Honduras...... only a couple of days..
Santa Rosa de Copan Travel Blog› entry 9 of 18 › view all entries
My stay in Honduras was brief mostly because I was finding it expensive to travel around. The roads where shit and the towns, although very interesting where incredibly different..... Can't really explain it.
I passed through the border from Nic to Honduras through Las Manos... Very easy border crossing. Although I had to pay to exit Nic and pay to enter Honduras. Not much, but was slightly peeved because it is one visa. Once you get a visa to enter one of the four countries, it is the same visa... Good for some reasons and bad for others... Bad because that means that you only have 90 days on one visa to pass through all four countries: Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua. Good because they are working together and united to some extent. Unlike South America. The border crossings were intense.
I passed straight through Tegucigalpa and did not stay. I was very worried about the money situation as I had little cash on me and needed to get to the capital and wanted to get on the other side of the capital before dark the same day. One thing I can say about Honduras is that although they are trying there is still severe disorder regarding bus connections... Never had I had to take so many buses just to get to one place. I finally landed in La Esperanza around 4 in the afternoon. The bus there from the capital was more than to Santa Rosa which was further. I understood due to the condition of the roads. I paid to get to La Esperanza as I did not want to stay in the capital overnight. After four buses I got there. The roads were horrid and the towns through which we passed were strange. It almost reminded me of Bolivia. There was more of a disorder and dirtiness to the towns a strange kind of chaos which is hard to explain. It isn't by far my favorite country in Central America, but I haven't spent that much time. The towns were a strange mixture of formal and informal markets... Dirt roads within the town.. It was like entering a pueblo from a main highway... you had to turn off a main highway to enter a town that was like an old fortified town. Although not fortified, still there were boundaries to these towns. All the sidewalks were incredibly high from the road and small, the roads muddy....
I stayed only one night in La Esperanza and headed to Santa Rosa de Copan. I was wanting to hike around surrounding mountains and spend a day at the Maya ruin of Copan, but it was raining non-stop.. Very gloomy, cold and muddy town. Although I did find a really cool cafe! I walked for more than an hour looking for a place to stay. The places I found where of two types... Totally out of my budget or total dumps. Even the dumps were expensive. I found Honduras overall expensive to travel. Nicaragua, is tons safer, better organized, cheap and friendlier. Awesome country to be in.... Honduras was the exact opposite. Although the people are not unfriendly... It is just different. Nothing would compel me to spend much more time here.
Two things that I would like to mention that was strinkingly different about the two countries in comparison. One is the amount of cultivation in Honduras. There were more farms and landed being cultivated. Nicaragua was very strange as there were mostly just sugar cane, banana, tobaco, corn, coffee and in some parts rice.... The plantations were mostly for export. I asked the Spanish teacher about culture of farmers... I thought it strange that there were few farmers dispite land reforms in the last 20-30 years. I don't know much about the history, but I was told that cheap imports mainly from the states... i.e. dumping... farmers were not able to compete and certain crops were more profitable to cultivate for exportation. I also understood that with government taking of land and appropriation to farmers actually had the reverse effects. People were given land and in turn sold it off back to large land holders.... I really need to understand more of what has happened in Nic. Simply... from what I saw little land was being cultivated for personal consumption and local markets.... Unlike Honduras... it really reminded me of Peru and Bolivia to the extent families were working the land....
The second thing is the reputation of Nicaragua and how very different the reality is. Nic is really the safest country in Central America. Road networks are overall great, traveling easy, a beautiful country to visit... Tons of foreigners were buying land and moving there... Understandably. Although Honduras, El Salv and Guatemala have reputations for not being totally safe, they are more destinations for travel than Nic, but from my experience, the reverse should be true. Although tourism is increasing in Nic, it has suffered from propaganda... albeit a sketchy past from Somoza to Sandinistas......no more or less than its neighbors..... Another thing I was surprised about was the grumblings about Ortega. Although some were fervant sandinistas, overall people were not happy Ortega and the current administration... I was surprised in spite of a Sandinista leadership, little protectionism is in place against foreign exports and foreign investment i.e. foreign land ownership..... Again I am not an expert and know very little about the ins and outs of the country's past and present political reality, Nic is difinetly a fascinating country...... All I know as a traveler is that I felt tons safer traveling in Nic than in Honduras and people more open to talk to travelers....