The Jeep All Packed Up and Ready To Go
Up Late Packing
Shelly and I were up until about 3am packing and arranging our things and were in no way rested enough to begin packing the car and making final checks, give the keys to the caretaker, driving to the shipping dock which is 30-45 minutes away, and do all of these things before 11am. It was hot and muggy with little wind and packing the car seemed simple. It wasn't. I think we actually accumulated more THINGS! Some things we have ditched thinking we were streamlined and ready. We weren't.
Packing the Car After 7 Months
We got the car packed and rushed out and down the road to the main road and looking good with 25-30 minutes to get to Island Shipping. Suddenly I realized, I couldn't find my phone. I look around where it normally was in the car, and it's not there. So we turn around go back to the house and Dorn, our property caretaker, was there in the apartment. Shelly couldn't find the phone and Dorn hadn't seen it either. I looked in a bag where I might have put the phone, and it wasn't there. Finally I find it in another bag. I was so out of my mind rushing around and with the lack of sleep, I don't remember putting it in the bag. So now we're going to be substantially late. We hop back in the Jeep and head for Island Shipping.
Going to Get The Jeep
Shipping the Car
We made it in record time, only about 10 minutes late. I go inside and I am immediately reminded how on time I really was. Island time...I was early. No one batted an eye or rushed me into getting my car loaded . It was in the morning and it would take all day to go the distance between Roatan and La Ceiba on the slow boat. Everything began to calm and the sun came out and started to bake us. We grabbed a cab out front on the main road and headed for the Galaxy Express Ferry port a few miles away. We were really early for the ferry so we sat in the terminal waiting until 2:00 for our ferry to depart.
In La Ceiba Coming Off The Boat
Galaxy Wave to La Ceiba
We took the ferry and arrived in La Ceiba at about 3:30pm. The Jeep was still on its way on the slow boat. We heard that it would get here around 4pm from some of the dock guys and some other dock guys said 6pm. I called Island Shipping and they told me around 5pm. At 5pm the ship docked to a dirt patch in a canal. We were standing there when they began to offload the boat and saw our Jeep tucked in the back.
However, we didn't know how this all worked or how we get the car off. We stood there looking lost and a guy with a clipboard showed up. I went to speak to him and he handed me the keys to the car and told me to go get it off the boat. Hmmm, easy as that. I walked up to the boat and to the Jeep and drove it off the shipping boat. It was kind of cool, this would never fly in the USA.
La Delphina Hotel - La Ceiba, Honduras
Heading to La Delphina
We hopped in the Jeep and headed out for Richard's place near Sambo Creek called La Delphina Bed and Breakfast Bar and Grill Hotel. This is a great place to stay near La Ceiba. Richard is a retired marine from Boston who is originally from Honduras, who moved back to Honduras to open a bed and breakfast. It's out-of-town and on the beach. He has a pool, restaurant, rooms and a bar. He is simply just a great guy who found his little slice of heaven. We have stayed here before and we really loved the room and conversations with Richard so we kinda went out of our way to stay there again before heading to Tegucigalpa the next day.
Driving In Honduras - Dodging Animals
Packing the Car and Crushing My Toe
That night in the dark, I thought it would be a good idea to repack the car. We were in such a rush leaving Roatan, that the car wasn't organized quite how I liked it. It's an art to pack a car and everything needs to fit like Tetris to get the most out of your space. While doing this, I stubbed my left big toe on a bag, and tore the tip of it back to the nail. Pain, blood sweat accompanied by numerous mosquito bites made for a frustrating evening. We finally got to sleep to start the trip out of Honduras. The next morning we headed out to Tegucigalpa or maybe even another town close to the Honduran/ Nicaraguan border.Driving Honduras
Heading down the highway and following the GPS, we drove for some time through mountain vistas and small town after small town. The drive was picturesque and interesting. The roads in are in fair to good shape in Honduras, and even though we hit some construction in a mountain pass between Comayagua and Tegucigalpa.
The traffic was stopped almost completely on the other side of the road heading out of Tegucigalpa. Heading into Tegus, was slow, however it was moving. We made to Tegucigalpa around 5-5:30pm. Tegucigalpa is quite possibly the most run-down of the Latin American capitals I have seen. We were originally planning on staying there, but changed our minds once we entered the city limits.
Changing Plans On Where to Cross to Nicaragua
We gassed up and decided to take the route to Nicaragua that went through Las Manos border station after speaking to a very well dressed Honduran driving a nice car who was also gassing up at the time. He said to go to Danli, near the border and spend the night there. He said it was only about 15 minutes away from where we were, outside of Tegucigalpa. It wasn't. An hour and a 15 minutes later we arrived in Danli, Honduras. I guess I didn't hear the guy at the gas station so clearly.
We drove around looking for a place to stay and saw a place outside of town that had parking with a gate for our loaded Jeep. Price... 16 dollars per night without A/C. We immediately headed downtown to find something to eat. We saw some street stalls and stopped at one called Gordos Mexican across from a gas station on a main road.
Amazing Food at El Gordos in Danli, Honduras
We ordered 3 tacos and a Torta (sandwich). The tacos were huge! So much so, I wished I hadn't ordered the Torta. The portions were gigantic here and the food was absolutely delicious. Gordo cooked it up Mexican Authentic although states he's 100% Honduran.
Total bill... 10 dollars for the both of us. Shelly and I stuffed ourselves and headed back happy to the hotel. We loved Danli, Honduras. Small and personal, pretty surroundings in the mountains, great street food, cheap and friendly.
Traveling to the Nicaraguan border on Honduran roads was wonderful. We really enjoyed seeing Honduras from the road, stopping along the way, getting lost and asking directions from an old man on the side of a mountain road selling hammocks, finding hidden jewels like Danli, Honduras. We were happy with the way things turned out and had no issues in the process. Honduras has been a great place to live and is still on our radar as possible places we will return someday.
Change of Perspective
From the laid-back attitudes of the islanders on Roatan, to the friendly people of Danli and all points in between, we never feared for our lives or found ourselves in terrible situations. We were never robbed, held-up, murdered or raped. We were never even imposed upon or mistreated by any Honduran. Maybe we were just lucky or... just maybe... we shouldn't believe everything we hear and read. Still holding true to the belief that people are generally good throughout the world.
We have found this everywhere we have been. We hear about how dangerous somewhere is, and as long as you are smart and don't put yourself into situations that can be dangerous, it isn't. Of course things happen on accident and in freak encounters, however we have found that this is rare. Know where you are and keep your surroundings in the forefront of your mind. Keep valuables hidden and don't flash your money around and you will be ok.