San Pedro Sula & The Bay Islands (Utila)
29.03.2011 - 04.04.2011 34 °C
Our arrival into Honduras was ridiculously smooth.
On crossing from Costa Rica into Nicaragua we had to fill out the same form about 20 times and drag everything off the bus to be "Searched" when really it meant the guys at the border crossing could take the bags off the bus and put them back on and then expect a tip even though there was no searching actually done.
The border crossing from Nicaragua into Honduras was a whole different ball game. The guy collecting the passports for the bus company even filled out the forms for us and made up the hotels we were staying at. Nice! He also had Stephen down as irish but i'm not sure why. Maybe the recent lack of facial hair has something to do with it.
Anyway, we eventually made it to San Pedro Sula for an overnight stop after our 12 hour journey from Leon in Managua. San Pedro Sula was pretty shocking really. We arrived just as it started to get dark (Around 6PM) and there was a security guard outside our hotel who was about 100 and carrying the biggest gun i've ever seen. None of us had any honduran lempiras so we had to visit a cash machine so we could eat. We walked a couple of blocks further to see that most other hotels also had a similar security guard with a similar sized gun. The canadian on the bus next to me also decided to inform me that San Pedro Sula has the second highest murder rate in the world... I'm not sure on what scale or how true this is but all I know is they're a bit happy to hand out the guns. Trigger happy, if you will. Anyway, there isn't much to be seen in San Pedro Sula anyway, it was just a stopover before taking the 3 hour bus journey to La Ceiba to take the 1 hour ferry crossing to Utila - One of the Bay Islands.
I must say, it's quite cool here. Everyone speaks english and it's full of americans which is fine for the short term - It actually feels like a little holiday from travelling! Stephen is staying in a different hostel as he is doing a diving course - Me and Wendy decided we had a list of demands for our hostel in the Bay Islands. It must have a kitchen, Wi Fi and our own private room. The first guy who stopped me as I got off the ferry promised all this for USD 5 a night... Bargain! We saw the room and it was very basic but fine so we took it. It turned out the next day that the Wi Fi was so bad, and only actually works if you sit in one certain chair and the kitchen looks like it contains a variety of sea life so we haven't made use of it. We also didn't have pillows for the first night and the lock on the inside of our door was broken and only got fixed today. Oh, and the transvestite cleaner keeps giving out abuse. BUT despite all that we have met a couple of cool people here, and that will stay in my memory BUT... It's no San Juan Del Sur!!
Utila itself is very beautiful and very small.. Not a great deal to do here if you're not into diving and believe me, everyone here is OBSESSED with diving and thinks we're crazy for not doing it.
We're getting the ferry tomorrow afternoon and spending a night in La Ceiba which will hopefully be a bit nicer than San Pedro Sula, before our 7 hour bus ride to Copan to see the Mayan ruins. I am very much looking forward to getting back to attempting to speak spanish, seeing fewer americans and eating rice and beans for every meal. Central America rocks