We must go beyond textbooks, go out into the bypaths and untrodden depths of the wilderness and travel and explore and tell the world the glories of our journey. – John Hope Franklin
5:30am and once again it’s time to get back on the road. It seems as though each time I begin to settle in to an area where the streets that were once foreign become familiar to me as an old friend, it is time to move along. This time my travel companions include four Canadians, Ty, Emily, Krista, and Jaimie, who secretly wishes to be an undercover Aussie at heart, and lastly, the other lowly American, Kaya. Laughter follows close beyond our group as each step we take is reminiscent of the past ten days on Utila and I cannot help but think, nossa, nossa, assim você me mata, ai se eu te pego, ai ai se eu te pego. The song that has become the unofficial anthem of Central America and a favorite of our group, Michel Teló we salute you amigo. Our destination leads us away from the island paradise of the northern Honduras Caribbean and in doing so we are chased by several dolphins in the wake of our ferry. The script of our early morning departure could not have been more tranquil or surreal.
Four and a half hours later, we arrive at the main Terminal Gran Central Metropolitana in San Pedro Sula. Briefly stretching before throwing my pack over my shoulders the weight hits my lower back with a jolt, I am now ready for the long walk through the terminal and down the escalator to the ticket booths. Without even ten minutes to rest, we are rushed away by the bus driver that enthusiastically explains to us that the bus is leaving now! Soon we are on another four and a half hour ride that eventually will bring us to the small hillside town, Copan Ruinas.
The last supper of our group is shared in a small café, and despite the exhaustion that is plastered across each of our faces we savor our final meal together without concern for time. As I sit listening to the conversations around me, I stop and acquire mental snapshots of the smiles of the new friends that surround me. Oh wait, Krista’s mental image is blurry and I’ve chosen to discard it without a second thought. So, our beautiful group of five will be remembered for years to come in my memory. Maybe next time Maple Leaf.
An abrupt cell phone alarm awakes us at 5:30am. Kaya forgot to reset this from our previous early morning and I’m ready to give her a five-fingers to the face, but, I hold back since she’s in the bed across from me above the covers in a land devoted, to of all things, being awake. This is quite the opposite of the land that I have wiggled my way under that cherishes deep unbridled rest, especially for those that savor every additional second of sleep before another long day of travel. Crawling to my feet, stretching and yawning with each motion that is made, I gather the last of my items, zip up my pack, and I am ready to conquer a new day through the fine art form, of sitting in confined spaces. Try not to be jealous.