OK — I’m exhausted. I had a 4 a.m. bus ride from San Cristobal to Copan, Honduras yesterday, and then a 5:15 a.m. bus ride today from Copan to La Ceiba, so I could catch the last ferry to Roatan Island, leaving at 4:30 p.m. to meet up with my friends Ian and Heidi for New Years.
As you know, I’m trying to do the “no reservations” thing for the most part. It looks like I’ll have to make some exceptions occasionally (booking a room the day before or so), but for the most part, I’m going to try to stick to it. It is far, far less firm than the “no-fly zone” for the trip, but I’m going to try to keep both intact.
I’d emailed the hotel that Ian and Heidi were staying at before I left to inquire how booked up the island gets during this time of year. The owners said quite so. When I got off the boat on the island and hopped in a cab, the cabbie asked me what hotel I was going to and did I have reservations. I gave him Heidi and Ian’s hotel name — or what I thought was the name– to meet up with them (and perhaps impose on their hospitality for a spot on their floor for the night) and he said I didn’t have reservations. He told me the entire island was booked.
Turns out I didn’t remember the name right and had to stop into an internet cafe to look up the email they had sent me. I asked the internet clerk dude about any room openings he had heard of and he gave me an incredulous look as he said, “you didn’t book a place to stay?” Pretty much the same reply from the next cabbie I got to Ian and Heidi’s hotel.
Got to the hotel, got dropped off, the owner came out. I asked for Ian and Heidi. She gave me the room number. I asked about any room openings that she heard of and she said, “shockingly, yes. We have an opening here for a few days. Someone cancelled their reservations today.”
Turns out some couple from the States had flown down to Honduras today. Got off the plane. Went through immigration here. . . . and found out one of their passports expire in four and a half months. You have to have a passport valid for at least six months after you arrive in Honduras to be allowed into the country. They had to board a plane back and fly back to the States immediately. Bingo — room for me. Passport problems… bad.
And its actually the room that Ian and Heidi stayed in the last few nights. They’ve moved to another room, because of the cancellation.
And now I’m off to have New Year’s Eve dinner with my friends. Tired. Needing a nice bottle of wine. And a good meal. But with a place to sleep tonight. Livin’ under a good star, I am.
Amazing luck to get that room! Hope the good fortune holds up the rest of the way.
In ten years of travel I have found I only needed reservations in Europe, but this is according to the price of the room. I normally stay in rooms under 20 US. Dollars. You can buy a SIM for the mobile phone at the airport, tuck it into your Quad Band cell phone and call all the Hotels to get rooms, there are also a few very expensive world telephone SIM cards. Keep up the good work, I am reading. Thanks from Andy of HoboTraveler.com Travel Blog