Fleeting Glimpse of Central America


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Published: January 16th 2007
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Central America Journey

I started in San Salvador, to Tegucigalpa, to Ocatal, back to Teguc, then to La Ceiba. Not too shabby!! Beautiful bus rides!!

Oh my gosh, these past few days have been crazy! I´ve been jumping on a different bus, heading to a different city and country every day, constantly changing hotels (some pretty modest hotels, and that´s putting it gently). So, as some of you know, I´m spending about 2 months in Central America this winter. I´m starting my journey off in El Salvador, then Honduras, Nicaragua, back to Honduras to study Spanish, then to Belize for work.
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El Salvador



So I arrived Jan 2nd, in San Salvador. I must say, it´s much more developed than I thought it would be! Many chains, malls, theatres, restaurants, and beautiful sights! Unfortunately I only stayed 1 night in San Salvador because it was pretty expensive to go anywhere worth seeing. I wanted to do some hiking & scuba diving, but money & time did not permit. So, I took a 7 hour bus the next day to Tegucigalpa (try saying that 3 times fast), the capital of Honduras. It was an executive bus with food, drinks, movies, snacks, upstairs, etc. I was loving it! I met an Italian guy, Gianluca, who fortunately spoke English. He ended up helping me out a lot & was really cool.

Honduras



I had read that Teguc was nothing very special, but I thought it was gorgeous! The city is nestled between beautiful mountains. Everywhere you look, you are surrounded by mountains! The fast-paced city reminded me of Santo Domingo, so I loved it! I stayed in a quaint hotel with really friendly staff. I hung out with Gianluca & his friend Iveth the next day. Iveth is from Honduras but is studying in Washington. She was leaving the next day & was sad to leave. It´s funny, when traveling, you meet the most interesting people, hang out for the time you have, & then most likely never see them again. Gianluca took off for La Ceiba, Iveth took off for the states & I took off for Nicaragua! I had a lot of fun hanging out with them & was grateful for their english! I know thát´s not the mindset I need to have, but it is so helpful when in a new city & country, not knowing the language very well, to have some help! In a few weeks, hopefully I won´t need help! Being here these last few days reminds me why I´m here in the first place....TO LEARN SPANISH!

Nicaragua



I stayed a couple of days in Teguc & then took a 3 hour bus to Ocatal, Nicaragua. I´m kind of regretting coming here because it´s VERY small & nothing really to do but stare at the beauty of the landscape. I LOVE taking bus rides because you really get to see the country. We pass by villages, the countryside, etc. It´s a GEORGEOUS drive! When our bus arrived at the terminal I took a cab to the most modest hotel I´ve ever stayed in. I should´ve known what I was in for when I got in the taxi. A few other people got in the taxi including an old lady & her baby chicken, or some kind of bird. It was flapping around all over the back seat with all of us smooshed together. What a sight! I almost took a picture. Good lord, I have a new meaning for the term ¨roughing it¨. I told my taxi driver to take me to one of the nicer tourist hotels that was around restaurants and shops, etc. And he did just that. Guess how much my room was.....$2!!!!! I´m totally serious! My room consisted of a bed as hard as a board and a night stand. At the boarder I had met a French guy who was traveling through Nicaragua. He ended up at the same hotel...guess everyone knew about this hotspot! We were talking about how bad it was. Well, there was no running water. I asked about the shower, the lady handed me a bucket of what looked like water. The French guy and I burst into laughter. It was hilarious! And to think...this was the nice hotel!! I wonder what the alternative would have been...because at first the taxi driver was going to take me to the cheaper of the 2....scary! But here in Ocatal I don´t think they are used to having foreigners. So, I´m getting up early tomorrow morning & heading back to Teguc. Short & sweet trip.


Yeah, I did just that. Woke up at dawn and took the first bus out of that town!! I had to change buses about 4 times to get back to Teguc. When I got there I decided to head straight to La Ceiba. It was about a 7 hour bus ride. When I got there, checked into hotel and the next day met my spanish teacher!! School starts tomorrow, which I´m very excited about because I really want to learn the language. Not just for myself, but to be able to communicate with so many more people in this world....to reach :

every tribe and tongue and people and nation

...that´s what it´s all about.

These past days have been amazing though! Central America is absolutely GEORGEOUS!! The lush vegetation, rolling hills and mountains, waterfalls, ocean, the people, the food!, everything about it. And I love the fact that it´s mostly backpacker type people that come through because there´s not a lot of resort type places to stay. You can´t have high expectations, you take what you get. As long as you have a place to sleep and food to eat...you´re good to go!! I went 2 whole days without coffee....I think that´s the longest I´ve ever gone....if that´s not roughing it, then I don´t know what is!!!

Hasta lluego!! More from La Ceiba to come!


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26th January 2007

Be safe...
Sweet BJ, so fun to keep up with you. I'll be thinking of you in the next couple of weeks, not that I don't usually, but especially as you are in Belize; I'll miss being there with you. Be safe, take care of your self, and happy studying. Love to talk to you when you get back.

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