My last evening in La Ceiba found me on a dirty beach riddled with sand fleas and garbage. The sun was setting and lovers were snuggling into each others arms all along the water’s edge. I found myself alone and wondering what I learned on the trip and whether I wanted to go back home or continue wandering. A part of me wanted to put my backpack on and keep heading south. The other part of me was anxious to go and start my new life in Upstate New York.
With the waves crashing onto my feet, I wandered down the desolate beach front until it came to a sudden end at a sewage line and a monster mountain of sand. I turned around to head back and took a look at the beach front property that La Ceiba had to offer. It was depressing. The place has a ton of potential and looks like in the 1960’s it probably was a cool place to hang out. Now, it’s just a bunch of run down art deco buildings, dirt streets and an old dock. The buildings are boarded up, full of graffiti and in serious disrepair. This could have been a great place to spend a relaxing evening by the water – but Honduras is just sitting on a real pot of gold there.
I was feeling melancholy so I started to head back into town. I was hungry but was scraping by on my last few available Limpiras.
I had given myself a $500 budget for this trip and had smartly socked away different required fees to get home in different secret pockets in my pack: $37 for the exit tax, $5 for the taxi to the bus, and $53 for the Hedman-Atlas bus to San Pedro Sula. I had about 40L in my pocket. That’s equivalent to about $2. I walked around for a while trying to figure out where I might be able to get a dinner in La Ceiba for $2. Baleada, maybe? I was in my own swirling mind, head down and biting my lip when I noticed someone behind me matching my pace. I slowed down, he slowed down. I sped up, he sped up. I looked up and slowed down in front of a security police man with a gun. The man behind me slowed down as well. He looked down at my feet (in flip flops) and then he took a look at my face. I stopped and asked him if he had a problem. He laughed and looked at me in a very creepy way. I looked at the guy with the gun, looked at the man again and asked him to go ahead of me. He wouldn’t. I scowled and walked in front of him and cut him off to enter into the nearest store – a Wendy’s. Figuring I might as well get something, I spent my last $2 on a small box of french fries. Probably not the best choice (expensive!) but I was tired and hot and hungry and didn’t want to go back outside right away.
I walked back outside with my bag of french fries and there was a stage set up across the street with a full salsa band setting up. People were standing in the street and dancing and the music was playing. I swayed to the music and ate my french fries while keeping an eye out for the return of the red-shirted creep. After a couple of songs and noticing that the sun was setting fast, I headed back to the hostel at a quick pace. It’s not safe to be on the streets in La Ceiba after dark.
Back at Banana Republic, I found a hammock, did some writing and went to bed early. I had to get up for a 4:00AM taxi drive to the bus terminal.