I never buy roadmaps. If you can find them they are expensive. So I ask for directions. That’s better. You get in contact with the locals and you might run into a surprise. Like staying twelve days in a ranchero with a 22-year old Mexican girl who invited you to her house, because you looked lost. No invitations now. I know my way, like Jose Luis. Got a Honduran roadmap, a present from an Argentinean guy. Not very detailed, this map. It’s just sufficient. So no complains. It’s difficult to get lost in this country anyway; there’s only a few ways to go. On the map I found a spot in the Pacific Ocean just between El Salvador and Nicaragua, called Isla del Tigre (Tiger Island). This part of the Pacific looked promising, a lot of green spots and RVS-signs (wildlife reserve). I got visions of wild tigers, palm trees and half naked women. Wishful thinking indeed, Guzman. When I arrived at Coyolito, were you take a lancha, a long and fast boat, I expected a hotel or at least a hostel. And why not? I mean, this is still the exotic Pacific and it’s close to the capital Tegucigalpa, so you’ll expect some sort of tourist amenities. Not in Coyolito. Some shacks and bewildered locals watching the day go by, that’s all. So, what to do? Turn back and hit for Nicaragua, a 70 kilometers ride, or take my changes on the island? You see, I had only 75 bucks on me and once on the island you can forget about modern facilities like a bank or an ATM.
Anyway, I still had some hopes of Amapala, the main and only truth village on the island. I could see it from the shore. People in Coyolito told me that there were some hotels and hostels. My curiosity won and I gave Amapala the benefit of the doubt. I found a lancha to transport me an the bike to the Island and of we went. At first sight the island was a big mistake, Guzman. The beaches are absolutely crap, especially when you’re used to Mexico. On Isla del Tigre; black sand, dirt all over, junky-needles, muddy water and no people at all. So I drove back to Amapala were I found this hostel International. Iris, my landlady, charged me 120 lempiras (6 bucks, which is expensive) a night. Rats & spiders included.
The next days I gave my self over to the national pass time – doing absolutely nothing. There’s hardly work on Isla del Tigre. People fish a bit and do some farm-work. But everything at low speed. It’s too hot to be active even when you want. It’s too hot to move a pinky. So I didn’t move any limb at all and sat down for a week or so and made friends among the islanders. Like I told you people are extremely friendly and interested in Honduras. At sunset I took my routine-walk to downtown. Just two blocks from the hostel. People play every night bingo on the streets, Guzman. They eat and drink, have fun and lose their money. There is no bar on the island, no dancing, nothing. Only a few pool tables for the men. Amapala lost its glare in the sixties. It used to be a lively port. It even had a casino. But this all lost the attraction when the government decided to move the port to San Lorenzo, 30 kilometers from Coyolito. Now Amapala looks old and shabby. Forgotten by the world. But for me it’s just another jewel of simplicity. It’s a place were I can come back, and I probably will. Or maybe I shouldn’t haste things…
You see, I was dating Guadelupe. A tough, bored but nice 26-year old lady. She has a two-year old daughter, who’s her life and everything, her reason to be. So I was driving us three around on the Guzzi. Went to the beach and all. Even made it to the couch. Then I was wondering; ‘Are you married, Lupe?’ ‘Yes’, she replied, without any emotion. ‘My husband can come back any minute from work.’ Did you hear that Guzman? ‘Can come back any minute now.’ Wow, for me that was the sign – sure, sure still listening to them – to get the hell out of there. I mean, the Honduran people are nice, well mannered and friendly and all. But he Guzman, I see no point in pushing my luck. We’re still in Centro America, dude. So the next day I Smiled & Waved Amapala goodbye.
Got to go now Guzman. Time is flying.
PS I tried to climb this giant with the Guzzi the other day, Guzman. I was too fucking lazy to walk and got very inspired by my new fancy Pridgestone of road tires. But climbing a volcano with a 30-year-old motorcycle is dumb, stupid and even dangerous. So halfway I ran into an ditch. I took me an hour or so to get the bike out. I practically had to drag him out. I was totally wrecked and got myself burned. Ouch! (Few days later: the wound starts to smell and has a funny color. Should I visit a doctor, Guzman?)
PS I’m in Nicaragua now. This country stood high on my priority-list. A lot of people with huevos live here. First the Sandinistas kick the dictator Somosa out and then they had to face the Reagan-sponsored Contra’s. Years of stupid and unnecessary bloodshed, thanks to vicious US-foreign politics. So you drive to Granada, you have high expectations, you park you bike, look around and what you see is this…
PS Guess to whom I ran into this time… Well? Yeah man, she is still fine. She’s my best friend on the continent by now. Bought me a birtday-cake.