The Diving Pelican Inn is 11 miles East of La Ceiba, about 15 to 20 minutes depending on the amount of cattle crossing the road. It’s a beautiful drive and I do it a few times a week to pick up people and or supplies for the restaurant.
Last Friday I was taking 2 friends who had stayed with us to La Ceiba to catch the ferry to Utilla. On a wide open stretch of farmland and jungle my truck battery just died, leaving the 3 of us stranded in the middle of no man’s land. ( there are very few tow trucks in La Ceiba and it’s not like you can just call BCAA to come and boost your car), so we felt like we were in a bit of a pickle.
Within a minute of putting the hood up, a motor bike passed us going the opposite direction, he immediately turned around and came over to assist us. He tried various things with the battery, and flagged down many other cars to help us, who kindly stopped but didn’t have any jumper cables. It was amazing to see how many locals stopped to help us three Gringos with our car.
We got a hold of my mechanic, Luis and Peter’s taxi driver friend who both said they’s come and help us, the gentleman on the motorcycle, refused to leave us until help had arrived. The gentleman had a name tag hanging around his neck so I thought he might be a city worker or road patrol or something, but when I sat to speak with him (with the crappy and very little Spanish I know), I came to find out that he works in a bank and was just on his way to work when he stopped to help us. He stayed with us for the full 40 minutes from break down until our mechanic Luis and shop owner Nefy arrived with a new battery for us.
How often does a mechanic drive our to you to help you with your car?
Luis, after replacing the battery and alternator, also picked me up in town a few days later because my car didn’t feel safe to drive to me, it was almost stalling then lurching forward. He drove me all the way back to Sambo (20 minutes), worked on my car for 3 days and then picked me back up so I could drive with him in the car back to La Ceiba that way I would be totally comfortable knowing my car was fixed.
For all of that service, the days assessing the problem and then fixing it cost me 800 lempira total about $40.
The replacement of the battery and alternator with new ones was 8900 lempira (about$450 USD), of which about 7000 were the parts.
So I guess that’s 2 more reasons of why to consider Honduras
- The people are wonderful and helpful
- The cost of a mechanic is extremely reasonable (make sure you get the right one)