We made our way from Jinotega to Tegucigalpa on the chicken bus (basically a souped up school bus) with one overnight stop in Ocotal, a border town in northern Nicaragua. The bus trip was surprisingly easy - we're definitely getting the hang of this! From there, to save time we chose to catch a relatively cheap flight, stopping over in La Ceiba, a small town on the northern coast of Honduras. This is where things got interesting. We were lead from our first plane (large enough to fit around 40 passengers), shoved down the runway, and packed into a small Cessna with barely room enough for us, three other passengers, and the pilot. With six people and a whack of luggage, we were surprised the plane even took off! Without any attempt at a weight balance or safety talk, we proceeded to take off down the little runway. This was a far cry from any flying we've done in little planes with Chelsea's brother Shawn, where he goes through his full safety checklist, provides a headset, ensures we wear seatbelts, etc., but no worries - it was really just a short hop over from the mainland. Everything was smooth during takeoff and I felt fine until the door right beside me popped open just as the plane left the ground! I managed to get it closed again, though for the rest of the flight I wouldn't let go of the seat in front of me for fear of an exciting but very final skydive (did I mention my seatbelt wouldn't do up?)
We were lucky and managed to score a room at Rubi's Hostel, recommended to us by our new Turkish friend Ozgar who we met in the airport at Tegucigalpa. He was flying to Roatan for one night and catching a ferry to Utila the next day, so he asked us to reserve him a room if we stayed there (even though at the time we didn't know his name). Rubi's was great! Very simple and affordable ($20/night for both of us), but clean, and located close to everything. We even had hot showers, which was a nice treat after returning from a night dive or being soaked in one of the many downpours (rainy season, sigh).
After Utila, we'll be making our way back down to Costa Rica to hang out with my parents for a couple weeks (assuming we survive the flight).