December 20th, 2008 – by: mpope9
After a lazy morning, we set off late morning for our flight our of Leon to Tegucigalpa. We boarded the little plane from Roatan to La Ceiba a little bit late (I guess we were running not only on Central American time, but also Caribbean timing). After about a twenty minute flight we landed and got off the plane and were hustled in to the terminal building... and here we sat for the next 1.5 hours or so waiting for our next flight to complete the jounrey to Tegucigalpa. Finally having got very frustrated with the wait and not being told anything, Martin asked what the delay was; to be told everything was okay they just had to change the tyre on our plane ... oh great! Lesson number two, if a planes delayed don't ask why!
Finally we boarded and took off, this time we were in the air for 35 minutes and so even got time for a quick complementary snack and drink! We got to Tegucigalpa an hour or so later than planned, luckily for us our van driver had waited.
So collecting our luggage, we jumped aboard the van, went to a Petrol Station for a bite to eat (first "real" meal of the day for all of us) and then started the long journey to the Honduran - Nicaragua boarder. Tegucigalpa from what I saw of it, from plane and van, is sprawled across vast mountains and it looks like it could be a very interesting city, if only for it's geographical setting. As the sun set, that was the last we could see out the van, so we tried to settle back with our ipods and enjoy the rest of the journey. Quite difficult when the van has no head rests, so we ended up nearly breaking our knecks if we tried to sleep. After about 3-4 hours we reached the boarder in complete darkness, we'd passed through many Police checks on the way (checking for drugs and asking why we were travelling late).
The boarder again was "relatively" simple, although the official with the stamp had left the boarder and no-one knew where he was, so we had to sit there and wait for him to return. Finally he did and we were on our way again, and into Nicaragua, my penultimate country.
My first impression was not so good, the roads (I use the term losely) were just dirt tracks with huge holes in them, and the journey was quite hard going for a while. Coupled with so many people walking down unlit main roads, or cycling down them or even sleeping at the side of them. I felt quite sorry for the driver having to concentrate so hard to avoid them all and miss the worst of the holes. After a while things got better, we were on tarmac roads again, which stretch in straight lines for mile upon mile, and still there were people everywhere walking or cycling or sleeping!
After an 1.5 hours we made it to Leon (good, my ipod battery had died for the last hour, and not being able to sleep I was a tad bored), we checked into the hotel and most of us went straight to bed, but not before the majority had signed up for Volcano boarding the very next day!