Day 206 – Jumping through loops of fire

2009/04/01 § Leave a comment


When traveling central America it at times feels like there are little barriers of insanity called the capitol cities. These areas of danger lay there on each route like loops of fire which have to be passed through. One especially annoying bottleneck I felt, is on the way from Nicaragua to eastern Honduras or Guatemala. Any guidebook you look into tells dreadful stories about the dangers and risks involved in staying in Tegucigalpa (Capitol of Honduras) and the alternative route over San Salvador (Capitol of El Salvador).

But there is basically no alternative to staying in one of these holes when you make your way up north. Some jump on a bus in San José (Costa Rica), which is not exactly a cool place either, and invest into a 40 hours (!) journey on bus to Guatemala City. But then again, Guatemala city is also not a place where you would want to raise your kids. You understand the dilemma.

Anyhow, on my way to Tegucigalpa I was getting increasingly worried since a connecting bus was delayed by some hour or so. That meant that we arrived late at night in the place about which lonely planet says: from the moment you leave the bus upon arrival thieves watch your every step in Tegucigalpa. Encouraging!

Fortunately I teamed up with a guy from the US (sometimes the US Americans can be of use) which made things easier. After having managed to get a hotel room we had a decent dinner and some beers and chatted with the local girls at the bar who were celebrating that Honduras had not lost some football match, Or they had not lost so badly, or something along these lines. Who remembers?

Suddenly the place looked friendlier than LP makes you believe. However, it felt better to be moving on the next morning. The hotels and bars lock after every person entering of leaving and there are heavily armed guards on many doors, plus police on every second street crossing. And that is in the “good part” of town!

I guess this is one of the less pleasant sides of central America, the big cities. I just talked to some US missionaries who live in Honduras and who talked about the insane proportion of killings over here. I wanted to ask them how that can be in such a Christian nation? Should the Christian nations (here everyone bears a tiny cross, has some sticker about God on their car, visits church more than just on Sunday and makes a little “blessing” gesture when passing a church, cemetery or cross) not be close to free of such malaises? Well, some questions maybe are better left unasked I figured. I wouldn’t want to hurt anyones precious religious feelings, or destroy there little superstitions with logic and common sense… 😉

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