The 3 A's... Africa, Asia & the Americas
Well since we last
spoke we've become fully fledged travellers. Yup we got the badge, got the
t-shirt < actually wish we had, I could do with something new to
wear!!>. What I mean is that we've crossed not one but two fronteras <
After the last time I emailed we left the internet cafe
and bundled ourselves onto a bus. 3 buses later we were at the border. First
we had to go to the Guatemala immigration office to get our exit stamp, then
another bus took us to the Honduran immigration office. Now when I talk of
immigration offices, dont be thinking of airconditioned offices with tiles on
the floor and computers on the desks! These are huts out in the sticks, with a
little man in there, puffing on his cigar, waiting for the next innocent
tourist to come along and charge $5 to cos he was '" working overtime" or
something like that. It was all very exciting though.
We spent just over a
week in Honduras altogether. What surprised me about the country was the lack
of poverty. That's probably the wrong way to put it. But on reading about
Honduras, it is meant to have one of the lowest GNP's of all the Latin
American countries, so I was expecting really basic standards and to see
really impoverished people. However, driving along on the bus, we could see
lots of houses at the side of the streets - yeh there were some little wooden
huts that families lived in as we'd seen elsewhere, but the number of nice
houses surprised me. The chicken buses of Guatemala were replaced with nice,
less cramped buses. And they weren't full of people wrestling their wares
onboard - chickens etc . No the people getting aboard wore jeans and nice tops
and carried burberry handbags <fake, I checked> and had blowdried hair.
Those of you who know me really well, ok you haven't got to know me that well
to realise, that fashion crises started erupting in my head! Nah only
joking..... I am more than happy wearing my khaki shorts and walking boots
Anyway, back to Honduras, why do clothes and handbags always get
in the way??!! So I was saying that Honduras was pretty refined for a 3rd
world country. The only major telltale sign to me was the road network. You
can't just get a bus directly from one city to another, there are not
necessarily any roads connecting them. No you've got to travel via where the
they have built the roads. and that can mean dotting all over the place. So in
Honduras we headed for the Bay Islands which are off the northern coast in the
We went to Roatan, the bigger of the 3 islands that has
beautiful white powdery sand and crystal clear, turquoise water. Some may say
that they can see a pattern forming here, what with Denny's Beach the week
before and hammock lounging in Flores before that - but they'd just be taking
a snapshot of our month so far - a 3 week snapshot!! Roatan was just like I
imagined a small carribbean island. In fact it put me in mind of how I would
picture Jamaica, even though I've never been there.
The island was about 55km
long and about 2 - 3 kms wide. Most people spoke english, a sort of
Afro-carribbean english, " hey mon, whaccha dooin" - kind of thing, you know
what I mean.....OK I'm embarrassing myself now... I'm laughing anyway. OK, so
Roatan, where was I? Yeh we had lovely weather and went and lay on the beach
every day - oh and did quite a bit of snorkelling!! That was great. So our
general day went like this- 7.30-8am - get up and out on our sun tan lotion
9am - cook pancakes in the shared kitchen 10.30 head off to get a water taxi
down to West Bay, the beach. 11am - get in the water to cool off as we're a
bit hot and sticky by this time 11.30 We've cooled off so we get our snorkel
gear and go for a long snorkel in the coral reef which runs right from Belize
across the top of Honduras.
The first day we stayed out pretty much all day.
But as the novelty wore off this would get shorter.... 12.30pm - Laze in the
shade, reading our books and munching on the sarnies we made earlier, perhaps
have a beer. 4pm - start to get our stuff together to get a water taxi back
5.30 - sit on our balcony, maybe with a beer, and watch the sun set 6.30 Head
off our to Twisted Toucan for happy hour and have a couple of margaritas and
their fantastic fish and chips. 9pm head home to our lovely airconditioned
room and to bed - cream krackered from our hard day.
Roatan was expensive
though. Meals were in the price zone of a meal in London. We tried a Thai
restaurant one night and I was sorely disappointed. It bore no resemblance to
the Red Thai curry I get in the Prince of Wales pub in Highgate. BUT it
bloomin' cost more!! Oh well, when in Rome... We did treat ourselves on the
accommodation front though. Well it only cost about $7 more a night to get a
gorgeous cabin on the beach which had airconditioning, a white tiled bathroom
with Hot water and fluffy white towels and lovely white cotton sheets on the
bed. We were in paradise. ..... paradise.............................
stayed in Roatan for 6 days - our tans are looking pretty good now. Didn't
need the St TRopez that I bought in the duty free afterall!! From Roatan we
set off on a two day bus trip to get to Managua, the capital of Nicaragua. We
punctuated it with an overnight stop in Tegucigalpa, the capital of Honduras.
The journey wasn't too bad this considering it was about 16 hours on a bus.
The border crossing was very easy this time as it was all handled by the bus
company. They gave us the forms to fill out and took our passports to
immigration etc. We did have to get off at the border though and walk over the
border. About half an hour there for them to check all the passports and to
check over the bus, then we were off again. I broke the toilet on the bus. I
think I was the only person that attempted to flush it. The problem was that
it didn't stop flushing. It flushed and flushed and flushed for the remainder
of the journey. I was a little flushed in the face to say the least! It made
such a noise and all the passengers around were bothered by it.
So that was
last night . Not like a city at all. It was all kind of waste land, grass, amd
nothing really. Not far from the shopping centre there were little huts that
the poor people lived in. These were literally little wooden slatted huts at
the side of the street. The irony of it is, not more than 1 km away is this
great big shopping centre with designer shops and cinemas and restaurants. Yeh
there was a Liz Claiborne shop, Bennetton, Levis, a dept store selling Ralph
Lauren etc etc.
Baseball is the big thing here, so we've bought ourselves some
tickets and are off to see that tonight. Quite exciting really. I've no idea
what the rules of baseball are , but I used to play softball when I was a kid
in Oz - is it the same? I will tell all next time I write.... Or maybe I won't
cos it will all be in Spanish and I won't have a bloomin' clue hat's going
on!! I'm sure we'll enjoy it. It's at the national stadium which is HUGE.
We're sitting with the home team.
Oh well I'm sure you've had enough of my
ramblings... Until next time ... Lots of love to everyone. And don't be afraid
to write and tell me your news .
Lots of love Wendy