Days 111 & 112 – Sunday 8th & Monday 9th January 2006
After a sound sleep and a hearty breakfast we were ready to be shown about the capital city of Honduras. Carlos began by taking us to a viewpoint looking out over the city towards the airport. The city sprawls across a valley, reaching and edges and in some of the poorer areas even continuing up the surrounding hillsides.
We also visited the nearby villages of Valle de Angeles and one other that I forget the name of, which were bustling with activity it being Sunday and the villages being popular with Tegucigalpans for day trips. There wasn’t a whole lot to see in these villages but there was a route to the top of one of the hills that surrounds the city, so we drove to the summit to get our second view of the city from above. This lookout point was much more impressive than the first. We also timed our visit very well, arriving just as the sun was setting behind the hilltops on the opposite side of the valley.
We returned to Carlos’ house for dinner and an early night, the walking having taken it out of us. The next morning we got up and Carlos took us into the city centre. As we took a bus into the centre of town we passed by a gun shop, La Armeria. We asked Carlos if it would be possible for us to go intro the firing range and shootsome guns. He said he thought that it would be possible. From that moment on the city tour was just a pre-cursor for what was about to happen next – firing guns.
As we wandered about the streets looking for some food, we bumped into Rivo, the Latvian guy with whom we had spent Christmas at the lake. He had just arrived in town the previous evening and was at a loose end, so we all grabbed some food before catching a bus back to La Armeria.
We went into the shop and Carlos asked if it would be possible for us to go into the range. As you might imagine, the law concerning guns in Nicaragua is a little different from the law in England. Not only was it possible, but within ten minutes of walking in off the street, we had paid our C100 (about £3) each and we were in the firing range armed with a gun and 100 bullets, ready to do some shooting.
As we were getting shown how to load the gun, an old boy walked into the range, made a motion for us to put on our ear protectors, walked behind the safety barrier and unloaded four shots from his pump action shotgun. Then calm as you like, he turned around, gave us a cheery wave and toddled off back out into the shop.
When we had loaded up the gun (Smith and Wesson .22), we each took it in turns to fire four of five rounds at targets ranging from 5m to 20m in distance. I think this was the first time I had ever fired a gun (not including air rifles), and I must admit it is a lot of fun! Between loading and reloading, looking at the targets after we had shot them, taking photos and our individual turns it took us about an hour and a half to fire off all our rounds. Each of us came out with big grins on faces. I think that Carlos – who was originally a bit peeved that we wanted to go to the gunshop instead of walking around the city – came around and was all smiles as we left and caught a bus back to his house.
By this time it was getting to late afternoon, and we all jumped in Carlos car so he could take us to another viewpoint of the city from the surrounding hills. This was again a really good view and we sat there for a while, again watching the sun disappear behind the hilltops before driving back into the city for dinner.
We were leaving the following day and arranged to meetup with Rivo at the bus station around 9am to catch the bus into Nicaragua.