I was woken up at 3:00 am by the door to the bedroom area of the hostel slamming open and closed every two seconds. Several backpackers had shown up late the night before and had been up all night partying and drinking. Now, they seemed to all be getting ready for bed. My alarm was set for 4:00 am so I gave up on falling back asleep and attempted to take a shower. I was heading back to the US today and was feeling disappointed that I wasn’t able to continue on my journey. I wasn’t ready to go home yet. I still felt that I had a lot to learn. I still wasn’t comfortable with me. I still wasn’t fully happy. I knew I had made some progress and that I had moments during my trip where I felt the success of my life and the happiness of where I am at but it was always so fleeting and at night, lying alone with my own thoughts, this resilient girl found herself feeling pretty lame and weak.
I slipped on my flip flops and headed toward the bathroom with my things.
Most showers in Honduras look like this:
And they claim to bring hot water to you on the spot. They mislead. I have only been able to get lukewarm water, at best, out of these showers.
The spigot for the shower at Banana Republic looked like this:
And it was ice cold. UGH. I stepped into the shower with my eyes firmly closed and my hands out in front of me. I attempted to splash a small amount of water on my arms, the stream hit my stomach instead and I screamed out in ice cold agony. Determined to feel somewhat clean for a long day of travel, I clenched my teeth and splashed, splashed, splashed until I couldn’t take it any more. Goose bump riddled and red skinned, I groaned and seceded that I would not be washing my dirty and sweat drenched body in that shower. I stepped out of the shower and squeaky squish walked my way back to my bed. I packed my things as quietly as I could (everyone had finally decided to go to sleep) and headed out to my taxi (who showed up on time! Yay, Raul!) to take me to the bus terminal.
The Korean backpacker that I rode in from Utila with hopped a ride with me which saved me 50L. Nice, since I had spent my last bit of money on french fries at Wendy’s the evening before. La Ceiba at 4:30 am in the morning is creepy. We headed to the bus terminal which was deserted except for a small office for the Hedman Alas bus and a few early morning travelers like ourselves.
It became apparent at the ticket counter that I had a much stronger grasp of the Spanish language than my Korean travel buddy so I inquired with the ticket master about ticket pricing. Turns out, that Hedman Alas charges $53 for a FIRST CLASS ticket – not a regular ticket. A regular ticket is only $15. Hello, more money in my pocket!! I really wish I would have known that last night. At any rate, the “Normal” class sits directly behind first class in seats that are a little less comfortable and a little less spacious but really, are super nice seats (especially compared to Casa Sola) and recline just enough to let you really get a nap in. I jumped on the $15 “NORMAL” ticket. For $4 more, they would take me directly to the airport. SCORE, DOUBLE SCORE! I paid for my ticket and helped Korean get his.
Before we could get on the bus, the bus driver required that we had our pictures taken individually. I asked him the purpose and he said for security and safety. I said, “Like, what, a robbery?” He answered, “Or worse.” I had heard of some of the more expensive charter buses being hi-jacked by robbers and being set on fire or people being killed for their belongings during my preparation for Honduras. I wasn’t that concerned at the time. I filed it in my mind as those crazy, random stories that don’t really happen in Honduras. But to be honest, to have your picture taken and then be frisked by an officer with a gun, having your bags searched and then walking through a metal detector all to just get on a bus was a little alarming. After my turn, I got on board, found a spot to park my tired and dirty body for a few hours and attempted sleep.
No major problems on the bus ride in, I was dropped off at the airport and was feeling a little cracked out. Less than 4 hours of sleep and no food can do that to you. Nothing was open yet at the airport (too early) except for a Wendy’s (dare I go twice in two days??) so I ordered an “American Breakfast” and a coffee. I was already denouncing my Honduran way of living. Such is the life of a short-time traveler.
I sat for a few hours and tapped away on the internet (again, free!) and was glad to have a few extra dollars for food and beverage at the airport thanks to my inquiries and my Korean travel mate.
A few hours later, I was called to board the plane. I hiked my backpack on my shoulders one more time took one last look at the palm trees, mountains and green grasses and stepped out of Honduras and onto my plane. My trip was over but my journey had just begun.