Thursday, September 18, 2008

Driving North in Central America

Ginette did all the planning for the trip. The plan worked well. See the earlier posts in this blog for day-by-day details.

April 13: We left Playas del Coco in Costa Rica at 8 AM and reached border at 10 AM. It took an hour on the Costa Rican side of the border and another hour on the Nicaraguan side to pay all the fees and get the paper work done. By 3 PM we reached the beautiful city of Granada, Nicaragua where we stayed.

April 14: We toured Granada. We love this city.

April 15: Granada at 8 AM and by 1:20 PM we reached the Nicaragua – Honduras frontier. By 3 PM we were in Honduras. The crossing cost us about $90. At 3:30 PM we stopped in the little town of Danli, Honduras and found a room at the Hotel La Esperanza (Hope Hotel).

April 16: There is not much to see in Danli. We were up early and headed for capital city of Honduras, Tegicugulpa could not be avoided; we feared having to go through it. Surprise! The city had some good expressways and we stumbled upon one that took us through the city in 15 minutes. We were really lost as we left Teguicugulpa but we kept heading north and did just fine. Be 3 PM we reached the little town of La Esperanza. This is a tough little town high in the mountains. I liked it. We found a good hotel.

April 17: We headed northwest on gravel roads and reached Gracias by lunchtime. After 92 more miles on great road, we stopped for the night at Copan Ruinas, site of one of the largest Myan ruins.

April 18: We remained in Copan Ruinas all day; lots to see and do.

April 19: Copan Ruinas, Honduras is only 6 miles from the Guatemalan border. The crossing required only 55 minutes. Winding mountain roads, good two lane roads take us to the outskirts of Guatemala City (“Guat City”) by noon. We dreaded crossing Guat City but there were no real choices (all roads lead to Guat City). That afternoon we found a great place to overnight in Parramos, Guatemala.

April 20: We quickly arrived in Antigua, Guatemala. Northern Guatemala is our favorite place.

April 21: Today’s destination was Panajachel on the edge of the great Lake Atitlan.

April 22: Chichicastenango is our destination, a day trip. Great place on market day, Sunday. We returned to Panajachel for the night.

April 23: Long drive today from Guatemala to San Cristobal de las Casas, Mexico via Huehuetenango and La Mesilla.

April 24: We started at San Cristobal and it took all day to get to Palenque, a distance of 132 miles (213 km). That gave us an average speed of 29 miles per hour (46 k/hr).

April 25: We visited the Mayan ruins at Palenque. By 11 AM we left and headed for Veracruz. We covered almost 400 miles in the afternoon, averaging about 65 mph and often running along at 80 mph.

April 26: Veracruz to Tampico

April 27: Tampico to Brownsville, Texas.

15 days, a great trip!

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