The Americas travel blog

Traffic jam

An interesting day today!! We have to be up at 4am and we are leaving at 5am with a packed breakfast to cross over into Honduras and then catch a flight from the capital, Tegulapica to Roatan an island in the Caribbean Sea. Our driver is late picking us up and we end up having time to eat our toast, fruit and coffee before we leave. He doesn't pick us up till 5.30 so we are already half an hour behind. Off we go and it's an hour and a half to the border. We complete the formalities on the Nicaraguan side but because our bus is not accompanying us we have to put our bags through the scanner to leave, Go figure!! Phil actually puts his suitcase though and carries his backpack on his back and no-one picks up that he has it. We hop on the bicycle taxis and they cycle us through 'no mans land' to the Honduras side and we queue to get our passports stamped. Here we are reunited with Hector and our nice van (comfy leather seats). He has been hanging around for a week at the border on the Honduras side waiting for us. As we start driving we can tell straight away we have entered another county as the road is dreadful. There are potholes everywhere. It's dodgem cars as trucks and cars swerve all over the two lanes to try and avoid the holes. We also get stopped at 3 roadside checkpoints maned by the police. We are told it's because of all the people trying to pass through Central America to get to the USA. Well that is interesting as we really look like illegal immigrants trying to get to the States. We break for a coffee for 20 mins but we still have 127 kms to go and we aim to be at the airport at 1pm.

Then we hit the roadworks! Some idiot decided that they should dig up over a hundred kilometres of road at the one time, so virtually this main access road into the capital is down to one lane. At one stage we are standing still for 45 minutes while the traffic from the opposite direction can pass using the 'one' lane. This continues with long stops to wait for the traffic and then 1pm goes by and then also 2pm and we are still a long way from the airport. I badly need to do a wee so on one of our enforced stops I look for a bush but there are none to hide behind, so I have to go on the road crouching down between our van and the tanker in front of us. I just about cause a flood! We eventually arrive at the airport at 3.10 and Tomas goes into the terminal to check, as maybe the plane has been delayed, but damn it, we have missed it. We are devastated, as we were up at 4am to make this flight and we were so looking forward to spending two nights on the island paradise of Roatan. Apart from being bitterly disappointed, we haven't had any lunch and by this stage are getting a bit grumpy. Tomas gets on the phone to his agency to find us accommodation in Tegucigalpa which is known to be a very dangerous city. Tomas thinks fast and decides to take us to a shopping mall to wait for news from his agency regarding where we are staying tonight. As we walk towards the entrance of the mall we see 3 armed guards with machine guns in the car park. Comforting!!! We hang around the mall and have a coffee while some accommodation is sorted. We then go to the Excelsior Hotel, which has definitely seen better days and which is surrounded by razor wire, and we will stay there tonight. The recommendation is to not go out of the hotel so we have a very 'ordinary' meal in the restaurant. Just the five of us as I don't think there are any other guests.

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