Saturday, July 17, 2010

Getting There...

We left my sister-in-law's house at 6am on June 29th and headed for the Houston airport to catch our flight to Honduras. The travel gods must have been smiling on us because everything that day was timed perfectly. When the airplane took off I felt weightless. All the stress of planning was finally over... I knew I'd miss the kids, but I was ready for the ease of travel without little ones in tow.

We arrived in San Pedro Sula a little late due to a tropical storm in the Gulf... We rushed to a taxi and headed for the bus station. We made it with only two minutes to spare. The bus was not exactly primera class... but it was "mas o menos" direct. It was a windows down (or permanently sealed shut), broken seated kind of bus... loud, smelly and bumpy. Due to our rushed arrival at the bus station I had to pee for the first hour I was on the bus... I was hot, grumpy, teary eyed, and slightly overwhelmed, but after that first stop I was ready to take in the sights, sounds and SMELLS of Honduras.

The countryside was beautiful, and if it had been sterilized (like it was later in the trip) by the clean, air conditioned interior of a primera class ride, I might have had a more picturesque view of Honduras. It was tropical and lush with interesting people and things to look at. Cars, trucks, motorcycles and horses traveled down the same narrow highways... women washed laundry in the streams... farmers hacked at the jungle with machetes. Except for the litter it was truly beautiful. What made it totally real, however, was not the view... for that was only a part of the picture. That part of the picture could be viewed from travel pamphlets and glossy magazine spreads. What really made it real was the sounds and the smells. The sound of honking buses, blaring music, people talking and laughing... The smell of roasting meats and tropical flowers, livestock and burning garbage, disinfectants and rotting vegetables. Put it all together and you have Honduras!

We made it to La Ceiba at 4:15... the last ferry to Roatan was leaving at 4:30. Once again we made it with only minutes to spare. At the time I was starving (my last meal had been on the air plane that morning) but thankfully my stomach was empty for the ferry ride to the island. It took all my concentration to keep the sea sickness at bay... but I made it... sweaty palms griping an empty plastic bag... safe to dry land.

We took a 20 minute taxi ride to the hotel on half moon bay, checked in, shrugged off our travel cloths and took a cool shower. After that the vacation part began. A couple of cold beers and a decent meal. Paul had the blackened fish and I had a shrimp in cream sauce. They were both served with a salad and a Caribbean-style rice dish. We also had what was supose to be a local specialty, Conch balls. They were cooked in overused oil and just tasted like fishy hush puppies. Overall, however, it was a pretty good meal.

After dinner we took a relaxing stroll into town. We were ready for anything... it had been a good day.

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