03-14-2013, 08:53 PM
T plus 16 months
Joined: Jul 2006
Honduras, Pt 1
As I mentioned Honduras was a bit of a bitch to get into but with a bit of help from the locals it worked out. Since evening was closing in and I had an offer of a place to stay I only drove about 30 km to Masca. Juanita the grandmother Immigration woman from Brooklyn wasn't home yet so I had a couple beers at a little joint just down the street and ended up "talking" with a deaf kid who was into bikes. Here he is trying on my body armor.
Juanita had a big house that her son had built or her. I had the whole upstairs to myself. It was weird, like a US log cabin and reminded me of where I grew up in Indiana
She called up her nephew and he and his girlfriend took me down to the coast for dinner.
Another bit from FB here about that night. "I was awoken about 4 am by a dog, maybe 200 meters away, that wouldn't stop barking. He went on for about 30 minutes before Bang, Bang, Bang! 3 pistol shots rang out. No more barking dog. As cruel as it is I'm glad the dog was quiet. I may be a bad person but also dogs there aren't the same. They're not really pets."
Up the next morning and back to the beach for breakfast and local sights.
Jaunita saying goodbye on her way to work in the morning
I headed on into Honduras low on gas and with no local currency. I was getting worried for the first 2 hours because I was getting low on fuel and then was able to get both. Riding in Honduras is the most extreme I came across in Central America. They have, fortunately, a lot fewer speed bumps than the rest of the countries but this just makes the multitude of little towns you cross through trickier. 60 mph with big buses behind you watching for/dodging (in order) small children, horse/cow drawn wagons, dogs, entering vehicles, adults. Each one was intense and exhilarating. I stopped here in Tela for lunch.
Nice view from the porch.
I made it to La Ceiba on the north coast. I found a hostel. I don't remember the name but that's ok because I wasn't that impressed with it. The woman they had working there could barely be bothered to stop watching soap operas and get out of her hammock to help you. The good thing about it is it was owned by the same people who owned the Jungle River Lodge (http://www.jungleriverlodge.com/) up in the mountains where, if you'd stayed at the place in La Ceiba, you could go white water rafting/zip lining and get a night free.
After the last couple days complications I treated myself to a nice steak dinner on the beach.
Some of my friends will get the significance of finding this card on the street as I walked around
This was the only place I felt I was intentionally ripped off in all of Central America. I bought a 6 pack of beer and was given a lot less change than I should have gotten. It was my fault for not counting it and I wasn't yet familiar with the currency there. It really pissed me off at the time and gave me a bad taste for La Ceiba for a few days before I chalked it up to accident or learning.
I headed out to the Jungle River Lodge late the next day. No one else was up for a Zip-line Canopy trip but they allowed me to squeak in on the bouldering/rafting trip. I was still a bit hung over at first so some of the swimming against the current bits was a difficult and my guide looked a bit worried about me. About 15 minutes in the water and jumping and sliding off boulders and I was back in form. No pictures from that adventure but it was a lot of fun. Good rafting back to the Lodge. Here's a few pics from after.
The river with one of the rafts down below.
The valley we came down. Middle of summer so water levels were low. They say in the rainy season the water is 20ft higher.
Their friendly parrot.
Their bar where I spent the afternoon
Some of the workers I met there invited me up to their village further into the mountains for a local village on village soccer (football) match the next day. I was in a hurry to get on further east but now wish I had done it.
I headed on out towards the NE corner of Honduras to the "Mesquito coast." Named after the people, not the insect. Damn it was hot. Had to increase my water intake by double a day." Even the locals said it was unusually hot.
Typical road hazards.
The hostel I was intending to stay at was closed. Did I mention the guide book I'd downloaded for free was about 5 years old? After driving around a bit and being rejected by one hotel that wouldn't take me because they couldn't secure my bike I found the Hotel Tujillo for 150 of the local currency. I can't say much about my room except it was cheap, had clean sheets, and a fan. Even my own bathroom. About all you really need.
I only spent one afternoon and night there but walked around a lot.
There's quite a bit of interesting and odd history linked to Trujillo. You can read about it on Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trujillo,_Col%C3%B3n). One of the most interesting characters was an American mercenary who tried to invade Central America and found a new republic, William Walker. He met his end here.
The cemetery where he's buried.
Butcher shop. That's one well behaved dog
Just off the central square
Great view from Cafe Vino Tinto
The old fort
Another good bit from FB here. "So the night I was out in Trujillo, Honduras I was wandering around. I noticed an Internet cafe which was closed. A young well dressed guy from down the street asks me, in perfect English, if I'm looking for Internet. He and his friend offer to walk me to a place that was still open. Of course they turn out to be Mormons. I regaled them with tales of my motorbike adventures on this trip. I figure always good to rub it in a bit to those on the other side. So they can see what they're missing.
Just a funny picture of my arm after a few days wearing my body armor without a shirt over it. Geometric tan lines
My intention was to ride from Trujillo SSW to Tegucigalpa. After about 2 hours on the road, where I stopped twice to show my map to locals and make sure I was on the right road, I ended up in Limon. Not on the road to Tegucigalpa but near where they filmed the movie The Mosquito Coast with Harrison Ford. Even my good Central American map of this area was pretty off. I decided to ride back to La Ceiba and check out an interesting bar I saw on the way out. It was a pretty ride.
Met up with these guys coming the other way.
Went to the bar.
As you can tell it's motorsports themed. Met the nephews of the owner who run the place. Watched some races. Drank with the locals. Had a lot of fun.
I decided to spent one more day in La Ceiba now that my opinion of it had changed. I ended up at the appropriately named The Expat Bar. They had good German Beer. It'd been so long since I'd had anything other than lager.
I ended up talking to an X-Honduran Air Force pilot who is now a judge and learned they confiscate a lot of nice light aircraft there that are hauling drugs to the US. I may be going back to pick up a nice twin engine for my current friend/boss in the near future. Yes I'm a pilot but it's been a while.
I had found something about a hostel/brewery in Honduras. I looked it up and it was on the main route to Tegucigalpa. I've wanted to go to Tegucigalpa since I first learned of it in 3rd grade. What a great exotic sounding name. I left Ceiba and made it to the D&D guest house in one day. A few pics.
D&D guest house/brewery. I highly recommend it. For only about $1 US more a night I got a room and bathroom to myself. They even have a pool.
I'll end this part with another Facebook post about this days ride. It was surreal.
"In the voice of Eddie Izzard 'Beer or Death?' Beer please.
First I saw 2 pretty serious car accidents. An ambulance leaving one. Then a small black and yellow bird flew up and hit my right peg and foot. In my rearview I saw its body tumble along the road.
A little later I slowed down to drive around some cops. A truck was parked on a small bridge. As I passed it I looked right and under some palm fronds was a dead human. Adult male I'd guess by the size.
Now I'm at the guest house with a private room having my first micro-brew since San Diego. Life is strange. Or as the people here said, "Welcome to Honduras."
JackL screwed with this post 03-14-2013 at 11:33 PM