Honduras, 29 Nov '02
February 04, 2003 GMT
Head-on in Honduras

The border crossing, El Florido, is in the mountains. Rain was drizzling and the money changer approached as i crossed the road. It is such a quiet border, we stood in the middle of the road to do business. Paperwork was the usual one hour. Expensive for the bike: $30, even though the sign on the wall said $0.50-- that is only for entertainment.
'Migracion gave me 30 days, then it dawned on me that i'd have to leave before New Year. I like my options open so asked the guy doing the bike work for more-he gave 90 days. Back to the passport window to change my papers to 90 days; using `white-out´.
The combination of the dusty Guate detour, the swimming pool and the rain gave me the feeling of a cold coming on....so i layed low fighting it in Copan Ruinas: dragging my ancient bones over the ancient stones.
After a few garlic laced days in Copan i went up to Omoa, on the Caribbean. A nice little place with an old (1779) fortress to wander around in and dream of pirates.
The beach was a big disappointment. Stayed at Roli´s place with cheap camping, use of a kitchen, and an endless flow of backpackers. There was a german couple there who had bought motos in Argentina and sold them in Peru.: Silke and Mateus.
Set up then walked up to the main road shops. I was "psssted" at by a man in a car going the opposite way. Normally i don't even register such things, but this one made me laugh and i gave him EYE CONTACT.....oh-o. He stopped, reversed the car around the corner and straight into a fence! He drove off without another sound.
After 4 lazy days, Roli snapped. 6:30am, looking wild with`morning hair´, he wakes everyone up yelling and cursing at a RTW Kiwi backpacker. Kicking him out as he is leaving to catch the bus anyway. Ian you're too individual; he "doesn't need people like you"!
On to Tela...
No signs for the turn-off, so i had a visit in a Garifuna village first.
There are more tourist police than tourists in Tela. And there is excellent fish soup!!
Hooked up with a group from Omoa for a couple of rum soaked nights and moved on again.
A couple of nights in La Cieba; then over to the Bay Island of Roatan. It's a passenger ferry but the captain will take the bike...for $75! We settle on $30 return and the bike was lifted on and roped to the back railings.
I found a quiet waterfront cabin in West End. As i was bringing a pannier to my room, the guy in the next cabin asked what it was....."wow, amazing luggage."
Next he saw me on the porch taking off my boots --i had shorts on 'cause i was just moving from the leaky rabbit warren i took on the first night.
...."you've got some heavy duty boots, what are you? climbing mountains....And socks!"
...."can't wear the boots without socks."
I didn't tell him about the bike; it was parked in the front yard. He later told my porch-mate about it....
..."you should see her boots. They're not hiking boots and not going out-disco boots; but they're high boots. You should see them man!"
Very puzzled.
Days feel like weeks at the beach. I was set to settle in for Christmas...20 days. hmmm. It started raining and a front settled in instead.
I got island fever, antsy, fed up with the bar scene and the rain.
Whatever, i was back on the ferry after 10 days. I helped to load the bike - a metre lift this time, so i was the last to board. It was over booked of course and i was lucky to find a dry spot up on deck.
Honduras is a great place for riding. Very good roads twisting through lush mountains. It's strange how accustomed you get to buses and trucks coming head-on at you...on blind curves, up hill, down hill...everywhere, all the time.
There was more paper work leaving than arriving. They must set it up that way for the people who want to lead you through it. My girl went back and forth between two offices 5 times; better her than me!
The guy at the passport window wanted money and when i wasn't forthcoming he started to say that it is for `pintura´....for painting the customs office! Cheeky git.

Posted by Jo-Anne Smith at 10:20 PM GMT

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