Greetings from Paradise
Wild horses on the beach, colorful Macaws flying through ancient Maya ruins and snorkeling the corals of a Caribbean island. Those were the last two weeks in El Salvador and Honduras!
We are glad to have made it through the border into El Salvador after over three hours of bureaucratic bullshit. Staring at the road ahead, I now follow the glow of my headlights in the dark evening to avoid the many potholes. We are looking for a spot to sleep and possibly to grab a bite to eat. About 50 kilometres from the border, we find a nice little restaurant overlooking the port of Acajutla.
The next few days we drive around El Salvador’s pacific coast, searching for a nice place to spend some time on the beach. We stay a few nights at Playa el Tunco, but apart from good surfing waves and raving parties in the night, it is not the place we had expected. The beach itself is not particularly pretty, with lots of rocks near the water, ugly resorts on the coast and the price of our campground is more then western standard.
Further east we find an empty beach called El Espino, where wild pigs and horses are running around on the seashore. We are able to make some shade on the beach using a tarp while the midday sun is burning down on the sand. But not all is well in paradise…
Again there is trouble in our group and this time it is Jirka who will leave the camper and continue on his own. For me that means that I’m now facing to travel back all the way to Canada on my own. But even with that thought in mind, I feel very relieved to continue without further discussions and bad vibes in the car. There is always the chance to find new people along the way and share parts of the trip.
We decide to continue together over the next border into Honduras before separating for good. But at the border near Perquin in the northeast of the country, we are told that they don’t have the necessary paperwork to let us pass with our car. After our discussion about this topic stays fruitless, we turn around and drive all the way back to the border crossing in El Poy (northwestern El Salvador).
In Santa Rosa de Copán we drop off Jiri and continue towards Copán Ruinas. The Lonely Planet calls this little town near the famous Maya ruins “the most traveler-oriented – and pleasant – town in Honduras”. Surprisingly we find that to be absolutely true! Tiny cobblestone streets run through the hills of this little town and beautiful bars are to be found on every corner. We sip some Cuba Libres and toast to the upcoming trip together.
In the next morning we are the first visitors to walk the many steps of the ruins, which are spectacularly overgrown by massive jungle trees. Reintroduced to the Copán valley, bright red Macaws with their long tails fly around the ruins and produce atmospheric sounds. After this pleasant visit, we start our drive towards the Caribbean side of Honduras. In San Pedro Sula we find a free camp spot on a truck parking lot with bathrooms and showers! Good thing we didn’t know that the town was voted the most dangerous city of the world in 2012, even “winning” against Mogadishu and Damascus.
In the day we head over to La Ceiba where we park our camper at the docks and take a ferry to Utila, one of the three Bay Islands. The reefs around these islands are part of the world’s second-biggest barrier reef and Utila is famous for its cheap diving opportunities. After a bouncy ferry ride, we find our way to the Loma Vista Hostel, where we get a double room for about US8$ the night.
Even more important then that, we get a very warm welcome by the nice crowd of international travelers in the hostel and I realize how nice it feels to be backpacking again for a couple of days. That first night we join the group for a great electro party on the beach and make some new friends straightaway.
The next few days go by way too fast, snorkeling in the reef, eating burritos at Mama Rosa’s and having beers in the evening. I feel like staying forever… Hoping to see everyone again someday, we say our goodbyes after four great days and drive back to the mainland with lots of good memories in our heads.