Saturday, May 16, 2009
Second verse same as the first.
From everything I had read and heard about La Ceiba, I wasn’t looking forward to heading. Crime. Dirt. Drugs. And all sorts of general ickiness. But it’s a necessary stop to get to Utila so we had to do it. On a positive note, it was supposed to be the start of La Ceiba’s carnival, a week-long celebration and street party and that sounded like fun. So we set off in search of a good time.
A nice air conditioned taxi deposited us at the same gas station we had arrived at and 10 minutes later (and 15 minutes early) the bus pulled up. It was another non-airconditioned coach but with the windows open it was fine. Of course, we had to close the windows when it began to pour (photo above). But without the sun beating down it was still bearable inside. It was a short ride to La Ceiba where we were once again let off beside the highway. I guess they spent all their time and money on the giant bus station in San Pedro Sula and couldn’t afford any others in the rest of the country. And it required us to take a taxi which I might add was cheaper than the ones in Tela for a longer ride. We got out at the first cheap hotel on my list and they had plenty of room and two nights cost less than one night in Tela. Sure there was no air conditioning but we had a powerful fan, tv and private bathroom. Well at least we’re back on budget and that alone makes me like La Ceiba more than Tela. Yay we may be able to afford those scuba lessons after all.
Now it was time to find that street party. Our hotel was just a couple of blocks away from the central park. But since we’re in the English part of Honduras there was no cathedral or other municipal buildings. We found those around the corner. There were decorated for carnival but there didn’t appear to be any street party happening today. There wasn’t much of a beach so we looked at doing some nature tours or staying out of town but as the heat beat down the idea of being outside all day seemed less and less appealing. So we went for ice cream instead.
We headed over the bridge to the more backpacker part of town in search of a place to eat with lots of cooked vegetables. There was supposed to be a Chinese food place there but it was long gone (stupid 5 year old lonely planet). And our options looked limited. Most places were bars or looked really expensive which was weird because the area looked dodgy and not very inviting. After walkin as far on the strip as we dared, we ducked into one of the pricier places. I stuck with baldeas which are a Honduran bean and cheese quesadillas served with pickled veg – tasty. While Adrian went for the fajita and chips which interestingly enough came with a visit to the salad bar. Although, I find a salad bar in an open air restaurant in Central American in a town that has a certain stench, a little suspect. The best I could do was advise him to avoid the lettuce.
While we ate we noticed the bars across the street were suddenly very packed and very noisy not with music but with a football game. In fact every place with a tv was turned to the game including security guard in closed stores. Places without tvs had radios blaring out the play by play action. It was obviously an important match but it also meant that there was no evidence of the carnival that night. Actually, besides the bars everything was shut up tight. So we went back to our room where we watched the game. It was the Honduran championship - Olympia versus Real España. We didn’t know what cities they were from or even where the game was being played but when Olympia scored we could hear all of La Ceiba cheering. But there was to be no satisfaction tonight as the game ended in a 1-1 draw, a lot like our experience so far with La Ceiba.