Roatan Road Trip June/July 2013 1


Some thoughts from John…

These are pictures from the drive down, from Arlington, TX to Roatan, Honduras, that my brother, Lynn, and I made between June 27th and July 2nd, 2013.  It was a 6 day, 5 night journey that was filled with God’s grace, blessings, and guidance.

As a general rule, I’m not known for being one to take lots of pictures.  I tend to get so wrapped up into the current activities, that it totally eludes me to pause and take pictures along the way.  This reality has never been more evident to me than this road trip.  Many times, things would happen so quickly, that we could not have safely taken a picture.  We would often joke, after the fact, about the “missed photo opp”.

At the end of the trip, in looking back, I was truly saddened by how few pictures I took.  The trip was very stressful and I was simply striving to reach our destination each day.  To have truly “slowed down” and “enjoyed” the trip, it could have easily taken 2 weeks.  These are beautiful countries with lots of God’s creativity on display. Oh, what majesty!

Because we only stopped for gas and hotels (yes, we managed to work in bathroom breaks during these other stops), most pictures are taken through the windshield or side windows of the Jeep.  Definitely not good, quality photography here. :-)

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#1 Lesson learned:

Do NOT drive through these countries without a GPS.  Our biggest surprise was the complete lack of signage. I had Google Maps print-outs for the entire trip, covering every step along the way.  They proved totally useless. Even on the rare occasion that a sign pointed you in the right direction, we regularly encountered T’s and Y’s in the roads, with NO SIGNAGE clarifying which direction to go.  GPS REQUIRED!

 

Thursday, June 27th, 2013

This was the day of our departure from Arlington.  We were up till about 3 am the night before, and then left town about four or more hours later than we intended. We had a stiff deadline to get to Austin before 4 pm, to pick up papers for the dog from the USDA office.

We made it to the office in Austin with about 30 minutes to spare. Had we not made it in time, it would have cost us a full day on the trip, and we would have ended up crossing the Texas/Mexico border on Saturday.  Many folks recommend NOT crossing the border on the weekend.  We drove from Arlington to Brownsville, TX this day.

 

Friday, June 28th, 2013

This was our first day in Mexico. I completely missed photo opportunities in all the towns.  Unbelievable.

#1 rule when driving through Mexico?  DO NOT drive at NIGHT!  We drove for over 4 hours after dark this first day in Mexico (and for over 2 1/2 hours the second night).  I simply had no contingencies for where to stay, other than our final destination each day.

We spent much of our time lost and prayerful that God would guide us to the correct road/route. He did time and time again.

 

Saturday, June 29th, 2013

Our second day in Mexico, included a very unpleasant traffic stop in a very crowded city. God provided!

 

Sunday, June 30th, 2013

We crossed from Mexico into Guatemala this day…TWICE!  Okay, rookie mistake.  We were so focused on properly “checking out” our vehicle (as a $400 deposit was at stake) whenever we left Mexico, and no one really provides any guidance, that we totally forgot to get our passports stamped on our way out.

It’s not the warmest feeling to be standing inside the Guatemalan border, and hear the Guatemalan border agent say, “Uh oh, problemo!” We had to drive about 4 KM BACK into Mexico, get our passports stamped OUT of Mexico, and THEN try again.

The Guatemalan mountains are absolutely breathtaking. Wow!

 

Monday, July 1st, 2013

We met a wonderful lady at the hotel in Guatemala that spoke excellent English (as good as I did – I would have bet she was American). She answered a million questions for us AND provided an alternate route out of town the next morning.  It proved to be excellent directions (about 2 1/2 pages worth, off the top of her head) that worked perfectly.

We spent the night in Guatemala and then drove across the border to Honduras on this day. We barely got into Honduras, before we had to find our last hotel for the trip.

 

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013

We left the hotel and drove across Honduras this day.  We had difficulty finding the shipping company and port with the ferry (the Jeep and trailer had to be shipped overnight). God blew us away here. Two Honduran National police officers abandoned their post, and escorted us to the ferry port, as they did not know where the shipping company was located. At the port, the police officers learned the shipping company’s location. So, they then took us to the shipping company, and made sure all was well, before returning to their post.

We checked in the Jeep and trailer and caught a taxi back to the ferry port.  We made it with about 15 minutes to spare, catching the last ferry of the day. Whew!  (By the way, the taxi driver wanted our 90 lb Golden Retriever to ride in the trunk.  I resisted, he relented and she rode taking up most of the back floorboard, along with our feet.)

I was so exhausted when Karin picked us up at the ferry port in Roatan.  She was such a beautiful blessing to see. I remember some of my first words to her being, “I sure hope God never asks me to do that again.”

 

God’s blessings where evident and overwhelming during this trip.  I praise and exalt Him for His unending mercy and grace.  To Him be ALL the glory!

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