,” it was back to Tegucigalpa.

A roadside barbecue and vegetable stand near Valle de Angeles.
A mural alongside the road on the way to Valle de Angeles.
Laundry hanging alongside the road near Valle de Angeles.
A typical home in the valley.
A garden shop alongside the road to Valle de Angeles.
A shop and home alongside the road to Valle de Angeles.
The wall surrounding a paint store on the way to Valle de Angeles.
A funeral home in Tegucigalpa.
A mobile locksmith in Tegucigalpa.
A pedestrian in a neighborhood area of Tegucigalpa.

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