Thursday, March 29, 2007

I'm feeling lucky

I flew from San Pedro Sula to Houston yesterday (Thursday) afternoon, but because I can't get from San Manuel to San Pedro in time for a noontime flight, I was staying the previous night in San Pedro. So because of this, and to give myself maximum time to deal with any problems, I headed out on Tuesday morning.

I was going to take the rather direct and well-trodden route from San Manuel to Gracias to Santa Rosa de Copan to San Pedro Sula (top map). The road from San Manuel is not paved but it is in all right condition, indicated by the yellow line on the map. Unfortunately, there was a protest/strike right in the middle of my prospective routing (red) blocking all traffic on the road for at least two days, so I had to devise an alternate plan.

So I decided to take the long way, from Gracias via San Juan and La Esperanza, then to the main Tegucigalpa-San Pedro Highway (bottom map). It's longer, both in distance, but also in time because of the terrible condition of the road between Gracias and La Esperanza, marked in red. There are unreliable transportation services, but I was not going to miss my flight for anything! So I got a ride to San Juan and was ready to wait for a bus to trundle down the very dusty, very bumpy road to La Esperanza, taking at least two or three hours to make the trip.

Fortunately, I accosted a guy who was stopping to pick up a Coke at a store and asked him if he could take me towards La Esperanza or maybe all the way to Siguatepeque. It turns out he was going to Puerto Cortes, and could take me all the way to San Pedro!

This may not be apparent if you don't know Honduras well, but this was an unbelievable stroke of luck! What could have been three or four uncomfortable buses was a pleasant ride with interesting conversation, right to the door of my hotel. And for free!

Long story short, my bad luck that there was the protest closing the road was not all that bad. Hooray!

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