After paying my usual gringo tax to leave and arrive in any Central America country i hitchhiked for the first time (tick...just helicopter to go then all forms of transport ticked) The truck driver was doing the whole customs process with me and we chatted a little. Hence once through and saw no buses i waved him down and jumped on board for 15 mins to San Marcos. Upon arrival in town for the bus to the capital i had people offering help at every corner...first impressions are that Honduran's are friendly people and no danger anywhere. Read the guide books with a pinch of salt but still be aware of big cities is my advice. Oh and this being cowboy country i nearly left town with boots and stetson!! Yee-haa!!
The journey to Tegucigalpa (capital) is beautiful and hilly whereas the capital is boring and uninteresting. After a little wander I hit the mall for some western culture which bizarrely was watching people walk up an escalator for the first time...mucho amusing!! The city has one of the highest murder rates in the world hence the malls are safe! Even the Chinese restaurant had someone with a shotgun outside!
Utila is a backpacking haven asless resorty than nearby Roatan. The island is small with only one small town. The island even has its own song whose video sums up island life.
The island has a great Carribean flavour. The people, the food and the dominoes. My dive resort Altons had a great vibe and people. We had a booze cruise Saturday; Water Caye trip on Tuesday; and Dive Master graduation ceremony Snorkel challenge. Plus also worth noting every bar offers a T-Shirt challenge...I got one from La Cueva but no more!!
After a few nights in their hostel I upgraded to The Lighthouse to have a double bed, TV, aircon and a beloved throne that flushes properly!!
After chatting to a local it was great to hear about local life...the airport has no lights (terminal is a hut) and so if someone gets injured and taken to the mainland by plane at night all the locals in their motorbikes and golf carts light the runway so the plane can land. The island is also notorious for drug planes landing and refuelling hence no lights!! Although better these days...if police stop you from going to the airport then something is going down!
The diving sites are numerous and the coral colourful and beautiful...some of the best I have seen. The sites did lack some of the fish species I was after and the other big draw the whale shark was not evident on my dives. Having said that I saw some very cool eagle rays, squid and some smaller rare species...but really all I wanted were sharks!!
For me the cool thing was getting my diving mojo back and really started to enjoy it again. Did a night dive for the first time which was eerie and cool seeing all these flash light beams everywhere. Also did my first wreck dive of a Halliburton cargo ship at 30m which I really enjoyed. Bring on more wreck dives is all I can say!!