Back to same bus "station" as yesterday(in Tegus) and 8:30 am head we for Siguatepeque arr 11:30 then another to La Esperanza where we wait for a bus to fill, finally leave at 2:30 arr in Gracias at 5. The road between La Esp. and Gracias is undergoing an upgrade/widening so half the way is a dust storm every time someone passes or we pass. The mtns are pine covered intermixed w/ bananas and coffee plantings. The soil must be some clay that looks to be ideal for making brick and clay roof tile. We pass quite a number of mfg places (a kiln & pits where they dug out raw material), tiles stacked in rows, brick on edge drying or stacked, some are red or red/orange, others appear like adobe, large gray/tan. With wood so abundant these small operations must clear close to 100% profit when/if they sell. We pass 3 large fires a distance away (see pics). The forests here are managed by govt coops so I might assume some understory clearing and burning of brush. Saw some areas where they had piles of needles and branches so forest looked "parked out". However, the conditions here are not like MT in late winter early spring when controlled burns take place. It is very dry (in fact, we had no water in Gracias (even in the hotel where we stayed in Tegus. they only turned it on when requested and then only 10 minutes), so fires we saw could easily have been out-of-control.
We stayed in the spartan quarters of Finca Batavia- the guest register listed just a dozen guests in March and not many before since the beginning of 2010! The place had that 'unused' look everywhere inside and out of bldgs. The one restaurant the LP raves about serving authentic (and cheap) Lempira - the indigenous people - meals has gone out of business. We were definately the only 'tourists' in town by the way people looked at us as well as us not seeing any!