A Brief Chicken Bus Experience
First thing I decide to do while in Honduras is to visit the beaches in Tela, which are situated along the Caribbean coast of Honduras.
Straight from the airport of San Pedro Sula, with backpack still on, I take a taxi to the nearest point where I can take a chicken bus from San Pedro Sula to Tela.
Chicken buses are always in a rush. Upon saying that I want to take the bus towards Tela, a man takes my backpack in a quick a swift move and swooshes towards the bus. They make you get on the bus in no time, and when at the destination, they make you get out even quicker. I’m not even sure if I’m on the correct bus, but I still get in and pay 75 lempiras. I have nothing planned, so I’m ok if I get lost and roam around for a while. Backpack between legs, and I’m ready for the journey.
Even when armed with my strong Spanish, I still stand out as the only foreigner in the bus.
Stickers of Jesus, the Virgin Mary, and spiderman decorate the driver’s area. Add every pimping item, bright colors, and a name like Princesita or Carmelita to make it stand out. Sweet!…
Stop after stop, a parade of sellers advertise their products with strong determination. Everything from a deaf guy selling candy, a recovering addict selling flashlight pens, and others selling, food, vitamins, and even educational books.
“What I have here are three important books that every person should have”, says one seller. He catches my attention and I tune in to his selling speech (not that I’m buying anything). Anyways, the books are about animal stickers, plant stickers, and general culture. Yes, that important! One of them shows how to write letters and documents, including telegrams!!!! Do we still send those?
Along the way, we pass through so many poor communities. Unfinished houses, tents, and stick built houses are some of the conditions that sprinkle the communities established along the route. There is still so much poverty. On the other hand, the views are full of plantations and beautiful landscapes too. They are beautiful, but I can’t say breathtaking, yet. Maybe I’m jaded?
Then happens what would have stressed me out in any other situation.
Since I have no plans, no tour reservation, not even a place to stay for the night; I keep relaxed and don’t mind much. Though, sitting on the bus under the scorching Honduran sun makes me sweat like a pig.
“Se reventó una Banda”, a motor belt broke, says an uneasy passenger who poked his nose into the situation. Most don’t seem to mind. Maybe they’re used to this type of situations.
I look out the window and see the driver take a few tools from what seems to be a kid’s lunch box and get busy fixing the engine. Twenty minutes after and with a fixed engine, we are ready to resume the trip.
The rest of the ride to Tela is uneventful, and once there I get off (or I should say, they get me off) as quick as I got in. In no time the bus disappears in the distance.
Now I have to make my way to the beach. I’m really looking forward to a great time at the beach after this crazy ride.