Day 8 – Drive to Honduras

23 Mar

Ilobasco, roads, driving, roads, Eric, tshirts, artisan, cake, roads, digging up the roads, petrol, roads, cold, roads, smelly showers, no water, pizza, collapsing.

Leaving Suchitoto at 8am, we headed off to Ilobasco, avoiding the road the had been washed away by floods.

We witnessed lots of election posters, some being ripped down by the opposition.

I was squashed in one of the seats near the front, without any leg room, meaning they I had to turn sideways – was most uncomfortable.

Ilobasco is an arts centre,.and we stooped at one of the stores to buy some more tat. Most of us went for a tshirt, which were all neatly filed before we arrived, and were strewn all about the shop by the time we left. Almost embarrassing.

Whilst most of the group also found time for coffee and cake, I discovered the two must popular shops were the guns and ammunition shop and the numerous funeral directors openly displaying coffins. Wonder if there is a connection there? Pinatas in the shape of Pooh are just wrong.

The bus had stopped outside a secondary school, and a large group of girls had gathered. I spoke with a man who used to be their teacher – he was now studying English at university and was very good. They wanted their photos taken in teenage poses. Would probably have got arrested at home, but they wanted … Okay, I’ll stop there.

Nope, sorry … Have to mention the chocolate covered banana that one of them was sucking. Stopping now.

Eric, our driver for the day, had to keep visiting every petrol station, as he needed to find one that would accept the company fuel card. Eventually Lou gave him money to stop having to worry about running out of fuel.

As we drove on, Lou also pointed one of her favourite auto hotels by the name of Camelot and in the shape of a castle. Also the American embassy with a large queue for visas – and next to it a Wendy’s!

We had lunch in a petrol station – don’t think Werner read the sign about not drinking the purchased alcohol in the premises – okay to drink it in the vehicle that you just drove up in (even if you are the driver), but not in the seating area!

Eventually, we reached the Honduran border at El Amatillo. It looked like the customs building was about to fall down.

From this point on the roads deteriorated badly! Generally, traffic drives wherever there are the least holes, which makes two way driving rather harrowing, especially when the other vehicle heading towards you at high speed is a much larger truck! There were also men and boys with shovels who had dug up the road and flagged you down with buckets wanting money to help repair the road they had just dug up. This apparent Honduran pasttime doesn’t seem too productive as most of the lorry drivers were actually aiming at them. Several unrepaired landslides also slowed the journey dramatically.

Other roadside activities included pumping petrol into open oil drums next to the (open flame) kitchen, and also setting fire to the verge (presumably for future growth), but dangerous near the petrol oil drums.

Also noticed some wind farms that had sprouted up.

Finally arrived in Valle de Angeles, Honduras at 7pm, and were advised to rush out for food. The only place we really could find after such so long journey was the local pizza place. I managed a medium pizza, but for some reason no one else could. 14 people and a pizza oven that can cope with 4 pizzas at a time meant some long waits if you weren’t in first.

We’re at 1500 meters (higher than Ben Nevis), so it is pleasantly cool. The hotel however is a bit basic, although I do have a fridge in my room. Towels are minging!

Didn’t care though – just collapsed into bed. Fell sleep with the tv on, and woke up at 3am to switch it off.

Long travel day!

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