Tegus, for short....

Tegucigalpa Travel Blog

 › entry 5 of 12 › view all entries
Tegucigalpa, refered to by all expats as Tegus, for obvious reasons, is the captial of Honduras.  I left Nicaragua with a plan to not have to backtrack, recomended to my by the owner of the hostel.  Instead of going back to Managua, I would go forward on local busses, avoiding the need to spend the night in Managua, in order to catch a four thirty bus.  I left early in the moring, around 7am, and hopped on a micro bus to Chinedega.  It wasen't bad although I was smushed in as usual with my bag on my lap (I don't trust those roof racks for several reasons), but within an hour, thirty minutes ahead of my hostel owners projection, I was there.  From Chinedega I took another microbus to Gauldule, the frontier town with Honduras.  Again, We shaved some time off the total, and were at the border with plenty of time to spare.  So far so good, but this is the part where things started to go sour. 
    I crossed the border with east, assisted by a rickshaw driver who helped me across for 10 Cordobas (fifty cents).  I gave him four times that, as he was good natured and didn't ask for a penny more than promised when we were over, and he even helped me onto the right bus, the bus to Choulteca.  Now, the good thing about microbusses is that they are usually much faster and direct than local busses.  The downside, however, is that they usually wait in one spot until they fill up, making them great if your timing is good, and awful if it isn't.  I couldn't complain as I waited in the heat of the dusty border town, as I had had good luck so far and was at least an hour (if not more) ahead of schedule, and not even 30 minutes later when we were still sitting there, as the noon heat wafted the smell of horse shit and human piss into my sauna of a seat.  I was in the shady front seat, better than the no-other-shady-spots-in-sight alternatives, but the one other passanger waiting with me at this point depressed me a little bit.
    I used this time to read some of my Oscar Wilde, the trade I made for Treasure island in Leon, as I knew I wouldn't be able to read when it came time for the bus to start moving, and waited.  Finally, about an hour (sigh) after we waited, we left, 75% full (i consider myself lucky) and were on to the next town--Choulteca.  After a short drive, maybe 45 minutes, we arrived there, and I was overjoyed to see that Tegus was less than a hunderd Km away.  But, those who have traveled by bus in such parts of the world as this, will know that less than a hundred Km can take suprisingly long--5 hours in this case.
    Part of it was that the hunderd Km was up and down mountians, part of it was that were farted around for an hour before we left, and part of it was this was a local bus which stopped everywhere along the way, probably making a detour to El Salvadore at some point.  The main thing, however, was the 2 hours we waited to pass a stalled truck, the logistical masters of Honduras managed to mess up a simple trafic direction to majectic proportions, letting trucks block trucks, cars get stuck in the mud and so on.  There were even ice cream vendors going around this dusty road making a killing, leaving me to wonder how long this truck had been stuck here....
    The upshot is that we got to Tegus, the most dangerous place I had been yet on my trip, perhaps in my life, after dark in the worst part of town.  As I walked along the road, having been kicked out of the bus with not a taxi in sight, being leared at by groups of men and youths on the street, I finally bullied a taxi to take me where I was going, though he resisted due to his lack of english.  Through trials and adventure, we found my hotel together, a charming yet run down hostel with bars and pad locks and an 11pm curfew--for everyone's safety, the sign said--and got a beer and a shower into me as quickly as I could. 
    Now, I would have liked to see Tegus in the day, all those shops with bars two feet into the entrance, and a small window so you can point to what you want and they pass it through to you, things like a bottle of water or a pack of gum, or those charming restaurants with bars two feet into the entrance, and a small window so you can point to what you want and they pass it though to you, like some fried chicken or a chicken taco.  Honestly, I think it would have been ok to spend a few days there in the day time with taxis and a few other people, but at 5am the next morning I was not sorry to leave this hilly, cold town to be on my way to the sunny island of Utila, on the Atlantic, just off the Mosquito Coast of Honduras....
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photo by: Biedjee