The day had arrived when we had to leave Utila, and we were SAD! Sad to leave our new friends, sad to leave island-life, and sad to leave the diving world! BUT we had a new adventure to embark on, and that was the journey from the Caribbean Ocean to the Pacific Coast in Nicaragua!
6am ferry to La Ceiba (to mainland Honduras), taxi ride to the bus terminal, 2-hour wait, then a 6-hour bus ride (not so bad)! Unfortunately there is no way to make it to Leon, Nicaragua in a day. We wanted to avoid staying overnight in the capital, Tegucigalpa, so stopped in the little colonial town of Comayagua where we had couchsurfers awaiting us THANK GOD!
Aside from the Bay Islands, Honduras didn’t feel like the safest place to travel through, so we were happy to feel safe in someones home we could trust! Andrea and Jimmy were AWESOME…took us to eat some delicious Honduran food, made us feel so welcome AND had an adorable kitten for me to play with Sorry Jimmy for not speaking Spanish!! A nice hiatus from the long Caribbean to Pacific coast drive!
The next leg was CRAZY! Woke up at 5am to catch a taxi to the highway that runs outside of town. From there, we caught a really nice van that seemed to be for more upscale locals to the capital Tegucigalpa. What should have been a nice smoothe ride ended up being nerve-wrecking when a policeman stepped on halfway through. Should be comforting right? WRONG! Not only were all the locals upset and anxious-looking when he entered, but this cop was basically standing on top of me, his massive rifle rubbing on my shoulder and almost on Brad’s foot, and his handgun in my face…along with his crotch!!! All this the day after our couchsurfer had just told us how corrupt the police are in Honduras and how it has become #1 country for murders… peace-corp were pulled out and all! My heart was PUMPING..I had to close my eyes to stop thinking about it! 30 minutes later, he got off and everyone on the bus could breathe again!
FINALLY arrived in Tegucigalpa, Where the bus stations are scattered throughout the city.So another taxi ride it was to the bus station, where we waited an hour before hopping on a comfortable greyhound-style bus to a town close to the Honduran/Nicaraguan border. Next we were rushed into a crappy hot cramped shuttle van where we were transported right to the border.
What happened next was just pure chaos. As we’re driving in, this Honduran man spots us (2 Gringos) in the front of a van, and starts SPRINTING towards us trying to grab on to the window! At first I thought he was trying to catch us and rob the shuttle!! Haha but NO, he wanted our business. We hop out and BOOM…Brad and I have never had so many touts surrounding us trying to exchange money and convince us to take THEIR rickshaw over the others. We went with the sprinter because of his enthusiasm and effort Slowly, we Rickshawed to the border, got our stamp OUT, and continued to slowly be bicycled the 1km to the Nicaraguan entrance.
Next was a decent walk through barren nothingness where we eventually found a sad-looking chicken bus that went ALL THE WAY TO LEON! YAY!! By now we were pouring sweat in the middle of the day, so grabbed a drink and endured the ride on the sunny side of the bus! We thought it was funny we were the ONLY ones sitting on the left side of the bus!
The bus dropped us off on the highway where we grabbed ONE more taxi to our hostel…only to find out they had NOT received our booking, and didn’t have room for us! All ended fine though, the hostel across the road had room and after 11 hours of taxi-> van-> taxi->Greyhound-> Shuttle-> Rickshaw-> Chicken Bus-> Taxi…and only $12 out-of-pocket…we CRASHED!