Honduras - La Ceiba

Published: August 22nd 2010
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La Ceiba CentreLa Ceiba CentreLa Ceiba Centre

With an interesting array of power cables

La Ceiba

Friday 13th August

It’s another 6 a.m. start and a long day’s travelling ahead as we head towards La Ceiba in Honduras. The first stage is a boat we’ve hired to take us from Livingston to Puerto Barrios. Gemma seems worried that we may get delayed somewhere along the way and is immediately concerned when the first thing our driver does is divert to get fuel. There’s one more stop to pick up another passenger with this morning’s catch and then our boat is speeding towards Puerto Barrios.

Everything is running smoothly as at Puerto Barrios a minibus is waiting to take us to Honduras. We reach the border between Guatemala and Honduras within 40 minutes and again there are no real delays in getting across. There does seem to be an unusually large area of “no-mans-land” between the two countries, it takes about 10 minutes to drive between the two border posts.

At the border we transfer to a different minibus. Our driver has promised us a “bigger” bus - what he didn’t tell us is that he’s filling it up with his friends {or maybe they’re “illegals”}. We speed along, still making good progress
Hotel RulesHotel RulesHotel Rules

We're not allowed to have guns in our rooms
and listening to what seems to be the Honduran equivalent of “The Archers” on the local radio.

We make good time and arrive at San Pedro Sula in time to get the 10:30 bus to La Ceiba. San Pedro Sula is a transport hub for Honduras - it even has a bus station to rival Preston!

Send In The Clowns

Our bus heads off on time. The driver has two stickers in the window - one proclaims “Jesus Christ, King of the Universe”, the other is of Bart Simpson. He also has posters of the Virgin Mary and Che Guevarra in the windows. I’m a little disappointed that nobody brings a chicken on board. But my disappointment doesn’t last too long as after about an hour we catch up with another bus which has broken down. Everyone on the broken bus piles onto our bus and it’s standing room only. Our new complement of passengers does not include any chickens but we do now have a man dressed as a clown. Soon after we set off again the clown jumps up and starts addressing everyone on the bus. Unfortunately my Spanish isn’t good enough to work
It's The Pensioners' OutingIt's The Pensioners' OutingIt's The Pensioners' Outing

I hope there's lots of comfort break and a stop at a nice tea shop
out if he is telling jokes or making a political speech! His captive audience doesn’t seem too impressed. I later learn that his speech was a combination of trying to sell a book of jokes, talking about God, and trying to sell a “miracle” cream. I’m amazed at how many of the passengers actually buy something off him when he passes down the bus trying to sell his goods.

La Ceiba

We arrive in La Ceiba by 3 in the afternoon - enough time for some of the group who want an extra day on the beach to head off to the ferry terminal to get the last ferry today to Roatán.

The rest of us check into our hotel, the Hotel Olas Del Mar, and then go for a look around town. La Ceiba is not a tourist town as such, more of a stopover on the way to Roatán. It has a reputation for being the place for nightlife for the surrounding area - we shall see. The walk from the hotel takes us up to the main square. Like so many Latin American towns it seems to be organised around a central square with a church, government buildings and lots of statues. It also has a particularly interesting matrix of power cables running overhead. We are told that nobody really knows which power cable goes where so that, when a new electrical installation is needed, new cables are added which just adds to the spaghetti effect. Nobody knows where the older cables go and which of them are live.

In The Zone

From the central square we head to an area on the map marked “Zona Viva” - if Friday Night is Party Night in La Ceiba this is where the party will be! We find ourselves at El Guapo, a bar near the beach in the Zona Viva which has been recommended to Gemma. Here we sample a selection of the Honduran beers and eventually decide to stay here for food. A trip to another couple of bars in the Zona Viva does not reveal too much viva. Maybe we were “in the zone” before the real Friday Night Party got going - after all it was only 10 p.m. when we arrived back at the hotel.

Cacao Lagoon

For the next day we’ve organised a trip to Cacao Lagoon. We’re collected from the hotel by our guide for the day, Sam. Sam is working for an adventure company in the local area and, surprise surprise, he’s an Australian. Normally he takes groups of people white-water rafting - he must have drawn the short straw today because he’s taking three pensioners on a more sedate trip in a dugout through the mangroves. The village at Cacao Lagoon is about 30 minutes drive from La Ceiba. From here we are accompanied by a couple of the local kids as we spend the day paddling through the lagoon and down some of the channels. We spot one monkey {rather less than we’d been promised!} and several species of birds and generally spend the day floating on the lagoon.

We stop for lunch at a beach where the lagoon meets the Caribbean Sea and Sam manages to produce bacon sandwiches and chocolate biscuits from the cool box! The kids from the village impress us by catching a crab and eating it raw.

We make two stops on the way back. A sign advertising chocobananas brings the pick-up screeching to a halt and then we make a detour to see the Garifuna village of Sambo’s Creek - they should really think about renaming that.

Sam drops us off at the ferry terminal for us to get the last ferry over to Roatán to join up with the rest of the group. It’s only at this point that I learn that the afternoon ferry is much rougher than the morning crossing and Sam tells us that a lot of people get sick. I chose a seat on the ferry where I think I’m going to have the strongest wind blowing into my face. Unfortunately this also has me sitting in direct sunlight and, even though its 4 p.m. the sun is still quite strong. It looks like a choice between sea-sickness and sun-stroke!

Additional photos below
Photos: 10, Displayed: 10


In The ZoneIn The Zone
In The Zone

We didn't have any problems finding a table
Cacao LagoonCacao Lagoon
Cacao Lagoon

Where the lagoon meets the sea

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