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Many Adventures of a Nomadic Poet A young poet with Asperger's makes travel his passion, and away he goes...

Honduran journey

HONDURAS | Thursday, 2 February 2012 | Views [1224]

Honduras, finally! As my 20th country visited, I was ready to journey! The flag of Honduras has two blue bars and five blue stars, and I saw that as I got my stamp through the border post which isn´t bad by Central American standards. The other border towns I´ve visited have all been filled with rubbish. As I took two buses to get to Danlí, I was ready to see how far I could get today. My final destination for today was Perquín, El Salvador, but since it was like 4:00 PM already it seemed that it wasn´t possible. Immediately off the bus a guy in English yelled out "gimme food" and I was not ready to give in to his demands. I wanted to continue my journey by hitchhiking, although the one place I didn´t want to get stuck tonight was Tegucigalpa. Putting out my thumb shortly outside Danlí a pickup truck stopped and I hopped in the back. A huge advantage safety-wise when it comes to hitching here is that you can ride in the the bed of a pickup. The drive is really beautiful! Filled with pine trees as we cruised through eastern Honduras, it was quite chilly. I can´t believe I´m in Honduras and I have to dress in layers; I even had to pull out some socks and put on my hiking boots. Gazing at the passing pine forest I was tempted to be let out somewhere along the way and I could pitch my tent, but I didn´t for some reason. The couple was going all the way to Tegucigalpa and they dropped me off in front of a Little Caesars. Tired, exhausted, and aching, I decided to Americanize myself a little and got some "pan loco" at Little Caesars, and then my next stop was the internet café. I emailed four CouchSurfers telling them that I was stranded in "Tegus" and that I was looking for a couch. The internet café closed at 8:30 and none of the CSers responded quickly enough. Tegucigalpa is cooler than Managua, and it doesn´t seem to be as dodgy, but from what I´ve read it´s not the place to be walking around once the sun sets. It was a fair walk from Little Caesars to downtown "Tegus" so I opted for a taxi for about $4. The cheapest hotel I could find was $10 so I booked a room there; the first time I´ve paid for accommodation on this journey. In the hall I was chatting to a nice girl named Alanna and she´s travelling around for about five months, doing some volunteering. Tomorrow I´m getting up first thing in the morning and getting out of here. Tegucigalpa is not a place you want to be stuck in. My room is little more than a bed, and there´s only hot water from 6-8 AM. The owner is friendly enough though.

The next morning I woke up at the crack of dawn so I could at least have a warm shower, and after that I set out for a morning cup of coffee. For more than $1 I got a cup of seemingly day-old coffee in a lousy styrofoam cup. Honduras is almost as expensive as Costa Rica. The cathedral and a couple of the churches here are really beautiful, so Tegucigalpa is worth a quick look, but not a long look.

With my heavy mochila I was on my way a little past 7:30. Walking through Comayagüela, it stunk (and it´s not recommended that you walk here, day or night) I found a bus to La Paz, which is a town moderately close to the Salvadorean border. Fortunately I got the last seat on the bus but it was jam-packed. A little girl was so tired that she fell asleep across the lap of both of her parents. And when I got off, I was relieved but sweating. Getting some water, I walked down a dirt road toward a paved road leading to Marcala. I don´t have a hat, so I had to tie a shirt around my head (like a turban) to avoid my face being sunburnt. A lot of people might wonder why I´m hitchhiking in Honduras, but it´s for the joy of it. You don´t really hitchhike in Central America to save money. Finally a couple in a pickup stopped for me after about five minutes of standing in the sun. The bed was filled with eggs, food, and other packages, but I could still fit in. Keeping my back to the sun, I was admiring the view and shooting the occasional photo. There´s nothing quite like catching some fresh air from the back of a Chevy. It´s illegal in most U.S. states to ride in the bed of a pickup, so it´s fun for me here. The couple took me to about 5 km outside Marcala. Another thing I should note: if you´re used to hitchhiking in places like New Zealand, don´t expect to get anywhere near as fast in Central America as you would there. In many first world countries, you can often drive at 100 kph or more, but many vehicles out here can´t even go that fast. Expect to take twice as long regardless of how nice the road or vehicle looks. That 5 km to Marcala took about 20 minutes. Then I had to walk across town a bit. Marcala has a cool climate and it seems to be quite nice. On this journey I´ve been in the mood to keep to cooler places and remain away from the coast where it´s hotter. Snapping some photos, I walked out of town a bit and got a ride from a truck driver named Manuel. I was only about 40 km or so from Perquín but I knew it would take an eternity. Manuel dropped me off about 10 km up the road, and then a van picked me up. The area we were heading into is a military zone and a formerly disputed border between Honduras and El Salvador. A soldier had to lift a log to let the van through. After paying 20 lempiras for the ride, I walked a bit before I was picked up by a truck full of people. Shortly up the road was the fork in the road to Perquín but it would still take a good while before I was dropped off. Wow! I´m amazed at the breathtaking beauty of the pine forest! Must I check my passport and make sure I´m still in Honduras? It felt like I stepped off the truck in Idaho or Northern California, with pine trees and pine cones all around. No vehicles were coming, and I had to walk about 3 km through the military zone before a truck with El Salvador plates picked me up...

Tags: hitchhiking

 

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