This is one of my rare blog posts. You will find out later why I am writing this, but for now sit back and enjoy.
The Pan American Highway between El Salvador and Nicaragua cuts through a small section of Honduras. A lot of overlanders tend to do two border crossings in one day; the Honduran border and the Nicaraguan border. It makes for a long day, but, with the bad rap Honduras gets, it feels worth the hectic day for the safety of one’s life.
Ryan and I, however, did not want to be like the other overlanders by crossing both borders in one day. I wanted to stay the night in Honduras at least one night to say that we were ‘in Honduras’.
Initially we planned to visit friends that have a house in Roatan, Honduras and we were going to go visit them, but the timing just didn’t quite work out so our route only allowed us to stay one day in Honduras.
We read that the Honduran border can be one of the most difficult borders with lots of helpers and lazy employees. Needless to say we were a little on edge.
Honduras Boder Crossing
We arrived to the border and were immediately swamped by helpers. People were standing in our way, knocking on our doors and windows, and literally chasing us down the street. Ryan and I looked at each other and firmly said, “NO HELPERS.” The next we knew, we turned down a wrong street and two security guards told us to go back, so we turned around, narrowly missing a semi and a bus.
On our way back to the first checkpoint, we were approached by a man with an official name tag who said he could help us for a small tip. We settled on $7 for both borders. Whew, okay well we broke our first rule, but things were moving along smoothly and we were checked out of El Salvador and were now getting into Honduras. All of a sudden our helper had a friend with him who was helping us, too. He did help, don’t get me wrong, but this is when I started feeling sick to my stomach. I think i finally figured out what women’s intuition is. The new helper started demanding for extra money for fumigation services and if we gave him a couple more bucks then we could skip the line. Not completely understanding what was going on and being rushed and hustled by them both, we panicked and paid him. Thats when I felt I was going to vomit.
Long story short ,we made it into Honduras and ended up tipping both lovely gentleman.
Our new rule is NO HELPERS EVER AND WE MEAN IT!
Honduras Blog Post
The part of Honduras that we passed through is not the most attractive country side that we have seen and with the high temperatures it didn’t help. We pulled into the town of Nacaome and planned on staying at the Bomberos station (Bombero is a fire fighter). It was so hot and dry that the longer we stayed there the less interesting it became. Ryan’s mood also grew less and less interested as well. He was ready to leave and cross into Nicaragua at that moment, but I wanted to stick with the original plan . After a few minutes of strong discussion, he said, “Fine, Honduras is your country and the blog posts are yours too. I don’t want anything to do with it.” (Thus, Laughlin’s blog post numero dos)
I decided to look for other camping options, so we drove to the coast. We went to the town of San Lorenzo and found a nice restaurant/hotel with good parking. As soon as we walked into the restaurant area a local man appeared speaking English and said he could help us camp in the parking lot. Finally, a nice person!…but we were wrong. He sat at our table and would not stop pestering us to take a boat ride. We succumbed and agreed.
The boat ride was okay. It was supposed to 30 minutes but ended up being 15. The man was incredibly rude and kept interrupting Ryan. No one interrupts my man!
I whispered to Ryan, “since we only got have the boat ride can I only pay him half?” We decided to be nice and pay him full partially to get away from him.
When we returned to the truck, Ryan noticed his lock looked a little dented but he didn’t think much of it. When he looked inside there was stuff scattered everywhere. As he looked at my door, he noticed it was unlocked! On the outside, my lock was completely gone. Someone likely pushed the lock into the door with a screwdriver and used something to pop the lock and get inside. Luckily, nothing was missing and everything of importance was with us. We think they were strictly looking for money. Also, I had the thought that maybe someone placed something in our truck, such as drugs, for a scam. We searched everywhere but could not find anything that looked out of the ordinary. Very bizarre.
Driver’s side – very subtle:
Passenger’s side – not to subtle:
Sulking was the first step in the grieving process so we sat at one of the tables by the water and getting as much cool air as possible. The restaurant owner showed up and asked if we were okay and instead of getting too much into it we just said yes. Five minutes later a waitress showed up with a bowl of ceviche from the owner on the house. I almost started crying.
What a whirlwind of a day. Full of ups and downs, but mostly downs. The next morning, we set out to get water and propane an hour’s drive away in Choluteca. We got water from the only agua purificada and talked with the owner for a while. When we finally got the water in the camper and went to the truck to get in, the key wouldn’t work! We tried and tried and the owner came over and knew something wasn’t right. He ended driving Ryan to a locksmith. Meanwhile, I guarded the truck and three guys from the agua purificada came over to try and help. They were all trying out the key themselves, without success. It was almost like the sword in the stone.
Ryan returned with a 13 year old boy (that’s how old he looked anyway) who was able to get the passenger door open! We thanked the kind owner of the agua purificada and drove the boy back to the shop, all three of us in the truck. I was getting a little uncomfortable so I offered him a piece of gum, yeah you know, to ease the tension. It worked. He smiled.
After we arrived at the locksmith shop, they all told us to get the locks fixed in Nicaragua. Already two hours behind schedule, we were ready to get the hell out of Dodge.