A whistle-stop tour
31.07.2011 - 06.08.2011
We crossed the border into Honduras at about midday to a town called Copán. Despite being known for having the best example of Mayan ruins in Honduras we decided (partly to save time, partly because we´ve seen a lot of Mayan ruins by now) to carry on to a town called La Ceiba on the northern coast of the country. The bus journey up there was ridiculously expensive (over $40 for a 6 hour journey) but boy did we experience luxury. Air conditioning, reclining seats, a complementary drink and packet of butter flavoured crisps and even a film starring Brendan Fraser was shown. The only disturbance to the journey was when we heard a chorus of banging, so we pulled back the curtain to see an angry mob beating the bus with sticks. We arrived in La Ceiba safe and sound and headed out, the next morning, to the island of Utila.
We spent six days on Utila diving and chilling out during the day, visiting the bars in the evening. The first night we ended up in a bar that, on entry, looked like we'd walked into a 6th-form disco. The place was rammed with 17 year-olds, and despite girls being able to drink free that night, it was the lads who were battered. One took it upon himself to do the worm across the dancefloor until, on completion, he realised he was knackered so just sat on the floor for five minutes. Another cracking bar on the island is called Treetanic which is the product of someone spending fourteen years sticking marbles and other assorted objects into cement to create a space that wouldn't look out of place next to one of Gaudi's parks.
The diving itself was real good fun, seeing eagle rays, sting rays, moray eels and loads of fish. However the highlight didn't even involve scuba gear. One evening as we returned from diving and got the beers in someone spotted some dolphins in the bay, the captain of the dive boat shouted for everyone to get in and so a military operation of getting hold of snorkels ensued as we ran for the boat. Once into the bay we disembarked the boat in a way not too dissimilar to paratroopers diving out of a plane. We then spent the next hour or so swimming with and chasing the dolphins through the water. They didn't seem to care we were there and just played and swam around us before occasionally getting bored and swimming off. It was a pretty incredible experience and topped off by one dolphin who took it upon himself to do a flip out of the water as we all got onto the boat, twice. According to the captain of the boat they come into the bay to rest on their migratory route once a year and so the fact that we saw them was pretty lucky.
Mid-way through the week on Utila we met up with one of Chris' friends from home who was there to do a medical placement on the island, working in the health centre. This was widely regarded as a joke as the clinic is open for two hours a day, five days a week (sometimes) and is run by an absolute nut case. Known as "Doctor John" we were told by Chris' friend that is house was adorned with dead animals hanging from the ceiling, a full skeleton dressed in a strap-on dildo which he dug up from a graveyard, and a human foetus in a jar. Fortunately/unfortunately the closest we got to meeting the fabled man was seeing a picture of him, raving on a night out.
On leaving Utila we headed off with Mark and John, a couple of American teachers we've kept bumping into since all the way back in Belize, and Steph and Duncan, a couple of fellow Brits whom we spent a cultured evening in the capital, Tegucigalpa, with eating at both Pizza Hut and Burger King before playing Monopoly. We didn't really get to see Honduras as a country, but we had a great time while we were there; next stop Nicaragua to try and get a US visa.