CA 5: Copan to Flores via Rio Hondo


Not a general indictment of the day, mind you.  Just how I happen to be feeling right now.

We went to a place called Carnitas Nia Lola for what was supposed to be good carnitas.  It led to a good enema on our toilet when we got back to the hotel.  Can’t say for sure that’s what got us, but it really is the only similar thing we ate all day, so I’m putting it on that.

So yeah, today has been a challenge for that reason.  It was also a challenge we didn’t need on what was definitely the most “Do-It-Yourself” part of the trip.

There is no direct bus or shuttle (or even route) between Copan and Tikal.  What you have to do is take a shuttle to El Florido, on the Honduran-Guatemalan border, and then the shuttle continues to this place called Rio Hondo.  From there, you wait under an underpass until a bus going in the direction you want goes by.  You flag it down, tell them where you’re going, and you either get there or not.

Ordinarily, I would be up for such an adventure.  Today, I was pumped full of Imodium and Pepto.  So I wanted it to be easy.

Kind of was, kind of wasn’t.

Our guy really didn’t do the best job showing us where to go to get the bus, confusing our destination with that of an Israeli guy that was on the shuttle with us.  After going back and forth to what we thought was the stop, a buddy of the driver made it a bit clearer and we waited by the side of the road.  Soon enough, a bus labeled “El Peten”, which is the region Tikal and Flores are located in, came by.  One of the crew jumped out, asked us where we were going, loaded our bags onto the bus, took what I think was too much money but I’ll have to check and we were off….!!!

….with no seats for about two hours…

…and book and magic pill salesmen on the bus at various points…

…and crying babies with bad parents…

K, I’m not saying the parents were bad because their kids were crying.  I’m saying they were bad because of things like leaving a little newborn alone on a Guatemalan bus seat, or keeping the kid who wanted mama away from mama, leaving the whole bus to suffer.  I get you need a rest, lady, but holy freaking hell, the rest of us don’t need to deal with your kid when the fix is pretty damn obvious!  MA…  MA!!!

Maybe that’s just the explosive diarrhea talking.

Anyway, lasted the bus ride without exploding, got in to Santa Elena, which is the town closest to Flores, grabbed a cab and got to Casa Amelia.  Definite step down from the places in Copan, but we knew that going in and the view from the rooftop patio is awesome.  Small problem with my credit card as I came in (got double charged, TD will deal with it), but the room has real air con and a TV.  As a place to plan the Tikal trip, it aint bad.

Just went out for dinner and the stomach is in a bit of a holding pattern.  Tomorrow involves hitting up an ATM, setting up stuff for Tikal, doing the circuit of the island (which will probably take less than an hour) and getting ready for some early mornings.

Tomorrow will NOT be anything resembling an early morning.

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