I had heard that Honduras is a little corrupt and difficult when it comes to border crossings, so I went out of my way to pick a mellow remote one. I headed up to Copan Ruinas which was shown on my map as being a gravel road. But they have now paved it so it was an easy place to find. I was the only one there at sunset. The Guatemalan side said I needed to walk up to the Honduran side to see if they would let me through. Honduras said fine, all I needed was two copies of six things. So I walked back down to Guatemala and the copy shop was closed for the night, but the really nice Guatemalan immigration lady made copies of all my documents and stamped me out. They charged me 3 dollars to leave Guatemala. The big fat Honduran immigration dude reminded me of Jabba the Hut. He charged me 625 lempiras and stamped me in. I changed 100 dollars for 1800 lempiras, so it cost me about 34 dollars to get into Honduras. The most expensive border crossing yet. But no bribes or anything. So I would recommend this place if you want an easy place to get into Honduras. It was dark by the time I arrived in Copan Ruinas, the little town next to the Copan Mayan ruins. It is kind of touristy, but pretty laid back town.
The next morning I stopped in at the barberia (barber) in Copan Ruinas and got a Honduran shave and a haircut for $1.60. My helmet smelled like scented Honduran talcum powder for quite a while after that. And I got the clear hair gel Honduran slick down. I looked a little Mayan, but it's growing out.
Honduras is FABULOUS. It has winding mountain roads in the north after Copan Ruins that keep you on your toes with plenty of potholes to carve around, sudden sunken portions, and unexpected gravel sections that suddenly appear out of nowhere. It's like Mexico used to be. I was wandering around the mountains . At one point the main paved road turned into a narrow gravel road.
And then that road turned into a jeep trail for twenty or thirty miles with dust filled ruts. PERFECT for a little Sherpa. There were no road signs on the back roads so I asked a lot of horseback riders and folks walking down the road if this was the way. And when the road split at a Y intersection, I took the side that looked most traveled. I memember riding by some men loading a 300 pound hog by hand. They locked arms under the hog belly and lifted that honkin' porker up and in to the back of a Toyota 4wd pickup. MAN! My back hurts just remembering that.
There isn’t anything about Honduras that jumps out and grabs you, so I didn’t stop to take many pictures. It is a poor country, so not many cars out on the roads out in the countryside. Which was fine by me. A lot of donkey carts and horseback riders though. Here is a small burro resting in the shade of a tree. I thought he was kinda cute:
Anyway, I finally hit a major paved road And booked on down the winding mountain to Tegucigalpa, the capital. It was getting dark and There was a five mile traffic jam dropping down a super steep hill into town. I was slicing through traffic splitting lanes and at one point was following a kid who was splitting lanes ON A WHEELCHAIR! I kid you not. And he was Listening to his iPod and wheelying on the rear wheels. People were pulling over to let him down the hill, but I was in second gear and he was haulin' as I passed him. This kid had skills. It is one of the most amazing feats I saw on this trip.
There were kids running across the freeway through traffic to get to the other side, drunks staggering down the freeway. WILD!
So I finally made it through Tegucigalpa and stopped for the night at a small town near the Nicaraguan border. I stopped and asked some kids sitting on the curb if there was a hotel in town and they jumped on their bicycles and pedaled through town while I putted along behind them in first gear to a nice little hospedaje with secure parking and cable TV for 10 bucks. The Hondurans I met were super friendly and helpful.