We had to backtrack to San Pedro Sula, the regional hub. We came back to the same hotel in the same dodgy district. This time, we didn’t even attempt to walk around the area much and took refuge in a mall, in a better neighborhood.
From San Pedro, we headed to Puerto Cortes, 65 kilometres away. The sedate town reminded me of Townsville in Australia: flat, spread out with wide avenues and tin roofs drenched by the sun. The centre was very quiet, maybe because it was Sunday and a lot of stores were closed. You can tell we are out of the gringo path: there are very few restaurants (locals eat at home) and we get stared at like Westerners in China in the 1980s.
Puerto Cortes, despite its evocative name, is a fairly uninspiring place for travelers. Not much to do, not much to see. There is less traffic there than in La Ceiba or San Pedro and it has a bit of a small town feel (at least on a Sunday during daytime). But the cranes that are part of the skyline and the number of bars give it away: Puerto Cortes is a port, an industrial one, from where half of the exported Honduran products are shipped. No white-sand beaches here and the only birds are those in a cage.
Our hotel room was very cramped: the two of us could barely fit in it and I could watch TV while taking a shower in the doorless bathroom behind the bed. This is the kind of room where you don’t want to linger. Unfortunately, it started pouring rain mid-afternoon and there wasn’t much to do but sit around on the bed.