Road Trip!!! It was time for a mountain adventure driving through one of the largest departments, Olancho (which is like a state). We put on almost 214 miles to reach the final destination.
This past September (2014) we had a family road trip to La Ceiba. From home it took us at least 6 hours, one way, to get there. My husband drove us – which included our 3 daughters (no pets), because my skills in mountain driving are not really existent.
Our goal was to reach the northern coast of Honduras the night before our next leg of traveling. You may ask, “If your already reaching the ocean where else could you all travel?” Good question, the answer – Roatán (future posts to be published).
If you Google the distance from our town to La Ceiba you get an accurate answer, but not for the time travel. It will advise you to plan your driving to be just under 5 hours. I can say for sure it takes a minimum of 6 hours, not getting lost or stops for a bathroom break on the side of the road.
Mountain traveling can be unpredictable. You never know if the road has been washed away, or if there is a crater before you while trying to advance. Road conditions, plus breaking down were just a few of the reasons my husband & I decided we would plan this family road trip to La Ceiba the day before we had to catch the ferry over to the island. We just didn’t want to take any chances of missing our sea travel to time. We were meeting family coming from the USA.
There are really only 2 ways via land to get to the city of La Ceiba from where we live in Catacamas. We opted for the shortest distance but also one that is a bit more secluded. If you look closely we took the more direct route instead of the C shaped route. The backup travel route would have been more familiar to us, more populated, and very scenic – the problem was time. We would have covered about 382 miles. Traveling through mountains takes a lot of extra time, depending.
The ride through the mountains was long, but nothing we are not familiar with. I packed us some food for the trip. There is a 4 hour stretch where we didn’t want to make many stops. Not a lot of traffic runs through the area & barely any houses are along the way. The only time we made a pit stop was when I needed a bathroom. I ran for the bushes, took a squat and peed like a race horse. Then hopped back in the truck – AWAY WE WENT!
We did end up taking longer to get to our destination than the 6 hours it could take. Only a hour off course. Since signs can be scarce we didn’t make the left we should have. Now, I really do have to chukkle – there are not many main roads to turn onto either. You wouldn’t think we could get a bit lost, but we did. Nothing like a road trip without a unexpected detour moment included. 🙂
Arrival into La Cieba was joined with not knowing which hotel we would stay at. I had looked at a few online actually, but winging it really worked best. We knew finding a place would happen and had no fear to just see what happened. Right off the main stretch of road were lots of hotels to stay in. My husband ran into Hotel Emperador and got a price equal to about $30 a night for the 5 of us – we called it done and went for pizza. Actually we walked around the mall first. Pizza Hut was our last stop before heading back for some needed rest.
Walking around the mall is kind of a big deal for the girls. We don’t have all the fancy stores in our home town. They had fun looking at things, but more fun when dad treated them to new sandals & a shirt. It put smiles on their faces for sure.
Pizza was a big hit. In fact, you could call it BIRTHDAY PIZZA!!! My middle daughter turned 12 while on the road. I personally think it’s a cool b-day to celebrate while traveling. She loved having a huge dish of ice cream after lots of pizza! Her sisters loved she was having a cumpleaños too – ice cream all the way around! I wasn’t vegan at this point so I tried some too
The room was small for 5 of us, but worked great since our plan was not vacationing (this time) in La Ceiba. It was clean with 2 beds. Had a TV, my husband can’t live without watching the news. It served the purpose intended. Thinking back I wouldn’t minded staying there again.
The power can go out in Honduras. No exceptions to us staying in La Ceiba. I am happy I packed my PowerGen. It charged up my phone for the bit the lights were out. I recommend never leaving home without one, no matter where you travel.
Since we were all so excited for the next day, sleep was not as familiar to us as I would have liked. However the adrenalin was pumping the next day for the boat ride that I didn’t even need my alarm on my phone. Btw, I would recommend a travel alarm that runs on batteries in case the power does go out & your phone is not charged. Has this ever happened to you? I could see this happening to me as I travel solo. My husband usually never needs one.
So our pre-vacation was a hit. We made it from Catacamas to La Ceiba, for the most part, in good time. We were able to celebrate a birthday – pizza style. Sleep happened enough to get ready for the next day. Finally we checked out of a decent hotel, and headed to the ferry to really begin our adventure!
We made it through the mountains – There was no going back! We had to get on the boat whether we would get sea sick or not. In the next post you can find out how our ferry ride turned out – Plus I have video to share too!!
How do you like to travel? Are you up for the unknown?