La Campa was fun in a low-key way. I was not only the only guest in my hotel but the only tourist in town. After two nights in La Campa I hailed down the bus at 7:15 AM that took me back to Gracias. On these rural buses it seems that it is obligatory for men carrying machetes (and there are quite a few) to stash them under the driver’s seat—a security precaution, no doubt.
I was planning to take another bus on to La Esperanza but discovered that it had gone at 6:00 AM so I overnighted in Gracias. The next morning I was leaving the hotel at 5:30 AM to get the 6 o’clock bus to La Esperanza, but I was locked in! This happens frequently so I had told both proprietors that I would need to get out of the hotel at 5:30, but there I was pounding on the door and yelling “Helloooooo.” (Don’t ask what happens in case of fire—) A bilingual guest whom I had met the day before said she would get somebody—her door opened beyond the locked door. Pretty soon the proprietor unlocked it and let me out.
It was misting (again!) as I walked the two blocks to the bus station. When I asked for the La Esperanza bus, the man motioned and said it leaves from a different place, across town. I hurried off walking with my pack (no tuk tuks around this early on Sunday) and asked a man where I could get the bus to La Esperanza. He said he was going that way and would show me. About a mile later he pointed to a van and I said, “La Esperanza?” and he said, “No, that bus left at 5:30.” Oofdah! I asked if there were another bus today to La Esperanza, and he said there wasn’t. “But, you can take this bus to San Juan, and get another bus to La Esperanza.” OK.
I hopped aboard. After waiting a half hour, the driver enlisted two men to push the van to get it started. Off we went, up, up, up into the clouds—raining heavily now, and after a few miles the road turned into wet, oozy mud! Then it became so misty/foggy that the driver could only see a few feet in front of the van. I kept saying to myself that he must be very skilled at this since he does it every day.
I got let off at San Juan and there was a school bus waiting— destination: La Esperanza. The road was still gravel and bumpy but not muddy, and the sun came out revealing beautiful mountain scenery and lovely rushing streams, all the way down the mountain to La Esperanza. Well, all’s well that ends well!
On Tuesday another bus on another rural road (I’ll spare you the details) took me to Marcala, another Lenca town. Again it was windy, cold and misty. The good news was that my hotel room had a hot water machine on the showerhead, a plugin to recharge my iPod and camera battery (some don’t) and cable TV; the bad news was during the whole 24 hour stay, there was no electricity, so no lights, no hot water, no recharging the batteries, no TV, and since the whole town was out, no Internet!
I left for Comayagua on Wednesday, staying overnight. It was misting there also, so I emailed Claire to see if she could get my ticket changed to go home early. My motto is: “If it’s not fun, go home!” While many parts have been fun, the last week has not—just too much rain. Apparently I didn’t do my homework scrupulously enough—there are TWO rainy seasons—one in May/June and one in Oct/Nov. So it goes.
This morning I took another bus to San Pedro Sula where I am now (in the terminal) and will take another bus in an hour to La Ceiba where I shall stay overnight. Tomorrow I shall take the fast ferry to Roatan, an island in the Carribbean where hopefully I shall get some sun. (Hurricane season is over, isn’t it?) Anyway, a high school friend, Fred Winker, has offered me the use of his cabin there. Fred visited over 20 Caribbean islands before selecting Roatan on which to build a cabin. He rents it out—you can check it out on his website at VRBO.com with property number 139279. Scroll down and click on ‘pictures’ to see the cabin. Anyway, that’s where I’ll be watching the election returns on Nov. 4th. I’m returning home on Nov. 6th.