What I Did Last Summer pt 2

Posted: July 8, 2013 in Uncategorized
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When you are anticipating something, when you are anxious about something, when you can’t wait for something, you… normally don’t get a lot of sleep because you are so excited. Thats how I felt the night before. I maybe got five hours of sleep and then I was up. Tired but energized, I got my stuff together, did I last minute check for everything, lugged my heavy pack, read the sweet note that my awesome friend left for me, and headed for my cab. The cab driver and I chatted for a little bit, stopped at the 7-Eleven got a chicken biscuit sandwich, and headed for my train to LA. I always chose to fly from LAX because it was cheaper and most of the time, when heading internationally you would always have to fly through a major hub anyway. And to be honest, the less flying I am doing, the better you feel?

 

Landing in San Pedro Sula, I thought to myself, okay this is it, the start of my journey. The airport I remember was unremarkable, nothing special. I got my bag and grabbed a cabbie who wasall immediately on the hustle. Homes tried to charge me 50 dollars for a 15 dollar cab ride. I was like, “Come on my G?” Really? I aint some new cat, I know the exchage rates. So after letting him know that I wasn’t a sucker, he took me to my hostel. Walking out of the airport, the humidity of the air hit me. I wasn’t surprised about the humidity, because being in Panama (which is still the most humid place I have ever been) and Central America, I got used to it. On the drive to the hostel, I remember seeing how decrepet the buildings were. Being in a poorer country, you immediately notice the differences. The roads, homes, you take it all in.

 

The hostel was a tad on the shabby side, but hey, I wasn’t looking for four star accommodations. The thing about staying in hostels, is that you don’t look for it to be fancy, you just want somewhere to crash, and you look to build with fellow travelers. That is thing about backpacking: You connect with folks who are on the road. Y’all share stories, swap tips and tell each other, “Don’t go here,” or “Try this,” and “This place is good,” and the hostel had plenty of folks.

 

Exploring San Pedro Sula was a trip. It was hot, a little on the grimy side, and there were HELLA guns. Look, I am a hood cat and I am used to people carrying and hearing gun shots and hitting the ground. Heck, my Grandfather taught us how to shoot when we were eight (Did y’all catch the Mobb Deep reference?), so guns have never been nathan new to me. But the amount and type of guns tripped me out. People were just walking around with machine guns and all kinds of fully’s. Matter of fact, when I went to a fast food place, the guard was standing at the doorway with a double barrel shotgun and bullets strapped to his chest. Crazy right? Turns out, San Pedro Sula is considered to be one of the most dangerous places in the world. But the thing about me (whether good or bad) is that I was ignorant of that, so I explored the city. The downtown was similar to Mexico: lots of shops, people selling their wares, socializing, and going about their day. So besides taking pictures of everything, I also got a chance to sample some of the street food. One of my favorite meals were Balleatas, a Honduran specialty that (I think) is a tortilla, cheese, egg, and beans. The kid was eating those like everyday. One of the great pleasures of traveling is eating the local food, breaking bread with the locals you dig? And I have to tell you, for the most part street food has always been good to me.

 

After hanging in San Pedro Sula for two days I was itching to leave because although I am a city cat, I came to Honduras for the beach. Now most people land in San Pedro and travel to either Copan (which was really cool) or to The Bay Islands, a small group of group of islands that people like to venture to. Of the most popular – Roatan, Cayos Cochinos, I chose Utila, a small island that many young cats and kittens like to visit to get their diving certifications or to just disconnect.

 

Utila is a very small island, maybe about two to three miles big at the most with one long road, about a mile long going through the town. Everyone walks, rides bikes, scooters, motorcycles, and golfcarts Yes, golfcarts. I think I saw maybe two cars while I was there. Crazy, but good. As I said earlier, most of the people here came for their diving certifications, and there were plenty of diving schools. Hostels also littered the road, offering deals between $5 for a bed, $10 for a private room, and $15 to $20 a day for rooms with A/C, and staying in Utila, you needed A/C.

 

Island life is interesting, because everything is so confined to that one space. There is not a lot to do other than swim, drink, play in the sand, sleep, and eat, so I had to make up my own routine. I would get up around 7 or 8, head straight to the gym and work out quickly to avoid the heat, run back to the room and take a cold shower, grab breakfast and a banana and peanut butter smoothie, write and study for a bit, then finally head to the beach and jump in the water. I did this all with expediency because around noon, it gets super hot. This heat was a mixture of humidity and just sun beating down on you and you had to get in the water just to deal with it. Around 3pm, the heat would subside and I would lay on the sand and just think about things – God, my family, San Diego, my ex, writing, just any and everything. I have not always considered myself a beach person, but I understand how calm it is. You just lay out and become one with nature and all that you have are your thoughts. Being on the island gave me a lot of time to think and I am really grateful for that. Now laying on a beach for hours may sound super duper awesome, which it was, but the mosquitoes and sand flies were fierce! They would eat me up on the regular. Matter fact on some real talk, I may have been bit 15 to 20 times a day. It would get crazy to the point that I would have to jump back into the water.

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Another cool thing about Utila is that everyone knew everyone. It was cool to walk down the road, wave at the guy running the cafe, the young expat girls getting their diving certs, or the pretty cook making the empanadas (which I ate, a lot). What was really interesting is that all the bars had a special everyday of the week, so many people would get together and go to the bar that had the tequila specials on Monday, the bar with the cheap beer on Tuesday, and so on. It was a really cool community feeling. The only part I didn’t like was the open drug use, but hey, I aint knocking it, I just don;’t rock like that.

 

 

While I had a great time in Utila, I knew I had to leave because one week would have turned into two weeks, and yada yada. Island life is intoxicating because in an ex girlfriends words, “It is so easy,” and it was. I had my routine down, there was no stress, pretty ladies, good night life, and I was feeling good. But, I had to go. More things to see, people to me, and adventures to experience.

 

Next: Nicaragua, great food, getting sick, volcano surfing, and the love of solitude.

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Comments
  1. Helen Ginger says:

    I’ve never been to Utila, but it sounds both wonderful and scary. I do love the water and beaches and getting away from the city, though.

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