Utila Honduras - Scuba Diving -
Well here I sit alone on a beautiful dock overlooking the Caribbean.
Upon our arrival into the port of Utila Bonnie and I were greeted by approx 50 dolphins that went frolicing right in front of the boat. Bonnie and I had our hands out stretched over the side of the boat and could almost reach out and touch them. Along with the dolphins we spotted flying fish! I have never so stunned. All the sudden scores of fish leaped out of the ocean and started flying. Damnedest thing I have ever seen. Fish with wings? And the little bastards flew a long ways probably approx 400 yards or so. Flying fish? who would of thought.
Bonnie enrolled in an open water certification class (130 dollars US which includes room and board for 4 days. Scuba prices are the best I have ever seen. The cost of a two tank dive is 25 bucks. The reefs here are absolutely gorgeous. I would rank them right up there with Cozumel, Belize and Hawaii. Bonnie and her class just embarked on an their first open water dive. I am typing as I watch their boat sail off into the sea.
Well we visited the ruinas in Copan. They were quite spectacular. Though, I still think the ruins in Tikal are better. Bonnie and I really enjoyed the City of Copan. We spent the morning wondering around the ruins and the afternoon exploring the little city of Copan. We made arrangements to try and make our way to the Honduras city of La Ceiba where in the morning we could catch a ferry over to the island of Utila. Our bus was scheduled to leave Copan at 2 in the afternoon and we were to arrive in La Ceiba at 9:00 that evening. That may sound like a long bus ride but it wasn't bad at all. The Honduras countryside was stunning. It's so much fun to watch the countryside roll on by. Honduras is much nicer than I had expected. For some reason I thought Honduras would be a bit like Mexico. I thought I would see a lot of poverty and pollution but that simply isn't the case. If anything what I have seen of Honduras leads me to believe it is a very clean, safe and relatively rich country. I didn't see many of the ramshackle shacks and homeless people you find in Mexico. I give Honduras the big thumbs up. It's a beautiful country with friendly people.
We arrived in La Ceiba as scheduled jumped in a taxi and proceeded to look for a hotel for the night. The driver recommended a hotel for a whopping 4 dollars a night. We went to check it out. Oh shit! That was one ugly seedy place. I suspect the accommodations at a Texas prison would have surpassed that place. We could have stayed there but a man of my means had the option for at the very least a toilet with a seat and a mattress that didn't appear to be moving all by itself. No that was not the place for us. I decided we should stay the Gran Paris Hotel. The name hooked me. So we crashed at a rather upscale place and took the ferry over to Utila in the morning.
Utila is awesome. It is exactly the kind of place I was hoping to find. It's small but not too small. The people are friendly. There are loads of travelers and everything is ridiculously cheap. Did I mention the ocean is beautiful and the water warm and crystal clear. Bonnie and I checked into a Dive/Hotel. If you dive with them the rooms are free. You can't beat that! The people running the place are great. We simply couldn't have asked for more. Last night we had a big barbeque on the beach. We had all the beer, fish, coleslaw, watermelon and loads of other food for 6 dollars. It was a good time.
The night before was outrageous. I don't think there is anyway I could paint the scene with words but I'll try. Bonnie and I were walking down the street and we came across a circular structure that had very loud music blasting out of it. It wasn't a tent exactly but a bunch of ragged tarps strung up to make a circle. The outfit looked pretty sketchy. There was a group of young ragamuffin looking teenage boys at the entrance. Apparently it was some traveling circus. I asked about the show and was informed that it would be absolutely spectacular with dancing, animals and a trapeze artist. The price was $1.75. Perhaps its just that kind of morbid curiosity that makes one peer at a car wreck but a little voice in the back of my head said, 'Dave you have to see what's on the other side of the curtain!' So Bonnie and I paid are entrance fee and with some apprehension stepped into the circle of hanging tarps.
Oh my gosh…. What the hell did we walk into? There were approx 10 little boys running around tackling each other. Music at approx 120 decibels was blasting out of some speakers circa 1950. A drunk man with no shirt and I large knife strapped to his leg was standing in the center of the ring dancing. Funny thing was I don't suspect he was part of the show. He was just a drunk and somewhat belligerent dancing. I think he actually threw a beer bottle in the center of the ring which crashed against a pole a rained glass all around. Though I didn't see him throw it. The police came within 30 minutes and a young man I'm guessing approx 12 with a LARGE gun escorted this gentleman off the stage. The real show was another drugged out man who had his friends pierce his back with a long metal wire. Just when we thought we couldn't be more grossed out they bent the wire into a loop and tied and I kid you not a fuckin' pickup truck to this wire hanging out of the guys back. He then proceeded to pull the pickup truck across the stage using only the wire coming out of his back. Suffice it to say Bonnie and I were terribly impressed. I leaned over to Bonnie and said, I bet you're thinking one thing!- Is this guy single?
OK enough journal entry for today.
Utila is fabulous! Bonnie will be certified by tomorrow, I will try to get in another 4 dives and hopefully we will make it back to Guatamala City in time to pick up Joe on the 18th.
Dave and Bonnie
My Travel Journal
Monday, July 16, 2001