Honduras

View on San Pedro Sula from behind the Coca Cola sign

View on San Pedro Sula from behind the Coca Cola sign

My trip journey to San Pedro Sula from Newark started a bit slow because there was a technical problem with the plane and they had to change the tires. So, after boarding the plane the first time, we had to leave it again and with a three hour delay, we were finally boarded again and ready to fly towards Houston. I didn’t mind the delay, since I had to pass the night at the airport in Houston anyways and this delay made the night a little shorter. It’s a mystery to me why all airport chairs have handle bars. It’s impossible to lie down across them, although there are very few people there who occupy them at night. Plus, loud TVs were playing the same thing the whole night. It was quite impossible to sleep.

At 11am the next day, I finally landed in Honduras, where a hot, tropical air greeted me as soon as I stepped off the plane. My friend Dimitri from university picked me up. He moved back here because his parents are from here and without him I’d probably never have visited the most dangerous city in the world, with 20 deaths a day. This number is not really a surprise if you see how little boys juggle balls in front of cars at red lights to perhaps gain some money. The cars drive like crazy and there are holes in every street. But apparently, you can be safe. You just need to live in the right neighborhoods, have your own car and take the expensive tourist transportation. In short, you need money.

That aside, Honduras has places that are worth visiting too. San Pedro Sula is nestled in green jungle mountains that are always covered in clouds at the top.

Coca Cola sign in the hills

Coca Cola sign in the hills

So, after I punctually arrived at San Pedro Sula airport, Dimitri was already there to pick me up. We drove to his house which is right near the school his parents opened. I had the chance to have a look at the Europaschule and even observe some German classes during the week.

In the evening, we also had the first power loss. I hoped that it would only last for a short time because there was no way I could sleep in this heat without a fan (mostly only public places have a/c). There usually was one short power loss every day.

The day after my arrival however, we already had to get up at 4am to catch a bus (15$) at 5pm and then a boat (25$) that would bring us from La Ceiba to Utila. Luckily, there are street vendors everywhere that sell all kinds of fried things and fruit, so that we didn’t have to do the trip on an empty stomach. At around noon, we arrived in Utila, where it was even hotter than on the mainland. We walked along the narrow main road where we always had to watch out that the tuktuks and motorcycles wouldn’t hit us. I thought I was back in Koh Tao, Utila looked so similar!

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It’s a pretty island with a nice coast. There are a few really small sand patches where you can hang out along the beach and go swimming but this island is also mostly for snorkeling and scuba diving.

So, that’s what we did. On the second day, we took a taxi boat out to the Cays. Now, that’s the picture of paradise islands that pops up in my head when I am daydreaming.

From beautiful dark blue water we approached Water Cay through light blue water and finally reached the white sand of the small island. There were only palm trees, a few hammocks and about 5 people on the island. I really felt like Robinson.

Snorkeling there was mediocre. There was a lot of grass and only one part with nice corals and amazing fish but therefore, that was really awesome. And since the water wasn’t even refreshing, we could stay in it all afternoon.

The next morning, we had a trip booked with Ecco Diving. Their dive shop is cool with a nice pier where you can snorkel around, sit in the shade or jump from a rope into the sea. Plus, everybody was really friendly.

We boarded a really small boat and I was glad the sea was quiet because I couldn’t imagine that small thing in big waves. The calm water was our chance to see whale sharks but unfortunately, we didn’t encounter any. After I left Utila they saw them for the following 3 days!!!

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However, we did have a few dolphins that followed us for a while on our way to the north side.

The first dive was ok. I saw a lion fish and one of the divers killed one with a spear because they are a plague here.

The second dive was really cool!!! Next to the usual variety of colorful fish, we saw stingrays, a big turtle and crabs.

The next day, I went diving again. This time, we went to a ship wreck that was down on the sand at -30m. Now I could actually use my new advanced diving license. It wasn’t as creepy as I expected it to be. I don’t think anybody had died there. It was actually rather cool because people had put props like bicycles down there to take pictures with. I saw a lobster, a big moray eel, a huge barracuda and all the other small fish.

Back on the island, I walked to the end where Coral View and Neptune hotels are located. Wow, snorkeling there was exactly like going diving, there were so many fish and corals and that as soon as you step into the water.

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Other than that, I found it too hot to do anything more during the day. There was no a/c in any places I’ve been on the island and there were so many mosquitos and sandflies that I was forced to hide out for a siesta under the fan in my room for a big part of the afternoons. In the end, I counted about 210 bites on my body. I looked as if I had a severe case of the chicken pocks :S

To crown it all, there were tarantulas (eeewww) in every hole in the wall or ground and still there were so many mosquitos.

After the sunset it was more agreeable with mosquitos and the heat. We usually went out to a bar. Cocktails were only about 3$ and smoothies 2.50 🙂

The seahorse bar was amazing. Everything is decorated with all kinds of objects. It’s like a small Park Güell.

Then, there was another cool bar that was on the water on a pier. They left a hole in the ground where you can sit around and look down into the water and watch the fish. The bars were really quiet and so was the whole island. Utila is usually a party place but now in off season we were almost the only tourists.

Lion fish

Lion fish

The last evening, we spent at our hotel because we met a couple from Chile. They were really nice and invited us to a bbq. Vladimir had slow cooked meat ALL afternoon and all we ate was meat but it was one of the most delicious steaks I’ve ever had.

Then we started an early journey back to the mainland again, where Dimitri had to go back to work and I look for more jobs.

One evening, we went to the cinema (4$ which is quite expensive for Honduras :)). It was a HUGE screen and Dimitri said that it wasn’t even the biggest.

I also could visit Dimitri’s mom’s social project in Oruga, where she had built a kindergarten and an auditorium for the community.

The grounds and facilities were very pretty and the kids extremely cute.

On my last day in Honduras, we walked up to the Coca Cola sign that hangs in the forest above the city, like the Hollywood sign in LA. Although it was just a concrete road through the forest it was quite a workout in this humidity. But at least I could stretch my legs a little before my long flights back to Switzerland.

Seahorse Café

Seahorse Café

I had to be at the airport at 10am the next day. Dimitri and his friend Hector kindly waited until I did everything I had to do (including paying 40$ departure tax) and waved once I disappeared on the escalator. I still haven’t completely realized that university will be over when I get back to Switzerland. That my friends now are in different cities all over Switzerland – or the world and that it’s time to open a new chapter again.

But first it will be SAP-Houston/Houston-Newark. A night at an airport hotel (to which my seat neighbor from the plane and her friend that picked her up, spontaneously drove me to because they wanted to make sure I got there quickly and safe at midnight. Such nice people everywhere!!) and then an evening flight to Lisbon the next day, where I’ll spend four days with my mom 🙂

Switzerland is approaching.

Boat docks in Utila

Boat docks in Utila

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