When: 5th – 15th April 2014
Where: Copan, San Pedro Sula and Utila
People I Met: Simba, MikeBlaze, Gina, Fabiola, Jeff, James Ben, Linds, Miko, Felicia, Kate, Ashleigh, Clayton&Sarah, Kristen and Sam
The only shuttle from El Tunco – Copan was expensive and took us back through Guatemala, but it was airconditioned and had a TV so Can’t complain too much. 2 border crossings and 6 hours later we arrived in the tiny town of Copan which is just over the Honduras/Guatemala border. The town is big enough to walk around in a few hours and its main attraction is the Maya ruins which are a 20 minute walk away. We stayed at Don Mosies Hostel which seemed cheap and quite nice. I finally could get money out, what a relief! We were only in Copan for two nights so the next day we got up early and went to the Copan Ruins, these were a lot smaller than Tikal but were just as amazing. These ruins were much better kept and you had a better about the function of each area. Unlike Tikal, the majority of the carvings were still intact. Inside the park were a number of scarlet macaws, the national bird of Honduras, they were also carved into many of the buildings. The hieroglyphic staircase was my favourite part of the ruins, there were 65 stairs containing about 2000 hieroglyphics! We were at the ruins for about three hours, so we back in town before the hottest part of the day. The humidity in Copan was hard to deal with and unlike most other places there was no lakes/rives/oceans for relief. I explored the town for a few hours and then we sat down and planned out the next part of our trip.
Let me begin with the three lies of Utila
1: I’m not drinking tonight
2: I’m leaving tomorrow
3: I love you
These lies were apparent to me almost immediately. In my original Central American plan Utila was one of my first stops, but then after heading to the west of Guatemala I did not think I would make it back there. I am so glad I did, Utila is paradise.
We had a long day of travel to get to Utila. First we were up at 6am to get a bus from Copan – San Pedro, after arriving in San Pedro we caught another bus to La Ceiba, then a taxi to the dock and finally a boat from La Ceiba – Utila. Total journey time was about 11 hours. Over the course of the day we met Ben, Linds, Kristen and Miko. Once we arrived on Utila we were met by a guy from Altons Dive Shop who we would dive and stay with. The hostel was on the doorstep of the Caribbean and had an amazing view of the sunset. It’s funny how often you run into people you’ve already met…The Danes were staying just down the road so we went and visited them (I said goodbye to those boys about 5 times)! I was going to be diving the next day so had a night in. Katie and Alec went out and didn’t get home until 3:30am…this is unheard of in Central America! From that moment on we knew Utila would be big party.
My first two dives were stunning, I saw spotted eagle rays, green morays and some amazing corals. The visibility and temperature were comparable to Thailand and I think the reefs were more beautiful. That night it poured with rain and was still drizzling the next morning when I woke up to go diving. I decided to wear two wetsuits because my body doesn’t do cold. Did two dives again and dove probably the best dive site I have been to, black coral wall. We saw a big pack of squid at the end of the dive and I could have watched them all day! In the afternoon I ran into Sam who we met in Antigua, he had just caught a yacht from Caye Caulker to Utila! That night was my first big night on the island, we went drinking with the Danes and didn’t end up coming home until 4am. We went multiple bars; treetanic, tranquila and the beach bar. It was a lot of fun. This is defiantly a backpacker island!
Lazed around on hammocks pretty much all day the next day, it was lovely. Ran into Ben, Kristen, Linds and Miko so ended up spending the night with them!
Rain rain go away, I thought Utila was meant to be sunny? Had to dive the next day in the rain again, but the water temp was still a nice 30 degrees so it wasn’t too bad. As expected the dives were amazing, we saw turtles, big barracudas, sea slugs and a speedboat wreck. Had lunch with Clayton and Sarah and hung around the dock for the afternoon with Gina, Kate and the 4 canadian boys. Today was the start of Semana Santa a big Honduran holiday so the island was going to get busy! Kate and Gina took me for my first street belada experience and then we went to Skid Row so I could do the guifity challenge, this is where you have to do four shots of guifity, spin around 20 times and run around a pool table 5 times as fast as you can. After completion you get a skidrow t-shirt which you cannot buy, you have to earn! Then we met up with the Canadian boys & Fabiola and headed up to rehab and later on the beach bar. There was not as many people at the beach bar but it was a lot of fun and we spent many hours tearing up the dance floor! Simba and I headed back to the hostel first then had to go back to look for everyone because they were taking so long, but they were actually looking for us! Skinny Dipping in the Caribbean…ticked that one off my bucket list!
Got to sleep for a bit longer the next day because I was heading out on the afternoon boat. We went to a 30m deep 30m long cargo shipwreck, awesome. After the two dives I came back and found Katie and Alec who were now officially open water certified! A booze cruise at sunset along the caribbean, what a lovely idea, and so much fun! After the boys, fabiola, ashleigh and I went to grab street beladas and visit Gina who was working at treetanic, spent a while there and then moved along to La Cueva, Coco Loco and Tranquila. 4am we meet again.
I woke up the next morning not feeling the best so didn’t feel like diving BUT I had a feeling that I needed to go on the dive, so I did. Whale Sharks are a big attraction of diving in utila and that day I snorkelled with one! It was amazing, the whale shark was massive and swam with us for about 5 minutes. It is one of the most majestic animals I had ever seen. After that everyone was on a high and the two dives which followed were stunning. What a great way to end my diving on Utila! Finally the skies were clear so that afternoon the sunset was amazing. It was sunday which generally means no alcohol is sold after 5pm but it just ended up meaning that bar were closed and we could still get beer from the store. So we just had a chilled night on the dock with beers and icecream.
Had a very chilled day the next day. Once the boys got back from their dive we sat on the dock and Gina brought her uke down to play. We ended up sitting there and jamming for hours. Felicia, the girls from norway and the aussie couple ended up coming and joining in and it was just a perfect afternoon. We also got to watch another beautiful sunset. It was our last night on Utila…party! Felicia, the boys and I went to grab dinner at a local place and then Felicia and I went to rehab to do their challenge and earn another singlet. Then we went to Babalu where Gina played the uke and sang on open mic night, she was amazing! Afterwards we headed to tranquila, wow was that placed packed! You could barley move. Got to watch Blaze transform into MJ…he rocked it! A circle actually formed around him and girls were going crazy. We watched the solar eclipse happen that night and when the moon was fully covered we all howled. Katie and Alec said a goodbye speech to me, I was so sad that we were parting ways! I got to say a second goodbye to them the next morning at 5am though. Had to check out at by 9am, so afterwards Simba and I got breakfast then just hung out until Blaze got back from his dive. Then it was time to say goodbye to Gina and Utila and head back to the mainland 😦 if I didn;t have a flight booked out I would have stayed on Utila for so much longer, it really was paradise.
We caught the ferry back to La Ceiba at about 2pm then caught to bus from La Ceiba – San Pedro Sula at 4pm. We all slept for the majority of the time considering we had had little sleep over the past week. We arrived in the world’s most dangerous city just after dark and immediately got into a cab and headed for La Hamaca hostel where we would lock ourselves up for the night. The hostel was lovely, too bad it was in such a dangerous place! The boys were happy because the hostel was airconditioned…I on the other hand was freezing but they did have HOT showers which I hadn’t had in a few weeks! Simba woke me up at 4am and I said goodbye to him and Blaze, I would miss those two. Reawoke at 9am and got myself to the airport, then the realisation hit me…I was leaving central america.