So how does your fourth successive day on a boat, vomit, dodgy immigration, lots of guns, crazy traffic and a three and a half hour bus journey sound? Sounds like your average journey from Belize to Honduras.
I caught D-Express boat from Placencia to Peurto Cortes in Honduras with Tai and Chressie, as they would be travelling with me to La Ceiba, the gateway to the Bay Islands. In someways the boat journey was a refreshing change. It was difficult, it was uncomfortable, it was the sort of journey where just when you thought they’d packed as many people and as much luggage in as they could do they’d go and stick in a bit more.
However, I’d take that back for when the vomiting started. You see, every time we hit a wave in a glorified speed boat, the whole front of the vessel rose into the air and hit the sea with a hard smack. So for those at the front like my it was a pretty rough ride. But for those in the middle, this violent motion was a much less subtle rolling that gently but inevitable induced nausea. I shan’t go into too graphic details, but lets just say one lady who didn’t quite make it to the window started what can be likened to that scene from Problem Child on the merry go round. The chain effect was for everyone downwind stick their heads out of the window like a dog in a car.
Arriving in Peurto Cortes was pretty slack. There was no immigration to meet us, we had to go and find them via a taxi ride on the other side of the port. I stuck with Tai and Chressie and found a rather English fluent taxi driver to take us there and to the ATM. I hopped into the front seat just before a strange lady gave me an odd look and opened the back door, it appeared his wife, a money changer, was coming for the ride.
On the journey our driver offered to take us to San Pedro Sula, an all inclusive deal including services so far would be US$15 per head. I was instantly sceptical if only because now I realised Guatemala would be the start of my economy drive. But whilst queuing in immigration and being confronted by more and more Spanish I realised how good a deal it was. But first he had to change his pants.
For some reason taxi drivers in San Pedro Sula can get fined for not wearing long trousers. Weird eh? It was a quick diversion to his local neighbourhood past the municipal police carrying standard US army M-16 assault rifles and before I knew it we were on our way. At that point I had a rather surreal moment driving through the residential back streets avoiding the road blocks. It was all pretty sketchy and we were winging it quite well but to top it all off Queen came on the radio with the words “I want to break free”. Bizarre.
We arrived at the main bus terminal just outside of San Pedro Sula to find the luxury rapido service didn’t run until 6pm. Instead we had a quick wander and bought tickets for the 4:30 service on another bus company that left in half an hour. We were treated to a rather dodgy bootleg of Hancock which I tried my best not to watch and so fell asleep.
We arrived in La Ceiba an hour later than expected feeling very tired, very hungry, and quite ill. We checked in at The Banana Republic Hostel and I went for a beer. A well needed beer.
La Ceiba seems to be the adventure capital of Honduras so its white water rafting tomorrow morning. Zip lining and tubing is also an option. And this all before I go to Utila for a week to dive. So much for the economy drive.