Regrettably, it was time to return to Tegucigalpa for our return trip home. We woke up early, so we could get a better start. We drank a couple of cups of cappuccino at the hotel with a wonderful egg on pita with some other ingredients. We walked to the square and mailed a couple of post cards when the post office opened. We got directions out of town and started our journey back. We decided to try a different way back and turned south at La Entrada through Santa Rosa de Copan, Gracias, La Esperanza, then up to Siquatepeque, so we could go through Comayagua to see the oldest clock in the world. We had heard that the best way would be to go to San Pedro Sula, then down CA 5, but we decided to go a different route. The roads were terrible in many places and good in others. It was extremely curvy and filled with killer potholes, which made driving very slow. We had stopped on the road somewhere between Santa Rosa De Copan and Gracias to take some pictures and we noticed a truck had come to a stop just past us. We were a little concerned, but when we got back in our car, he took off. We later realized that he thought we had broken down and wanted to help. We always liked driving behind someone who knew the road because they could warn us of deep potholes and oncoming traffic. We followed him all the way to Gracias. We called him our scout. He turned off on a little road in Gracias, so we waived our thanks and he returned the waive with a friendly honk. Cindy and I talked about our entire trip that we took by ourselves. We had been warned by several people that Honduras was the murder capital of the world and to be VERY careful. We were, but when it was all said and done, we both agreed that we did not meet one unpleasant person our entire trip. EVERYONE was kind and wanted to help us. More on that later. We never stopped for lunch. We did stop at a little puperia (store) on the side of the road — somewhere along our route — and used the facilities and bought water and some crackers. The lady was so nice. She asked if we wanted coffee and we said no thank you. Then we noticed that she had put a pot of water on the stove to boil. We thought it was so sweet. The facilities were basic. I had to dip a pot in the washing area to flush the toilet. She had paper in there, which was very unusual, and we found her to be a delight. We met Joe, who sat outside, and could speak a few words of English. We continued on our way and came into La Esparanza. Unfortunately, at some point, we realized we were on a one-way road and then came into an area that probably was pedestrian only. No one got angry with us. We did hear someone way that this was a one-way street, but it was merely informational and no one seemed upset. We made it through somehow. I think that was the only time that Cindy was a little tense. After a few wrong turns, we got back on the road to Comayagua. The mountains with the blue haze were particularly spectacular this day. We continued to be amazed at the beautiful vistas that greeted us at every turn. We finally arrived at Comayagua and drove through the town to find the church with the clock. We gave up and stopped to take pictures of a church that we thought was pretty. We tried to find our way out of town to get back on the highway and, believe it or not, we came into the city centro (square) and there it was! We parked and took a few pictures and then got on the road again. We arrived in Tegucigalpa about dark, but by the time we got through town, it was pitch black. We stopped for gas and to ask where we were. The map that we had did not have any names of the main roads on it and only a few landmarks. Even the guys at the gas station did not know how to show us on the map where we were. They did give us some directions, so we headed back the way we came. We then came upon another gas station and noticed a taxi cab filling up. Cindy ran over to him and asked him if he would lead us to the hotel. He agreed for $5. We jumped on it. Then he got a telephone call and we thought he said that he had to pick up another fare. We didn’t care. He turned on his flashers and we followed him all the way to the hotel. We weren’t too far away, as it turned out, but it was nice not to worry. We probably would have driven around for another hour or two and it was already late. When we got to the hotel, he told us that the fare was at the Mayan Hotel and that we didn’t owe him anything. Cindy paid him anyway because we were so relieved to be at the hotel. We picked up our bags, checked in and immediately went to the bar for a cocktail. We tried to go to a Thai restaurant that we heard was good, but they had already closed. We thought it too dangerous to just walk around, so we went back to the hotel. I had the best fish that I have eaten in a long time and Cindy enjoyed her meal, as well. We had about 3 more cocktails and then went upstairs to rearrange our packing and get ready for our trip back tomorrow.
It was definitely an excellent adventure and we are already planning for next year. I would not have attempted anything like this, if I had not had my friend, Cindy, with me. Although she says that she is still working on her Spanish, I felt she was always able to communicate very well and understand nearly everything. As I do every year, I say that I will study at least a few words in Spanish for next year. We’ll see.
Tomorrow, the plan is to get up early and drive to the airport. We are discussing whether it would be a good idea to follow the hotel shuttle to the airport. I think it will be. I think we will call to find out when they leave.