14 hours of “fun” on the bus from Nicaragua to Honduras

– I keep laughing at my bus journey`s and this one was one to remember. Mel, Freddie and I decided to head north to Honduras and we knew it was going to be a long ride and there wasn`t anything to see in between. So we bought the nicer bus ticket with A/C, movies and were hoping to make the 12 hour journey and border crossing in one piece. Caitlin and Alex were going to wait another day and come later to join us. Except at the last minute, Caitlin and Alex decided to join us and tried to buy a ticket at the bus company, but the computer system was down and they couldn`t buy or travel with us. They still wanted to come and decided to take local buses, so in essence, we had a race.

– They left the hostel at 4:30am and I left at 6am. Even though it was so hot outside, I had to grab a long sleeved shirt as I heard the A/C is so strong, you will freeze without it. So an easy morning to the border and the best part was Tica Bus company took our passports, money and did all the border formalities for us. Such a treat!

-From that point on, we got movies and they were in English. I can`t stress how much easier the long bus journey was watching a movie and I haven`t seen many new movies so anything was a treat. We got to watch the movie Changling which was sad, but good.

– Right when the movie ended, we realized we were so close to Tegucigalpa. Now this is the capital city in Honduras, and for a week or so, we couldn`t pronounce it, so we all kept calling it “the capital city in Honduras” and then we would laugh. I finally was able to pronounce it, yet I only spent 20 minutes grabbing lunch and then heading north. This is where things went bad…

– I noticed the bus started to slow and then stopped. I just assumed there was traffic, road construction or something as the roads are pretty bad. Finally the A/C on the bus stopped and I heard groans. Right then, we learned the bus broke down and we had to sit on the side of the highway. It was so hot, and no one knew how long we would be there. After 30 minutes, some of the locals had called for a taxi or friend to pick them up and they were leaving. Too bad we don`t have a cell phone nor anyone to call plus this bus was still to take us further north, so we were stuck waiting for it to be fixed. At one point, there were 10 people behind the bus trying to fix it and it looked a little hopeless. We saw so many chicken buses and other buses pass us and honk and we felt stupid as we were on the fancier bus and we broke down. With each chicken bus that passed, we were looking to see if Caitlin and Alex were on it as they could easily pass us in the race.

– We finally got moving and reached Tegucigalpa. There was no main bus terminal and we knew we were stopping quickly and then heading up north to San Pedro Sula. As we turned the corner and we thought we were close, we were all looking for food places to run to. Freddie and Mel were talking about Domino`s pizza as we passed a lot on the way into town and it sounded good. At that moment, I saw a Pizza Hut cart on the corner and lots of personal pizza boxes. So we decided to run down there to grab pizza. Sadly, when we got there, the lady didn`t have anymore and told us it would be 15 minutes, but our bus was leaving in 7 minutes and it took us 10 minutes to walk there. So upset, we ran back to the bus and grabbed something else. So leaving at 630am, we arrived in Tegucigalpa at 200pm. So a little longer than expected with the break down and we only really lost our lunch hour stop.

– This next leg of the bus was supposed to be 3 hours. I guess this was in normal road conditions as we finally pulled into San Pedro Sula at 7pm so this was a 4.5 hour journey based on the poor roads. At this point, we realized we may have to stay the night in San Pedro Sula since there were no buses to La Ceiba where we planned to go. So out came the bible (Lonely Planet guidebook) and we found a hostel that sounded good. It was a good thing Mel and Freddie were with me as neither of them could pull money from the ATM, so I was their sugar mama for the next day until they found an ATM that worked.

– Once we got to the hostel, we noticed there wasn`t much around and most things were closed (at 730pm). We heard there was a Baleadas Express. This was a fast food chain in the country and so amazing. A baleada is the typical food in Honduras and sometimes is described as the poor man`s burrito. We fell in love as this fresh tortilla was brushed with beans, cheese and sour cream. We added chicken and avocado and hot sauce. It was so tasty and was only 21 Lempira ($1). I had to get a photo of this as it was wonderful!

– At the end of the night, we thought we deserved a beer but there was no where to go. We did find one place across the street from our hostel, but it looked really nice (and there was a hummer right outside). We went in and found the beer was 55 Lempira ($3) which was really expensive for the country. In the end, we stayed for one, relaxed and laughed about our journey. We later read in the guidebook the place we had a beer was the nicest restaurant in all of Honduras.

– We didn`t make it all the way to La Ceiba and tried to email Alex and Caitlin to let them know. They were due in at 11:30pm and we had decided on a hostel. In the end, they made it to La Ceiba, couldn`t find us and the next day learned of our problems. We did meet up at the ferry on Sunday the 10th for the hour crossing to Utila. So Alex and Caitlin won the race and made it to La Ceiba first, but as Alex joked today, they didn`t rest at all, were not comfortable at all and got no movies (but they paid $15 and we paid $40). So in the end, I think Mel, Freddie and I won as we all got to the Bay Islands together, but we had a more comfortable journey.

– Long day, way too much travel, but the Tica bus, A/C, movies and having Mel and Freddie to travel with made it all better.

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