Published: October 22nd 2011October 21st 2011
The next morning saw us get up at 3.30am and jump on a 7 hour bus ride in a private van. Good because it was only us, bad because 12 people stuffed into a minivan at crazy o´clock with hardly any legroom and no headrests to lay our weary heads. It made for some interesting sleeping positions!
I was lucky enough to sleep most of the way. Our morning was punctuated with a breakfast stop, at which I saw an English girl from another bus who had also been at my hostel in Flores. The traveller trail continues! Honduras is pretty crazy like Guatemala, with very bad roads and very skinny animals. In fact, central America has been having extreme weather and there have been many landslides. At one point the road was so muddy and bad that we were told to get out of the minibus and walk for a way so that we wouldn´t get bogged! After the driver spoke further with other people who were around we jumped back in and drove through with no problem thank goodness.
We arrived in Copan Ruinas just before lunchtime and checked into our hotel. We grabbed a yummy salad
for lunch before the group split into afternoon activities - either visiting the Copan Mayan ruins, or heading to a hot spring in the jungle. I felt bad choosing the hot springs, but this would have been my 5th ruins, and it was rainy and miserable and the lure of sitting in nice warm water won! I told my tour leader Gabi the other ruins I had been to and she said that Copan would be different but if I´d seen Chitchen Itza that was the most impressive. I thought so too!
I bought some runm & juice to take with us - finally found Flora di Cana which my friend Tom had told me about - it´s Nicaraguan rum and he had been recommended it as the best in the world! It´s dirt cheap (think $8 for a standard size bottle) and oh so yummy.
We drove up to the Luna Jaguar hotsprings which I had read were ´Mayan themed´and thought they would be pretty tacky. The roads were again ínteresting´ in quality and it was good to see locals in action. There are many ´cowboys´wearing sisal hats and apparently the fashion is also to grow big
moustaches to go with them!
In fact the springs were rustic but not tacky at all. They sprawled over a hillside with the warmest water pouring out at the top of the pools, which then cascaded into lower pools that had cooler water mixed with them. They are outdoors so we were surrounded by jungle, and as it had been raining all day it was nice respite and it didn´t matter when it sprinkled.
We all settled into a big warm pool with beers and rum and it was a good way to break the ice and get to know the group. At times I was too hot so had to sit on the edge to cool down a little, but all in all a very enjoyable experience! Gabi told me of a saying in spanish that I love - something like ´you can spill blood but not alcohol´ which demonstrates the latin american love for a drink!
We stayed there until the sun went down, thankfully I took my headtorch and Gabi knew the way out as otherwise we would have been lost in there! Included in the entrance fee was also a yummy BBQ -
we were treated to big skewers of chicken & beef with vegies (marinated in stacks of garlic), yummy beans, salad, cheese and garlic bread. So simple, but one of my most memorable meals so far on this trip!
By the time we got back around 8pm everyone was exhausted, and with another long day ahead of us we opted for an early night.
The next day we had a long journey to get to Roatan, one of the Bay Islands. We got a public bus for 4 hours, then another public bus for 3 hours, then a taxi, a 1.5 hour ferry and another 40 min taxi which finally took us to our hotel. Weather conditions were looking good which was great- lots of the tour group had seen a lot of rain and we were all hoping for 3 nights and 2 days of chilling out on the island, and I was looking forward to some diving, which is supposed to be amazing there. Conditions were also good for our ferry ride - we had been warned that a lot of times people are very sick on this ferry. In fact, staff hand out seasickness tablets for
free along with sick bags. Nice! Thankfully the journey was calm and everyone stayed well.
Again, as everyone was pretty tired, we had an early dinner and all retired early to bed. I was disappointed with my coconut fish which turned out to be deep fried in what tasted like chicken batter mixed with coconut. Thankfully we were assured it was not the best restaurant on the island and we had just gone there for convenience! As we were having dinner we could see the lightening of a storm rolling in. We expected rain overnight but hoped it would pass.
Pass it did not unfortunately, and I got up during the middle of the night to witness howling rain and thunder - I thankfully hadn´t witnessed a storm like that since Cozumel in Mexico. I had planned on going diving but when I woke up at 6am made an executive decision that no diving would be happening today and went back to bed. On waking a couple of hours later we looked outside and it was grey, raining and very windy. The electricity was going on and off in our hotel which did not bode well!
waking we ventured into town to realise that a lot of the sandy roads were cracked and flooded, half the yard in our hotel and the nextdoors yard was flooded, and the what-should-be-gorgeous turquoise Caribbean was brown and yukky. A lot of shops were closed and/ or didn´t have electricity. I´m collecting magnets whereever I go and so had an interesting experience shopping in a souvenir shop with a guy with a torch showing me his wares!
It´s a big shame as Roatan felt a lot like Caye Caulker in Belize - sandy streets with crabs crawling across them at night, a good strip of bars and restaurants, and the same relaxed feel.
After surveying the post storm conditions we decided the only thing to do for the day was drink rum! So we all bought supplies and headed back to the hotel. Drinking slowly started at midday, and ramped up about 3pm when everyone was present and card and drinking games began! We played card games from all over the world and had lots of raucous fun.
About 7pm I went with a Canadian couple Alyssa and Chad to a nearby chicken restaurant. We had tried
to get into this place the previous night but it was full. Boy, was it good! It is the yummiest charcoal chicken I have ever tasted, and for $6 for half a chicken (I was too drunk to realise you could also get a quarter!) accompanied by coleslaw and yummy coconut rice and beans, we had a feast.
By the time we finished our dinner others had come to join, and we headed to a bar a couple of doors down - named the ´Snoop Dogg´bar by someone as it played lots of R&B. Shots were had, more rum was drunk, and we headed on to the Booty Bar which was next door. A pole in the bar made for good entertainment, and I left everyone about 9.30 as I was in desperate need of sleep. Others stumbled home around midnight and I had to tell them to be quiet!
The next morning we woke up to another grey day which was very disappointing. It was still very windy and the sea was still all mucky. It was a slow start for most of our group but thankfully I was feeling ok. After grabbing baladears (I think that´s
how it´s spelt!) for breakfast (think folded tortilla with beans, chicken and cheese - yum) we all grouped at the hotel and made a plan to head to the beach.
The nicest beach on Roatan is West Bay. We were staying in West End and West Bay is a short water taxi ride away. Thankfully (due to the choppy sea!) the water taxi was not running so we headed around via normal taxi. West Bay looked much like West End, but it was nice to walk along the beach. It was too choppy to swim, so we decided to pay to swim in one of the hotel´s pools and use their facilities.
I had my heart set on the nicest hotel (of course!) as it had a swim up bar - one of my dreams is to stay somewhere that has one! Call me naff, but I dont care :) Unfortunately we decided that $20 US was too much to pay for this and settled on another place that was half the price.
We spent the afternoon in the pool, relaxing on sun loungers and enjoying daquiris and food from the restaurant. It was overcast the whole
time but I still managed to get some colour- yay! It was also nice to swim so an enjoyable way to spend the afternoon.
For dinner we went to a BBQ which was next door to our hotel and on the beachfront. It was still pretty windy but we sat in a thatched hut and had a feast! I chose lobster which was delicious (2 big lobster tails) , accompanied by freshly made tortillas that were like roti, rice and beans and salad. Yum!
Again we had an early start the next morning so headed to bed. We were picked up at 5.45 and taken to the ferry to see if it was running. It was still overcast and choppy so I was hoping we´d fly instead, but unfortunately the ferry was running. This ride was a lot more choppy and I thanked goodness I had taken some anti- nausea tablets as they were handing out sickbags during the journey!
The rest of the day was spent on a long bus ride (7 hours) before arriving in the capital of Honduras, Tegucigalpa (which thankfully is shortened to Tegus as I cannot pronounce it! Here we are spending
one night on our way to Granada in Nicaragua. We had a picnic of Pizza Hut in the hotel as it is not safe to go out at night. It was pretty good!
It will be another long day and I will write more when I arrive!
There are more photos below