From San Pedro Sula I went on to La Ceiba by bus where I stayed in a friendly hostel called the Banana Republic Guest House. That evening I was invited to share dinner and stories with two New Zealanders and a Canadian. The next morning, the ferry didn’t go to Roatan because of rainy bad weather; in fact it hadn’t gone for several days. I managed to book a flight that possibly would go to Roatan later that day. I taxied out to the airport at 10:00 AM and watched as it began to seriously pour rain. I have never seen rain like this—it kept pouring steadily until after midnight that night.
I returned to the hostel at 4:30 PM, having been rebooked on a flight for 7:30 AM the next morning. Borrowing a hostel umbrella, I went to a nearby store and bought hamburger, carrots, a Japanese eggplant, tomato sauce, an onion, a large can of refried beans, and for cocktails—a pint of rum, a small box of orange juice, a can of pineapple juice and two limes. I made a stew, somebody else contributed rice, which I cooked and another contributed nachos upon which somebody else put pico de gallo. The cocktails, which we named ‘Banana Republic Guest House Cocktails’ turned out to be quite tasty and effective. The stew, to which somebody else contributed oyster mushrooms and garlic, was good over rice, with refried beans as a side. Starting with the cocktails and the nachos, about seven of us piled into the whole shebang! This is the fun of hosteling!
The next morning I finally did get to Roatan and found Fred’s cute yellow cabin with no problem. His caretakers, one local girl and two Canadians, had thoughtfully laid in some food supplies so I made breakfast for myself when I got there. The weather was partly sunny and the setting was like living in a salad before opening out onto the white Caribbean beach. In every room were large conch shells replete with fresh colorful leaves and flowers!
Sunday I made a trip to the town of Coxen Hole by collectivo (shared taxi) and although not much was open, it was fun to explore the island town. Monday I walked to another town called West End, caught up on my email, and bought a few groceries. I also booked a flight to Tegucigalpa for the morning of Nov. 6th to connect with my flight home leaving at 1:30 PM.
After the history-making election returns (!) which I watched on Fred’s cable TV, I was awakened the next morning by my neighbor, Angela, who reported that there was a protest against the electrical company that day with blocked roads and canceled school for her children. She was concerned about the next day’s protests and that they might close the airport if nobody could get there. After conferring with me, she called and changed my flight to Wednesday, which did involve staying overnight in Tegucigalpa but seemed less risky than chancing weather or protests that could close the airport.
Since it rained much of the time that I was on Roatan, leaving a day early seemed like the thing to do. First, an 18-minute flight to La Ceiba on a 15-passenger prop plane; then another plane, a 21-passenger, to Tegucigalpa. The Lonely Planet described a very good hostel right by the airport—what luck! But when I found it, it was out of business. Still, it looked like people were living there so I “holaaaaaed” and convinced a woman (in Spanish!) near my age to put me up for just one night as I was getting a flight out the next day. It was also next door to a Burger King so I had a hamburger and french fries fix. Later she, her husband and I had a nice visit. He had attended LSU in the late 50s so knew English.
The next morning the husband (Omar) was leaving and suggested to me that I could get a nice breakfast next door at Burger King, but I could see Maritza kind of signaling to me and encouraging Omar out the door. When he had left, she took me into the dining room and suggested—coffee? an egg? toast? beans? etc. so I said yes, but told her then I would insist on paying her more. “NO!!” She nixed that idea! So we had a nice conversation (in Spanish) over my tasty breakfast. In the meantime, some more of her family stopped to see her (as last night some grandsons had) and then she turned on CNN for me so I could get the news! What a lovely capstone to my stay in Honduras! I’m always so lucky in meeting local people—that’s so much fun!
This trip was not one of my best, but I (curiously) did enjoy flexing my mental and physical muscles to get around, overcoming all those obstacles. And I always enjoy seeing another country although I will admit that charming small rural villages are not so charming when one must walk around in mud and mist. Nevertheless, I certainly enjoyed seeing the Copan Ruins and Roatan as well as the small villages, at least when the sun came out! I gather that this had been an unusually rainy October—In Honduras, November and especially December are usually even more rainy.