Honduras Travel Diary of a Handicapped Couple
Part One: Taste, smell, hear Honduras
Roland and his wife have a lot in common, but the two biggest things they have in common are their love of travel and the fact that they are blind. In late summer they went on a trip to beautiful Honduras. We are very happy to have helped you with the planning and implementation and are all the more pleased about the very detailed travel report. In the coming weeks we will always publish a part of the report for you to share the experiences of the two with you.
This year’s autumn trip should finally lead us to Canada, so the plan. Organizationally, however, there were a few hurdles in our way: On the one hand, we were late for our vacation time for Canada due to the season, but the providers always reacted very hesitantly and the enthusiasm, as one often experiences in the USA, with us To do something as a blind traveler was very limited.
Roland had already been on the road with this provider in Mexico a few years ago (which had worked very well) and so we asked Rainer whether we could get together this time as well. He forwarded our request to Oliver Lang from Mesoamerica Travel SA (the local partner agency), who after a few days declared his willingness to design the trip for us. Oliver brought his local knowledge to the table and we were able to present our wishes so that we can plan the following trip together. Since we would be traveling alone with our guide,
Off to Honduras
On Saturday afternoon (September 16, 2017) we took a taxi to Berlin-Tegel Airport to fly from there with KLM via Amsterdam to Atlanta. We reached Atlanta around 8:00 p.m. local time, where we had to set the clocks back six hours. It was good that we still had a valid ESTA entry form for the USA, so that we did not have to deal with any major formalities for our one-night stop in Atlanta. We passed two checks where we had to leave our fingerprints, were photographed and had to answer questions about immigration, for example whether we would have pets, drugs, food or more than $ 10,000 with us.
After we had received our luggage without a hitch, we went to the previously booked Howard Johnson Atlanta Airport Hotel after waiting for a while. The hotel was about 4 km from the airport and a free shuttle was supposed to connect the airport and the hotel. The latter did not work out as smoothly in practice as the theory promised, because the proposed shuttle only ran between the hotel and the domestic airport, so we first had to drive from the international to the domestic airport and change there. Of course we missed the boat here and were allowed to wait 30 minutes for the next one, which at some point became a bit exhausting due to the time difference and the already long day of travel. After all, it took us just under two hours for the 4 km to the hotel.
Entry into Honduras
The next morning it was already time to have breakfast at 6:00 a.m. If you wanted, you could start with eggs, sausages and fried chicken, we opted for sweets such as small muffins and donuts from paper plates, plus coffee from plastic cups. The “dishes” took some getting used to for a hotel, as well as the selection at the breakfast buffet that was geared towards US needs. This time after breakfast we took a taxi to the airport because we wanted to avoid the uncertain change between the shuttles. Our flight took off at 9:45 a.m.
After a three-hour flight with Delta Airlines, we landed at around 11 a.m. local time at 31 degrees in San Pedro Sula / Honduras, where we had to set the clocks back by two hours, a total of eight hours behind German time. San Pedro Sula is located in the northwest of the country and is the second largest city in Honduras with about 1.3 million inhabitants (you don’t know for sure, because there is no mandatory registration in Honduras). The communication with our companion from the airport service and the lady from passport control was very amusing.
Both spoke only Spanish, we only spoke German and English. We shone with a few chunks of Spanish from current hits, the ladies laughed heartily and so our immigration forms were completed as if by magic, no idea what they entered, but finally everything was done. After we had also received our luggage, Heinz, our driver and travel companion for the next two weeks, received us in front of the airport! Heinz himself is German; when he was 28 he planned to travel for two years and then got stuck in Central America. He has now been living in the region for almost 30 years and works, among other things, as a tour guide.
35 degrees and grill snack in the evening
Heinz took us from the airport with the pick-up to our centrally located hotel “Casa del Arbol”, a small and very well arranged accommodation that – you hear and be amazed – with Braille inscriptions in the elevator and on the room doors in terms of barrier-free access was. After we had settled in, we went on our first exploratory tour, for example in a wonderfully cool (now it was 35 degrees and an enormous humidity) shopping center, where we drank an Americano espresso, a mixture of crushed ice, coffee and chocolate. An excellent drink that was on our daily menu during the entire holiday. We also bought our first souvenirs, a T-shirt for everyone, on which the map of Honduras can be felt.
Since Heinz was not staying with us in the hotel, we ordered dinner for us at a grill snack, which was delivered to the hotel on time. There was chicken and nachos, the portions were huge, which was typical of the country, as we experienced later. Before we set off on our Honduras tour on Monday, our stay was photographed – a picture with us and the hotel manager. We were the first blind guests to use Braille in the elevator and on the room doors, which of course delighted the manager. It was the only hotel with Braille on our entire trip.