Friday, July 15, 2011

Traveling Maniac - Honduras Day 2, A Very Long Day

At 5:00 AM the airport sprang back to life and I was awakened by the sound of a coffee bean grinder at the Dunkin’ Donuts (room service?). That and the uncorking of a bottle of wine have to be two of my top ten sounds in the whole world, but seriously...5:00 AM? I opened my eyes and I turned to my right to find a bunk mate! An older gentleman curled up asleep on some chairs about 5 feet away was sharing my hotel room. He woke up too and we watched each other’s bags while we took turns freshening up in the restroom. I replaced all the furniture and prepared myself mentally to begin my long wait for Molly. I chatted with my bunk mate for awhile and then had breakfast with a nice older Honduran couple. We chatted in broken English (theirs) and grade school Spanish (mine) about our families, our lives, and what had brought us to be at this airport at 6:00 AM on a Sunday morning.

After breakfast, they were on their way and they wished me the best of luck in finding my sister and continuing on my journey. I was still without an internet connection and needed to recharge my iPod battery. I wandered closer to the airport desks to find a power outlet and voila! Up popped a Taca Airlines wireless hotspot! I helped myself to their wireless connection and was finally able to find my dear Molly. I learned that she was bumped at LAX and was now en route to El Salvador. I was also able to message my son Dave to assure him of my safety and to ask him to call Molly’s boyfriend Andrew to let him know that I was safe just in case Molly contacted him. She eventually reached El Salvador but she still had no idea where I was. She begged to be allowed into the VIP lounge so that she could try to contact me. The hotel in La Ceiba that we were to stay at the previous night had contacted her to let her know that I never arrived. She was quite concerned about my whereabouts and safety as you can imagine. She messaged me about where she was, questioned what had become of me, let me know that she had rearranged all our forward going plans, and because she was not sure where I was, also gave me the address of our hotel in La Ceiba hoping that I could take a cab there. By the time I received her message and replied to her, she was already on her flight, still unsure of where I was.

I spent the remainder of the day reading, emailing Dave, and awaiting Molly. Then the most incredible thunderstorm hit. The trees were blown sideways by the wind, the airport roof was a sieve, and the airport was closed down for all flights. Even the flute man packed up again and left the airport for the safety of home. It was at this point that I began to lose hope that I would see Molly on this day. But as quickly as the storm had blown in, it blew right back out again and the airport opened with half an hour to spare before Molly’s flight was to arrive. When the time came, I watched the arrival board – no flight – I waited 20 more minutes – still no flight! I checked on line and the Taca website said that there was no flight 222 from El Salvador to Honduras that day. Completely disheartened I asked a Taca agent what was going on. She radioed someone who told her that the flight was in fact en route but would not arrive for another 20 minutes. Hallelujah!

I found a very conspicuous spot to wait for Molly and resumed reading my book, completely immersed in a great gruesome British murder mystery knowing that all would be well. Before long there was a tap on my shoulder and a familiar voice saying “are you as happy to see me as I am to see you?!?!?” We smiled at each other with those goofy smiles that can only come with the profound relief of finally knowing that the other was safe and okay. What stories we each had to tell the other of our respective adventures in flying! I messaged Dave that all was well with both of us and that we were in fact together at last. After approximately 30 hours in the San Pedro Sula airport, I boarded the flight to La Ceiba with my lovely sister.

30 minutes later we landed at the airport in La Ceiba and were met by the owner of the hotel who whisked us back to her place. We had an amazing dinner of rice, plantains, and ice cold beer at the Rainbow Village Hotel. We were so happy to have made it this far in our journey to the island, albeit 24 hours behind schedule. I took a hot shower and washed the airport off my body and out of my hair and fell into bed and off to a very restful sleep – one where I could lie completely prone if I so chose, where I didn’t have to hug my purse to my sleeping body, and where I knew that the next morning we would begin the next leg of our journey.

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