Hello readers! (At least I am hoping we have readers… still not very many followers you guys…all we need is your email…)
We are now in Nicaragua, visiting colonial towns and beautiful lakes. Getting from Honduras to Nicaragua was a long, expensive and often uncomfortable experience. We left Utila on the afternoon ferry (we took at tuk tuk, very popular in Honduras, to the terminal) and caught a taxi at the ferry terminal to the bus terminal to catch a bus to San Pedro Sula (got that? tuk-tuk to ferry to taxi to bus, there will be a test later). San Pedro Sula is the second biggest city in Honduras and its reputation for crime and danger rivals that of the capital, Tegucigalpa. We got into San Pedro after dark, but had a taxi waiting to take us to our hostel. We had arranged this easy transport through a wonderful girl who worked at the hotel on Utila to stay as safe as possible while in the unfriendly city.
We took a taxi the next morning to catch our 5:30 am bus to Nicaragua. We had been trying to only use public transport to save money, but for this leg of the trip we opted to take the large TicaBus. This large, air-conditioned, movie showing bus became our home for the 12 hour journey from northern Honduras to our destination in Nicaragua. The first leg from San Pedro Sula to Tegucigalpa took around 3 hours, and only about 25% of the bus was full. We stopped for a total of 30 minutes in the capital city, which is famed for being extremely dangerous (as in they explicitly recommend over the intercom that you do not leave the bus station). The bus filled up in the capital, but not with the backpacker crowd we expected. Instead, about 90 of the 100 passengers on the bus were locals, granted probably wealthier locals, similarly taking the safe way from one dangerous capital to the next (the bus was headed for Managua). It was pretty telling that even Hondurans take the $35 bus in order to safely cross the country. The mega-bus showed three movies, Alvin and the Chipmunks, Madagascar, and Mr. Popper’s Penguins (all in Spanish). Madagascar in Spanish brought back fond memories of high school, where we watched that movie in Spanish class regularly (although I don’t remember what year that was…) and the chipmunks were, as expected, super annoying.
The 12 hour ride was not horrible I suppose… but we were in the back of the bus next to the bathroom, and with 100 people on the bus, the amount of people going to the bathroom and hitting me in the head with the door was plentiful. We had to stop at the border (obviously) and get out to get stamped and everything. It was there that we spent our last $2 on ice cream as we melted in the Nicaraguan heat. We entered Nicaragua with $0 to our name, which was not the most comforting of feelings.
We were so happy to get to Leon and get off the bus with the other 10 gringos (everybody else was headed all the way to Managua). We caught a taxi to our hostel (Hostel Colibri- thanks Globetrotter Girls for the suggestion!) and spent the rest of the day doing a little exploring, grabbing some dinner (for only $3 for a huge plate of rice, beans and meat) and crashing after an exhausting 36 hours of travel through some of the sketchiest places in our hemisphere (or so they say… we were in taxis or buses the whole time).
So, leaving our hotel on Utila and getting to Leon (the safe way) required: tuk-tuk to ferry to taxi to bus to taxi to hostel to taxi to bus to taxi to hostel. I think we took more taxis in that 48 hour period then we have taken in the rest of our lives, total. Anyway, we are happy to be in Nicaragua, safe and sound.