Arrived in Leon , Nicaragua after a long day travelling on various buses - left Tegucigalpa in Honduras at about 8.30am and arrived here in Leon just before 6pm so feeling a bit tired but nothing that a cerveza or two wont cure. The border crossing Honduras to Nicaragua proved to be one of the most entertaining - as soon as you get to the border the bus is surrounded by guys trying to change your money and get a commission as your "fixer" to get you across the actual border which is a few kilometres away over a bridge. So as soon as I got off the bus I had several people shouting at me and grabbing at both my arms and my rucksack all at the same time. Eventually I got them all to calm down a little and tried to suss out who to use - I changed some money (at a not great exchange rate but I didnt want to arrive in Nicaragua without any cordobas) and agreed a price with two guys to take me across the border .
Nicaragua border 1
Basically you get on their little taxi bike and they take you to the right window for the passport formalities before going to "customs" , which consisted of the two guys on the bike shouting something to their mate the supposed customs guard and him waving us straight through without any checks (I think some palms might be greased around here) before we cycle across the bridge and into Nicaragua to a little square where the chicken buses arrive . On the other side the dodgy bike guys then tried to pull a fast one and hike the price up to a ridiculous level of 20 dollars so we had a bit of a heated "discussion" and eventually they managed to get me to give up at 5 dollars, which is no doubt way over the top but I´d just got to the point where I didnt want any more hassle & just wanted to sit down with a cold coke and wait for the bus to Leon.
Nicaragua border 2
OK then it must be that time for some reflections on the country I just left , in this case Honduras, I dont feel that I can say I really got under the skin of the country as I did with Guatemala and Mexico where I had covered a lot of ground. It´s an unfortunate reality that I do need to start speeding up a little in my travelling if I´m to stay broadly on the plan of being in Colombia around the early November time frame , which is a little frustrating because in many places I would happily linger around for a bit longer. Anyway , I really enjoyed Copan (both the Mayan ruins and the nightlife) and also the scuba diving on Utila was great. I certainly got around quite a few places (Santa Rosa , Gracias , San Pedro Sula , La Ceiba & Tegucigalpa) in a short space of time .
Nicaragua Border 3
... the pick of these I would say was the capital Tegucigalpa , the others were simply OK / alright without being really memorable or exciting. I would have to say that I haven´t really found the people in Honduras to be as warm and friendly as in Guatemala or Mexico but perhaps that is a little unfair comparison given the relative time and depth of experience in each of the places . Honduras tortillas (eg. yummy baleadas !) deserve a mention as being back on par with the high Mexico standards and a step up from Guatemala´s poorer efforts. So there it is ... a quick effort rather than a travel writers award winning review of Honduras but thats all for now !