I decided to leave on the 5:30 bus to get an early start for my long day of travel. Unfortunately, the bus had another plan, and it didn’t leave until 6am. I got to San Miguel at 7:20, which was only 66% of the travel time it took in the other direction, so that put me into San Miguel at the same time I’d hoped to arrive. Payment was $1 US again. The 7:30 express bus to San Salvador was pulling out as I arrived, so I jumped on and settled in. Great timing. Except that it wasn’t, because we sat for over 30 minutes, waiting for vendors to come on to try to sell us food and drinks. We didn’t leave the city until 8, or maybe a few minutes after. Cost: $3 US.
I arrived at the “is this really a” bus station in San Salvador a few minutes after 11. I knew that I needed bus 119 to El Poy/the border crossing to Honduras and asked around. Multiple people pointed me toward it, so it was really easy to find at the back of the parking lot. The bus to El Poy took almost 4 hours and costs $3.
The border crossing was really quite simple from El Salvador to Honduras and went rather quickly. Ignore the people offering to drive/bike taxi you from the bus station in El Poy, because it’s only a 5-7 minute walk, and they want $2-3 for it. From the El Salvador side, it’s another short walk to process into Honduras. On this side, you will need Lempira for a shared van or a taxi to Nuevo Ocotepeque, because there are no buses at the border. You need to get to the next town. I paid 10 HNL for this shared van, which is a steal.
Where the shared vans drop off is one street east and one street south of where the northbound buses leave from, heading to San Pedro Sula or La Entrada. I walked around the corner just in time to see the bus I needed driving away, so that was a huge bummer. I was told that the next bus would be 30-45 minutes, so I used the time to get snacks and hit the ATM. When I got back to the waiting area (which is simply the side of the road near a factory), some crazy homeless guy physically assaulted me and kept yelling about how people with tattoos are from the devil. After I finally got hold of his wrists and called him down a bit, telling him to leave me alone, I also noticed that everyone on the street was watching but not attempting to help in any way. Thanks for nothing.
The guy went away, and I went back to waiting for my bus under massive scrutiny from dozens of people who had seen what happened. To my heartbreaking shock, the homeless guy came back with 3 cops, and I was certain that this wasn’t going to go well with my broken Spanish. From across the street, I could see the guy gesturing to my tattoos and trying to tell the police to arrest me. He never mentioned our physical altercation, which made me super happy. I told the cops that the guy was crazy and gave the universal sign for “go away” toward the homeless guy, and the whole thing ended with the cops telling him to leave me alone. I seriously cannot believe that worked out so easily and so quickly; I was having visions of spending a night in some insane Honduran jail.
At 4pm, my collectivo van departed, and I was told that this one would only go to Santa Rosa de Copan, because there were no more buses to La Entrada for the day. Great. For 90 HNL, I rode to Santa Rosa, caught another short bus to La Entrada, and then was told that there were no more buses for the night, and that I could go to Copan Ruinas in the morning. On a whim, a taxi asked me if I needed a ride, since I was standing in front of an ATM and looking lost. I asked him how much it would cost for a ride to Copan Ruinas, and he said 200 HNL – less than $10. This is a 2 hour ride. I wrote 200 in the dust on his car, to make sure we understood each other, then we got started.
Or, so I thought. First, he stopped for bottled water. Then, we got gas. Then, we picked up his 12 year-old son, because it would be a long drive alone in the dark, so I understood.
When we finally arrived in Copan Ruinas at the main square, the price changed from 200 to 2,000 HNL. I lost my shit on this guy in a fully public display of rage. When I tried to walk away (I had my stuff), his son grabbed a strap on my backpack. Yeah, it was a really low price and probably not worth his time, but that’s what we had agreed on: 200. I finally agreed to give him another 200, to make it a $20 US ride, and he still wasn’t happy, but I walked away at this point, daring him to follow me or attempt to make a scene. I made a few wrong turns on purpose, just in case, then arrived at my hostel (Don Moises) after a long, insane day of travels and incidents. Luckily, the hostel was on the 2nd and 3rd floors of a building with a restaurant on the 1st floor, because I was insanely hungry at this point. A giant plate of fruits, vegetables, beans & tortillas was exactly what I needed. Bon Appetit is great, delicious, and cheap. Eat there!
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