Trip Start Jun 13, 2003
Trip End Aug 18, 2003

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Flag of Honduras  ,
Sunday, June 15, 2003

So this was my first time traveling alone. And heading off to Central America, by myself, speaking very little Spanish, and not having a lot of money at my disposal - it was all a little daunting.

The bus I needed to catch to make my flight wasn't running, because it was Sunday. So I ended up taking another bus part of the way and then offering a cab driver every bit of American money I had left to take me to the airport. So I made my flight and was off to Central America.

The flight was uneventful - except for the landing. The runway in Tegucigalpa is supposedly 100 yards shorter than required by law. But the city is in a valley and there's a highway on one side of the airport that doesn't allow them to extend the runway. They even have to bring down barriers, like a railroad crossing, to keep cars from driving by while a plane is landing. This is because there had been problems with the landing gear hitting the tops of trucks as the plane rushed toward the runway.

As we entered the valley the 747 had to make a number of sharp turns and banks as we headed in. We could see people waving at us from their shacks. And they weren't little specks on the ground. We made eye contact. I could see their facial expressions. They looked amused.

So we hit the runway hard and lurched forward as the brakes were slammed. When we finally came to a safe stop everyone on the plane actually applauded. I'd never seen so many people happy to be alive and on the ground.
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