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Peps and Pete Travels "On pleasure bent again"

Getting to the Bay Islands

GUATEMALA | Wednesday, 28 February 2007 | Views [1737]

Roatan, an island 50km off the coast of Honduras in the Carribean, and the destination for a weeks worth of sleeping, eating and snorkelling. To get to the island we had to make for La Ceiba where we would catch a ferry to the island. In our ignorance, we looked at a map of Honduras and Guatemala, said ´livingstone is not that far from La Ceiba´and assumed that we would be able to get there pretty easily. Then we read the lonely planet which assured us that getting to La Ceiba in time for the 3pm ferry would be a tough ask, so we resigned ourselves to a night in La Ceiba.

From livingstone we caught the 6:30am boat to Puerto Barrios, a not very nice port town close to the honduran border. Incedentially, Puerto Barrios was originally designed and probably owned by the United Fruit company - that infamous US company who was the enemy of many a democratically elected Central American government!

We got a bus from Puerto Barrios to the border - a minibus taxi, just like the ones popular in South Africa.  It was pretty cool really, the red mini bus complete with loud Doof Doof music (in Spanish I might add) and the blue neon light that flickered (I think it was supposed to flash in time to the beat, but alas a mere annoying flickering was all it managed!). Lucky for us, the one day we have to travel and corss borders was the one day that it rained since the start of our trip!

We crossed the border and I struggled to find out where the busses to our next destination depart from. But I could not understand what was happening and we were standing in the rain so we just caught a taxi (all of $25, but still the most expensive leg of our journey so far!). Lucky for us we managed to connect with a bus that was leaving immediately (twice! now thats good luck) so we ended up pulling into La Ceiba at 2:30pm.

We hadn´t eaten all day (we figured that we would manage to pick something up on the road, but we never had to wait anywhere!) and I had exhausted the limited honduran money that I had changed at the border. But we had a chance of making the 3pm ferry, that would mean an extra night on the islands, so we managed to get a taxi that would stop at an ATM on the way to the ferry, and we held our breath hoping that we would make it on time.

I managed to get stuck in the ATM room - it was one of those ATMs that you have to swipe your card to get into and the door locks behind you, but I could not find the switch to unlock the door to let me out.  I think that I provided some comic releif to the driver pulling and pushing and flicking the only switch I could find (the light switch) on and off about 5 times. Pete had to get out and free me!

We pulled up at the ferry terminal at 2:55 and hoped that we will be allowed on! We ran in to get a ticket, only to discover that the ferry departed at 4:30 and we could have saved ourselves rather alot of stress!

Due to the fact that the weather was bad, the sea was a bit choppy which made me cling to the seasick bag and hope that the ride would end soon in order to prevent the inevitlbe sickness which I could feel advancing. Fortunatley it did and we arrived in roatan physically intact, but after tha ATM debacle, my self respect may have had a few dents!

Tags: On the Road



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