It was a good feeling to be reunited with the bike. No more at the mercy of rickety buses and well worn backpacker routes.
Even cycling across Tegucigalpa was ok. Except we got lost. But then we were shown the way by a father and daughter in a large 4×4.
The last day in the Honduran capital was also the last day with Lars. After 7 months together, we figured one last drink was in order. But it wasn’t to be. It was Easter Sunday and a dry law was in effect. Not a drop of wine or sip of beer could be found. Well, the alcohol could be found lining the supermarket aisles, but nobody would let is buy it.
Travelling in central America at Easter time, where catholicism is actively practised, is slow and tiring. During semana Santa, buses are infrequent and irregular, shops are shut in the morning as well as during afternoon siesta time, and generally everyone is having a holiday. That’s all fine. But I just wanted a glass of wine on Sunday evening. Perhaps I should have gone to communion…
One last bus ride out of the city by the road I’d already cycled brought me to Comayagua. I thought it was all downhill to the coast from here. But there is always one more hill. Weak legs and strong arms a result of packrafting. So I waited for a truck and grabbed hold. The 10 mile climb was a breeze.
Down to San Pedro Sula, the industrial and commercial centre, was beautiful past lago de Yojoa, but noisy and busy and boring the closer to town I got. It was the same on leaving.
So when the police tailed me and I asked if there was a problem, to which they said it was a dangerous road and many robberies and would I like a ride to the coast… well, I said yes. Nothing to prove and no-one to answer to. And so for 30km, I had the security of three armed officers and the pleasure of amiable smalltalk while swiftly passing one of the uglier stretches of road.
From Puerto Cortes the officer promised me the coastal road to Guatemala would be one of the loveliest in the country. I’m inclined to agree. A quiet road with the gentle waves lapping at the shore and lush green hills rising upwards, flanking the smooth road to the west.
A late border crossing, over a bridge and through banana plantations until I finally made a small town with a cheap hotel. Cheap, but clean. And although I would have rather been hidden away in my tent, a gut instinct told me that this border area was not the place to camp. So I sacrificed a quiet night on the hard earth for a hot shower and cable tv.
Next morning I pedalled on to Puerto Barrios, and less than 24 hours after arriving in Guatemala, was leaving on a lancha in the driving rain headed to southern Belize…