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Puerto Cortez, Honduras: One last stop

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

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Although it was possible to make it across to Guatemala in one day, it would have been a five bus plus one country change, way too much chance of some screw up and being inconvenienced, so I decided to take a stop at the port town of Puerto Cortez. Puerto Cortez is the largest and most important Honduran sea port. To me it was a big ass wall that stretched on for three “as far as the eye can see”. Actually, what it made me flash back to was Syria and the port town where I spent a couple of quality weeks eating great American diner food and watching tv. I had the same layout with a hotel that overlooked the port with another wall that went on forever with a sunset that dropped somewhere behind the white washed ten foot barrier. Since it was my last stop before heading over to Guatemala I decided to spend a couple of nights there soaking up the sketchy port town vibe and which allowed me to do some exploring. Now, the place was a port town, and like most port towns they were built essentially because of the port. I give this information because when you visit these places and as a tourist sometimes it is hard to connect on why a place built on the Caribbean actually has no access to the aforementioned sea. My free day I took a walk to the entry gates to take a photo of the wall, kind of another flash back to Israel/Palestine, just to give the perspective of what you get when you visit a working port town. It feels like a sort of beach apartheid (South Africa flashbacks), with a wall dividing you from the emerald waters of the Caribbean. I kind of stood there and looked down the wall as it extended basically as far as I could see. I figured it was some sort of mirage (kind of a flashback to hiking to the pyramids in Sudan), and that it couldn´t be that far, plus with my fatness, it would do some good to get some exercise, my other option was getting a snowcone and watching tv from bed. So I walked. I walked a long time. Finally after an entry way where I had seen some cars drive in from afar which I had misinterpreted as the end of the wall, I got another eyefull of wall as it kept on going for a second “as far as the eye can see”. That stretch finally ended at a gas station which I thought would be my gateway to the ocean, but turned out to be another “as far as the eye can see” wall that curved towards the ocean, but then straightened out again for another stretch “as far as the eye can see”. Finally, the wall veered to the right and ended at a river. Looking down the river I could see the ocean but it was still far away and there was still no access unless I lept and let the current take me out to it. Walking over the bridge there were a few restaurants right next to the bridge but not wanting to see the ocean but not have to buy a burger to see it, I kept going. There I met up with another wall, this time it was the property of the Honduran Navy. There wall was another “as far as the eye can see”, but this time with barbed wire. Finally though, the damn wall ended and it opened up to a nice grass covered beach with full access to the Caribbean ocean. Man, what a pain in the ass. I took a bus back to town, it was that far.

Puerto Cortez wasn´t horrid, it was pretty much your usual Central American town with the usual central park. On a positive note, they had Pizza Hut, Wendy´s, and Burger King. No McDonalds though wtf. For some reason, I am not craving American fast food. One night I had my usual fried chicken and chips, but my final night as I stopped by the grocery store, there was a girl outside selling tamales. Now, in my family that is actually Christmas food as one of my imported Aunt Lucy brought tamales to our usually authentic Japanese Christmas/New Years feasts. Usually it was mochi making at the ranch but a day was also spent making tamales. Eating those for the first time in years was a treat although they are pretty sparse on the meat, but what do you expect for fifty cents.

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The wall.

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Finally the beach.

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Sunday tamales.

La Ceiba, Honduras: End of the island bypass.

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

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And so here I am in La Ceiba the gateway to the Bay islands. Just a short one hour ferry ride away and I could be on the sand fly infested islands. So that basically concludes as far as I am going in Honduras. The town itself is rather bland although it is the largest in the area and fairly well developed. On the tourist trail it is basically the jump off for the islands not having too many sites on its own worth seeing. For me I am using the time to get caught up on the blog, seafood, and hanging out on the old wood pier in the afternoon watching the guys fishing. From here I head back across crossing over to Guatemala for a small stretch and then a ferry over to Belize heading overland from the south heading to the Cayes in the north.

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Orphans, the perfect excuse.

Thursday, February 11th, 2010
orphans-4.JPG I didn´t want to go to the islands. Sorry again, but that feeling I got with the rocks is just multiplied when I have to spend a shitload of money to see ... [Continue reading this entry]

Copan Ruinas photos

Thursday, February 11th, 2010
copan-ruinas-2.JPG copan-ruinas-3.JPG copan-ruinas-4.JPG copan-ruinas-6.JPG copan-ruinas-7.JPG [Continue reading this entry]

More rocks whoopeee: Copan Ruins

Thursday, February 11th, 2010
copan-ruinas-29.JPG Copan Ruinas was my next destination. It´s location caused a bit of backtracking but I was on a roll with buses and the three transfers went without a hitch. I had ... [Continue reading this entry]

Gracias, Honduras: Springing it.

Wednesday, February 10th, 2010
gracias-16.JPG Gracias was thankfully one bus drive away and took us through some beautiful mountain scenery. In the 16th century, Gracias was the capital of Central America but is now a quaint ... [Continue reading this entry]

Back to Honduras, Santa Rosa de Copan.

Wednesday, February 10th, 2010
santa-rosa-de-copan-4.JPG The segment of leaving El Salvador for Honduras was important as it broke my streak of bad bus rides. Now, it wasn´t hugely difficult, but it did require three different buses and ... [Continue reading this entry]

Passing through Hondura: Choluteca, honduras.

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010
dscn1310.JPG I was tracking along the Pacific coast side of Central America so in order to jump to my next destination country of El Salvador I had to cut through a short swath of ... [Continue reading this entry]