The consumer world in San Salvador was leaving us a bit…over budget. We were on a mission to get to Nicaragua.
Hoping not to make the same backtracking mistake that we did in Guatemala, I looked for the easiest route to Nica, which brought us to a short stopover in the scorching Choluteca Honduras. We went down to the corner to eat tacos, where suddenly the entire restaraunt staff crowded around the TV where a special report came on of a man who had been shot just down the street from us. It left me with a chilled eerie feeling, as the no holds barred news showed a live report of the blood man laying in the street with crowds around him.
That night I tossed and turned in a sweaty 90 degree room, We walked to the bus station and the people of the small town were smiling and selling their items – business as usual. Then we took a bus 2 hours to the border. The lonely planet read that it was $5 to enter Nicaragua, and I’ve learned not to travel around with loads of money, but as we spoke with the hitler-stache wearing immigration chief, he requested $24 or 800 Lempiras (which converts to like $50…wtf?) Of course we didnt have that much on us, and of course the nearest ATM was BACK in Choluteca. In frustration, we had to return to the lovely town. The disconcerning part was how we didnt even use immigration to re-enter Honduras, we were just so annoyed and discouraged that we just jumped on a bus back to Cholu. That night we splurged on the extra $5 for Air Conditioning. After all the traveling plus lack of sleep from the night before, we also decided to splurge on 2 Heinekens and 2 Tickets to the Salad Bar at Pizza Hut. I finally got some sleep that night, though I had worries that I was going to go to jail the next day for illegally being in Honduras.
The next morning we returned towards the border, except this time a police man stopped our van in the road to ask our driver if he knew anything about the dead man laying in the gutter. To our early morning horror, Keenan and I peeked out our window to the corpse of a 70 year old man wearing a bucket hat, blue as a smurf, face up in the gutter. There were two little girls in our van looking at the body with us giggling and eating candies, completely unphased with their parents nearby. From what it seemed, the man was in some type of accident with his bicycle laying on its side feet away from him. I knew the death rate in Honduras was higher than most countries, but the 48 hours we spent there was a good reminder of it.
We arrived to immigration, paid our $24 and finally got into Nicaragua. Here’s a funny picture, because I took this the first day we tried getting in, before we got sent away.
Bienvenidos a Nicaragua..but not really