Saved on Sifnos - a travel story out of the Aegean Sea that includes little harbours, sleeping villages, several tavernas, a ferry onward, a Greek cultures festival and a room with a view, travelogue, trip, travel, Greece, Cyclades, Sifnos, Kythnos, ferry, island-hopping



Mayan ruins, Honduras

November 13, 2000

Why Honduras, you might ask? When I tell people we're going to Honduras for 8 days they just look at me with a blank stare or an incredulous bewilderment. I don't remember when it was exactly that I decided that we should go to Honduras for our vacation. Sometime over the summer when I couldn't take any vacation time due to work responsibilities and David had 2 full months off, we realized that we hadn't had a vacation together since our trip around the world that ended in May 1999. Looking at our conflicting work schedules, it appeared that we'd have to wait until the following summer to go anywhere together. Frustrated, we took a closer look at the calendar and discovered that David had 3 weeks off around Christmas and wondered if I could get a week off then.

So, it had to be somewhere warm in December and David wanted to go SCUBA diving, something we hadn't done since Thailand in 1998. I just wanted to go someplace exotic and exciting. After a little research, I came up with Honduras, a country that has the second largest barrier reef in the world and thus excellent diving, and some of the best Mayan ruins in Latin America. It is also the second poorest country in the Western Hemisphere and not as heavily touristed as it's neighbors Belize, Cost Rica, or even Guatemala; a perfect blend of adventure and culture.
the beautiful islands and their people.

A co-worker who has friends who SCUBA dive and had been to Roatan Island, one of Honduras’ Bay Islands group, a couple of times, and enjoyed themselves very much. Once we decided on the resort, I had to figure out how to get us there. Roatan Charter offered us a flight on TACA from Los Angeles to Guatemala City and then onto San Pedro Sula in Honduras for about $750 a person. The lowest price I could find online was $890 per person. Then I remembered that we had 70,000 American Frequent Flyer Miles. I called American and they said that yes, they fly to Honduras and it would cost us 35,000 per person. Great! Sign us up! Not so fast… of course there are blackout dates and oh, by the way, no seats available for the dates you would want to travel. They said to try back every night at midnight and see if any reserved seats had opened up. Discouraged, I let it drop for a couple of weeks. Then I discovered that TACA accepts American Airline miles and they have no blackout dates. I called back and yes, they had seats available for when we wanted to fly!! Book ‘em! So we got our tickets and they only cost us $14 each in taxes.

Next, I started looking into the non SCUBA related portion of our trip. I want to combine the dive resort time with a trip to Copan to see the ruins. The dilemma was how to get there from San Pedro Sula, a distance of about 125 miles. There are public busses available, but that would necessitate going into the city from the airport, finding the bus station, and the correct bus, after a red-eye flight. Not to mention a 5 hour bumpy bus ride after all that.. Also we would have to depend on a public bus to get us back a few days later in time to catch our flight out to Roatan. Another option was to book a 3 day, 2 night package through Roatan Charter that included transportation, lodging, all meals, entrance to the ruins, and a guided tour of the ruins. However, this didn't give us the flexibility or independence we like to have while traveling. We would have to eat all our meals in the hotel, and since we have to do this on Roatan, I really wanted the opportunity to eat in some different places. Also, it seemed to be very expensive when I broke down the cost of everything included in the package.

Then I had a flash of brilliance! Why not rent a car and book our own room? Ultimately, it comes out a bit more expensive than the package, but we'll have 3 days in Copan to do whatever we want, whenever we want. So I booked a room at the Casa de Cafe, a bed and breakfast run by an American ex-pat and his Honduran wife and a 4 wheel drive Nissan Pathfinder from Thrifty. Let's just hope all goes as planned…

Part 2
: Adventures in Driving

this travelogue is part of the subside travelzine
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