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Slipping on a banana republic

February 16, 2013
Tim and Tig

Tim and Tig, on their Chetaks in Blaine, Wash. in October (Orin O’Neill photos)

Remember Tim and Tig, the guys from New Zealand who were riding their scooters from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego? After spending a few days in Seattle, they continued south through Mexico and on to Central America. The trip was going well. Then they got to Honduras.

Honduras shares borders with Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua and has shorelines along the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. The country was devastated by floods in 2008, and a constitutional crisis the following year resulted in a change of government that may or may not have been a coup d’etat. I suppose which side you were on determined your perspective on that matter.

Anyway, things got bad as soon as they reached the border, and got progressively worse as they attempted to reach the provincial capital Choluteca, where they’d planned to spend a few days.

Tim suffered a debilitating back injury while pushing his scooter, which necessitated a trip to Honduras’ capital, Tegucigalpa. As reported by the Otago Daily Times, the place is not what you’d call inviting:

The city was an eye-opener on the effects military rule, corruption, a huge wealth gap, roaring drug trade, crime and natural disasters can have on a country.

Getting out of the country required paying lots of money in bribes, and the scooters had to be left behind.

Safely back in New Zealand, Tig is in the care of a local surgeon and Tim is preparing for new employment in Australia. Neither expressed regrets, and while Tig would like to return and complete the journey, Tim simply said he was keeping his options open. Their plan was to arrive in Tierra del Fuego before the end of March.

In the meantime, here’s another epic scooter journey you can follow. Favicon

  1. February 17, 2013 9:47 pm

    I never did get along with Honduras for some reason, but I was on a sailboat so I upped the anchor and left and that happened on both coasts. Too bad they couldn’t finish but they had a lot of experiences.

  2. Jack Riepe permalink
    February 19, 2013 2:32 am

    Dear Orin:

    This is a shame, but I was delighted to read it had a happy ending. Other endings could have included:

    • Tim and Tig were caught in a crossfire of hot lead…
    • Tim and Tig have been detained by authorities and may be released within two years…
    • Tim and Tig disappeared shortly after entering Honduras…

    Maybe they should start in Tierra Del Fuego and take the path of least resistance north. I am sorry to hear of Tig’s back injury.

    Fondest regards,
    Jack Riepe
    Twisted Roads

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