Hopkins Belize to La Ceiba Honduras – What a trip !! | Backpacking Central America

So we’re stuck in heavy traffic, and we’ve just come around the corner and we can see another protest in the distance Music So this morning, we’re up bright and early that’s becoming a bit of a habit but it is bright and early, it’s 6:30 a.m.! On a Monday morning ! What is happening with the travel day? It is turning into Monday!! It is 6.30 in the morning we’re leaving Hopkins, here in Belize, we’re heading south towards Punta Gorda where we should hopefully catch a ferry, to Puerto Barrios in Guatemala So apparently, there is a bus that comes down this road at somewhere around 6:45 We’ve been told we flag down the local bus, that is going to take us to Hopkins Junction, and then when we get to Hopkins Junction, We have to flag down another bus !! It is just a bus flagging day !! Ha Ha – Ok so it could be an interesting day, the gentleman that’s just walking down the road that just passed us, said that today because it is a bank holiday in Belize There’s no buses today. So that’s interesting because everybody else we asked said there’s still buses today, and news to him he said. So let’s see whether we’re still here in half an hour’s time? So it’s nearly 7 o clock and Marianne’s just stopped a taxi driver to say is the bus running today and apparently it is! It should be here at 7:00 but he said it could be any time from 7:00 to 7:30! So let’s see what happens! Hey my friend Good Morning! Marianne asks advice / directions Yeah you need to take them on the main road, don’t you? Passerby gives advice Beautiful! thank you ! It is very kind of you, Music So there isn’t a bus today, because it’s a bank holiday but this lovely gentleman has stopped. To give us a lift up to the main road Music My name is Martin man, everybody knows me as ‘Padre Hopkins’ Ah there you go Music Thank you very much my friend! Punta Gourda, that way !! So we’ve made it to Hopkins Junction, thanks to a lift from Martin, over there! And now we’ve got to wait for the bus, which apparently comes every hour Their bus is coming I think – Bye !! Bye There is a bus coming …. I think that’s our bus, I don’t know just check Punta Gorda? Yeah!! Yep we made it on the bus, all good, off to Punta Gorda – Fabulous !! Music We just went on this bus, and it was amazing !! It was 2 and a half to 3 hours from Hopkins And we have just arrived in Punta Gourda, to see the Captain of the boat to get our tickets !! And see if we can get to Puerto Barrios ! We’ve just booked our place to Puerto Barrios and we’re just going to go find an ATM, because we don’t have enough Belize money left to pay for the ticket and you need cash, so make sure you’ve got enough cash. It’s sixty Belize dollars each for the boat and forty Belize dollars for the exit tax Which gives a total of 100 Belizean dollars each. So if you’re looking for the immigration office it’s a green and cream coloured building, right by the sea here so we got the 7:30 bus from Hopkins, and it got us down here by about half 10, which gave us an hour till the boat

which leaves a half 11, but if you’re looking at the sign that you can see behind me, which I have seen online, it doesn’t show that as about our half 11 But there is a boat a half 11. So when you look online, sometimes it’s a little bit confusing on which days the boats go where. But we’ve come down talk to these guys. this is the captain of our ship today! So you can get a boat, seven days a week, from Punta Gorda to either Livingston or Puerto Barrios! You see I knew that!! So yeah, seven days a week. Online some of the companies show, Tuesdays or Fridays but this boat here goes seven days a week at 11:30 a.m which is a perfect time if you want to get a bus from Hopkins and get it all on the same day Music So Marianne’s just getting the ponchos out of the backpacks, because two reasons One, it looks like it may rain today and we’ve had a bit of rain today already, and two it might be a little bit bumpy and it’s also a good idea when you’re travelling to bring some kind of dry bag for your technical stuff, so we’ve got our computers in our Scuba Junkie dry bag! Music So after about an hour and a half, we have arrived in Puerto Barrios, and the first thing we have to do, is go and find the Immigration Office, which apparently is just like one block away, and then on to our hostel Music So to find the Immigration, just come out of the port, turn left and it’s literally just a hundred or so yards, down the road Okay the immigration formalities are done, and now we are free to go and find our hostel, which I’m not sure how far away it is. But I don’t think it’s too far, but it is hot! But the hostel has Air-con !! Yeah it’s the first time we’ve had, oh second time we’ve had air-con Music So we’re all settled in our room, enjoying the air-con, and Marianne is on her phone behind me, messaging a contact from Roneey travel which we’re using to try and get a shuttle tomorrow morning, to take us to La Ceiba La Ceiba, which is where you get the boat to the island of Utila, but apparently there are some problems in Honduras, and some manifestations and gatherings of people. So he can’t confirm whether the bus will actually go tomorrow So at the moment, we’re booked on an eight o’clock pickup tomorrow morning, but we’ll have to see whether it actually happens. So we should check with the hotel, Yeah we’ll check whether they’ve got a room for an extra night if we need it But we we have just arrived, but we’re really super hungry because we had no breakfast or lunch and it’s about two o’clock in the afternoon, and I spotted a Mexican restaurant, just down the road when we were walking here. So we’re going to go and find nachos, or burritos or something Music So we’ve arrived at the Mexican restaurant, and I have ordered I think, stuffed jalapeños with cheese as a starter. Marianne’s shaking her head, but that’s what I thought it was, but we’ll see, and the main course, I got some burritos and Marianne’s ordered? Some kind of quesodillos and nachos – I am really

really craving Mexican, guacamole food, and they make a lot of nice lemonade with soda water, and fresh drinks! Fresh drinks! so yes, I’m excited about that and this restaurants really nice it’s a really cool restaurant Music So I’ve got these little cheese balls, which are filled with melted cheese and Jalapeños, and a sort of creamy sauce dip, lovely Really good ! Well that’s what I call a burrito, the size of that ! If I eat all that, I will never move again ! And Marianne’s looks absolutely lovely too Guess what I found this morning ? I found a lovely fresh pot of coffee, I’ve managed to greet Chris this morning with a nice fresh coffee. Thank You El Castillo So we are off to Honduras today to La Ceiba to go over to the island of Utila, and our travel plans have taken us sort of like on the road, all around to make our way to be able to meet somebody who will give us a transport service, yesterday we got the boat over to Puerto Barrios, and we needed somewhere to stay and looking on bookings com, I found this little place here, it was really right at the end of budget travel, it’s only £15 a night, but it has air-con, really comfortable, possibly the most comfortable bed that we have slept in. So this morning, our driver has pitched up with his MPV, now we found this transport online, we did a little bit of research to try and find the best way, the most economical way, and also they have manifestations in Honduras at the moment, and they have lots of riots and strikes. And today apparently the strikes are from the teachers and the doctors. So we are really lucky our drivers come today and he said there is a way through. They are letting people pass, so you have a choice of paying fifty US dollars or 385 Quetzales, we’ve had a fabulous time in Guatemala. Everybody’s been lovely just generally all the hostels, everybody that we’ve met have been absolutely lovely. So we are excited to go on to Honduras We’re going to go and stay in a place called Parrots Inn, it’s a locally run Dive Dentre on Utila. And we’re really excited because we’re gonna get back to diving, which we haven’t done for a little bit and the last time we did, if you saw the video in El Salvador, we had a bit of a mishap. So we’re really excited to go and dive and get back in the water Oh – were you driving? – no it was another driver !! Good, because if you drive like this I am not getting in the van ha ha ! So we’ve made it into our shuttle bus, it’s about eight o’clock in the morning We’re going to pick up a few more passengers, and then we’re on our way to Honduras Music Okay, so when you come to the border, the first thing you have to do, is go to the window to get the stamp out of Guatemala. And then you go to the next window and they stamp you into Honduras, and there is a fee of 3 US dollars, three US dollars, 30 Quetzales, or 75 LP There you go to get into Honduras, so we are now officially crossing the border into country number 18!! YAY Music So we were told today, that we might actually encounter some manifestations, some revolution, and indeed we have and at our hostel, we were informed that today is teachers and doctors day, and they are fighting for their pay rises,

and to keep their contracts, which is not dissimilar to what we had a couple of years ago in the UK, so actually viva la revolution!! Noises of people chattering we’re through all right! Music A few hours later we’ve just stopped off for a quick toilet stop and we’ve got a bag of naughty snacks for the bus Music We’ve just stopped off at an airport, to pick somebody else up, before we head on, and we don’t think we’re gonna make it to the island tonight, due to the the protests that are going on, so watch this space Music So we’re stuck in heavy traffic and we’ve just come around the corner and we can see another protest in the distance Music So stop number three! We’ve been on the road for about four hours now, and I think we’re changing buses, picking up some more people and changing buses. So we are still on our pit stop and it appears that we’re supposed to be meeting other buses here and transferring passengers and shuttles. So they must have got caught in the manifestations So that’s affecting our journey, so we’re just going to hang out here wait to find them and also try and find some accommodation because as it turns out we’re not going to make the boat now Music Okay our drivers just calling the other driver for an update Did we get an update? No ! did we get an update? No, no update, no update! Nope !! Ha Ha No updates! We don’t know what we’re doing ! But my still here, how we doing people? No one’s lost their sense of humour yet!! okay so what do you do when you stood at a garage for a couple of hours? And you’ve had a litre of Sprite and you’re not sure how to pass the time? Well Marianne has come up with a new game ! Called cheese on toast ! Okay so you’re you have to sing a song only using the words cheese on toast! and if it gets really emotional you can use the words and pickle. Ha Ha Okay “and pickle’ You came up with the idea !! You go first ! Chris sings Cheese on Toast !! on toast and pickle!!! Okay and the song is: I will always love you! Whitney Houston!! There you, Kattia is next – Kattia sings Cheese on toast !! Cheese on Toast !!! Ha Ha – Chris tries to guess. la la one-horse open sleigh Is it the Christmas song ? NO!! Ha Ha Ha Cheese on toast !! our Spanish friend sings Cheese on toast !! It’s the Beatles which one? Suddenly !! Marianne sings her Cheese on toast song !! Is it Queen ? Yes ! So how do you spend your time when you’re sat at a petrol station for two hours? Come up with some cheese and toast songs and send them to us!! So we’ve hit over the two hour waiting mark, and our new Spanish friend is just going to just try and talk to the driver, to try and work out exactly what’s going on, but we think

it’s because we’re waiting to meet up with other buses It is complicated, this is the meeting point. Yep ! This is Puerto Barrios, and this is La Ceiba, so Carlos is coming from La Ceiba! And it seems he will arrive in 15 minutes ! Okay ! We will go to La Ceiba, but with Carlos, Okay, but we also have another van is coming from Nicaragua and how long is that is that van, does he know? yeh yeah !! 15 minutes, both vans will arrive !! and we’re off!! Okay, so the good news is that apparently the other bus has just arrived! And the other bit good news is the other bus has just arrived in the background too. So it looks like we’re going to be on our way real soon, and hopefully, the roadblock about 20 minutes down the road has gone! Fingers crossed So we’re finally moving we have our new driver with us Carlos, who is taking us on the next leg of the trip, and hopefully fingers crossed we don’t get stuck, and if we do I’m making this lot sing cheese and toast songs !! Music Okay so we’ve just booked our place on the boat to – Chris gets the name wrong !! Ha ha !! Who we are trying to organize a shuttle to take us down through Utila – Chris gets the name wrong ! You can get a boat from Punta Gorda to either Livingston or Punta Barrios !! Puerto Barrios !! Ha Ha !! Puerto Barriers ! Punta Gorda! Yay !! Good job !! Eating snacks!! Breakfast! Marianne’s eating Pringles for breakfast! And you can get a boat from Punta Barrios !!! I’ve done it again !! CUT !!