Our last night in Nicaragua was spent with our fellow travel mates attending a performance at a Nicaraguan artist’s restaurant. The artist’s music was associated with the Sandinista Revolution. It was a good time, but is relevant now because this was the launching point for the proverbial zoo monkey crap slung our way the last few days.
Because of the late night, we got back to our hostel dorm in Managua with only about 3-4 hours before we would have to wake up again. We tried to sleep, but the sounds of flatulence and mosquitoes decided otherwise. About two hours in, we gave up on sleep and sat in the hostel common area until it was time to get to the bus station at 4:30 am.
We were going to Honduras and according to our research would be traveling for about 9 hours. Our first bus ride across the border was pretty good, I’m not going to lie. We even watched a bootleg version of Yes Man in Spanish. The only thing was the ride took 8 hours. Maybe our research was a little faulty. Our second bus continued the journey. It was a little hotter, a little mustier, and a little more cramped. And it was 8 and a half hours too long. We tried switching seats midway through the trip, but the cockroaches chased us back to our originals. At 10:30 pm our bus pulled into La Ceiba’s terminal and the weary few of us remaining warily made our way to the 3 taxis still working. We asked one of them to take us to a hotel, mid-range. He muttered something about most being full, but he’d find us a place.
What we found was a small building, bars on the windows, a bench with its seat long worn through was the only furniture visible as I looked down the barely lit main corridor. We weighed our options, but the taxi was long gone. So, the manager showed us to our room. I went from relief of ending the days travels to disappointment of the present. The bed filled the room completely and was a foot from the toilet and shower, both of which were in a state that matched the rest of our space. Mari continuously referred to it as a “shit-hole.” I started to comfort her by saying, “It’s actually not that bad. At least I haven’t seen any…”
My sentence was cut off when out of the corner came what I thought was a mouse. Instead it was only a cockroach the size of one. I escaped to the street to collect myself, but two prostitutes followed me out of the hotel arguing about where to catch a taxi. The commotion shooed me back in. Mari and I decided to forgo brushing our teeth, or changing out of our clothing in a real fear we would end up dirtier—something we wouldn’t have thought was possible ten minutes prior. Instead, we pulled out our sleep sac liners and got in. We covered ourselves as completely as possible, clutching any openings close to our bodies in efforts to shut out our temporary reality.
We escaped early the next morning and made our way to the ferry which would take us to our destination: Roatan. As we looked past the eighty minutes separating us from beaches, rum and scuba-ing, we were jolted back to the present when a man walked around and handed everyone a plastic bag. We didn’t know what to make of it until about five minutes later when the ferry began to sway and claimed it’s first victim. A passenger made the first deposit into his bag, followed by another…and another. Each person triggering the urge to blow chunks for the next person till a cacophony of belches, gagging, and dry-heaves filled the ferry. I kept my eyes closed to fight becoming the next victim.
Eventually though, the ferry docked, the green in people’s faces subsided and we joined the ranks of those living the beach life. We’re hoping that the drinks will taste stronger, the sand will look whiter, and the sunsets more vibrant because of what it took to get here.