I had hoped to make it close to the Nicaraguan border before sunset. Even the one-legged man at the gas station in Tegucigalpa assured me that I’d get to Danli before nightfall. In his sixties, he had an easy going demeanor for a panhandler. A torn and dirty baseball cap slipped over his matted straw-like hair. I pretended to not understand him when he asked me to help him. But our conversation proved to me he was a man of above average intelligence. Keenly aware of his country and Central America. When I came out of the convenience I handed him a bottle of water. I’d rather give those looking for handouts something they could use. The hot sweltering sun had parched my lips. I figured him too.
The delay in my arriving in Danli can’t be attributed to getting lost in Tegucigalpa, the capital of Honduras. Typically it’s easy to get lost in even medium-sized cities in Mexico or Central America. The roads that go through these cities twist, turn and circle in unnatural ways. And if there are signs, they are not visible. But going through Tegucigalpa was cake. A nice wide boulevard with a pleasant median. I didn’t bother getting off the main road, though I could see the streets climb the hills of this colonial city. And the delay wasn’t caused by the upcoming elections for Honduras’ next president. Though I did meet several campaign workers for the conservative party (Pepe) who assured me that they would win. Later winding my way out of Honduras I noticed that also running for the conservative (BLUE) party was someone rather famous (see photo above). The patriotism is remarkable here. Flags for red and blue are everywhere. From cars, on buildings and businesses.
Three things got in my way today. Construction. A horrific accident. And the rain. The road leaving Tegu, as it’s called by locals, is atrocious. But the only bad road I’d encountered in Honduras. But at least they were working on it. This, of course, caused delays. The accident? It was horrific. After sitting with my bike idling for more than 15 minutes, I decided to push on and drive down the opposite lane. I could see the dense dark plume of smoke rising above the tree line. Cruising down a steady incline, I arrived at the scene just as the road started making a turn to the left.
And then I saw the tractor-trailer. Tipped over on its side with flames billowing from the cab and engine compartment. A trailer door sat mangled on the ground nearby. And as I moved slower past spectators who exited their vehicles, and good samaritans on cellphones, I spotted the driver in a pool of blood. His eyes closed and face drenched in red and his blue overalls soot black. I stopped. Looked. And thought for a fraction of second of taking his picture. But felt bad. He turned and opened his eyes and looked at me. Through the face shield of my helmet, my eyes communicated worry and hope. I waved. What could I do?. There were a dozen men and women on phones. I’d only interfere. I moved on and then spotted another truck sans rear door. THen I figured what happened.
Our bloody yet conscious driver was cruising at a rate of speed perhaps just a bit too much for his truck and his load. Just as he’s going to round the corner another truck going slower is in front of him. His brakes fail. Or he simply just can’t stop fast enough, he tries to turn too quickly, plows into the back of the truck and as his truck rolls overtakes with it the rear door of the other truck. At least nobody died. So I moved on.
The sun starts setting and the rain starts pouring. In Danli it takes three stops at motels to find a room. Soaked, frenzied and tired, I flop on my bed.
Photos: (1) a pick up truck proudly displays his/her allegiance to the liberal (RED) party in Honduras; (2) Conservatives seem to be looking in higher places for their candidate; (3) Liberals are happy trolling the roads expressing their hope; (4) Nasty truck wreck on my way to Nicaragua; (5) While the indigenous people of Honduras could certainly be called Indians, I find it odd that the best coffee in Honduras uses an icon of the North American Indian complete with headdress as its logo/image.
Stats: Tela, Honduras to Danli, Honduras
Moving Average: 41.1 mph
Moving Time: 5:53:30
Maximum Speed: 72.3 mph
Total Miles: 247.4