I woke up Hedwick this morning for her dive class and headed out to a little bakery down the street for some much needed Gatorade and breakfast. Unlike at Jungle River where water is free, you have to buy all beverages at Underwater Vision. Yvonne met me at the bakery and we walked down the street for banana milk shakes at the shake shack (which also happens to be the local theater at night). We were sitting on our red stools sipping banana milk shakes and a guy with a belly shirt and short shorts on sauntered up to the counter and ordered a beer (it was almost 10AM). I said to the woman behind the counter (in Spanish), “It’s kind of early isn’t it?” and she responded, “Not if you haven’t gone to sleep yet.” Wink. Wink. Claro que si.
Yvonne and I finished our milk shakes and walked back to UWV. I grabbed my journal, Kindle and camera and settled into a hammock for the morning. Utila is definitely a slacker’s paradise. As soon as I stepped off the boat, I immediately became less motivated to do ANYTHING and all I wanted to do was hang out and talk or sleep. I could have easily found some attractive dudes to occupy my time with – Utila has many of them looking for the same thing – but I promised to work on focusing on me. I promised to stay true to my heart. I just didn’t feel like I WANTED anyone to like me. I just wanted time alone. (Hard to get in Utila as well – everyone is FRIENDLY). I have started to think about home a little. And all the challenges I have to return to. The biggest challenge – those of the heart, of course – made me more reflective than usual.
I sat in my hammock and swayed in the breeze until lunch time. Looking out over that blue ocean and hearing the sound of…nothing…felt good. I cleared my mind and dozed off for a few.
I woke up groggy and thinking about the ONE thing I told myself NOT to think about – irritated and frustrated – I headed to the bar for a beer and lunch. I sat down and browsed the internet while eating my burger and I blond haired guy about my age with aviator sunglasses on dropped his pack next to me and pulled up a stool. The bartender asked what he’d like and he told her a local beer as it would be his first one in Honduras. Keeping the hospitality at the place going (I was so warmly welcomed!) I asked where he had come from. He introduced himself as Greg the Belgian and told me he’d been backpacking from Nicaragua down and had been on the road for three months. What I have found in my backpacking trip is that there are very few Americans on the road and my two week trip is a joke. Most people I have met have been on the road for 3-6 months. People ask me how long I’ve been on the road and how much longer I have and they look on me with pity. Our country really should value vacation and world travel more.
I invited Greg to join me on a walk to the Tree House. I was dying to see the place in daylight and wanted to take pictures. Siobahn joined us and we headed down the street.
Utila’s streets are full of motorcycles, four wheelers, and trucks that all look like they should have been retired about two decades ago. There was a blue truck (at least, there was a four inch section that was blue) that I continually saw chugging down the street that was beat up, half the body was gone, the windshield was shattered and what was left of the body was mashed up altogether to make it look like one big ball of metal. Motorcycles and four wheelers whip by you and give a little beep beep right before they brush up against your arm. There were a few times where one four wheeler almost rammed right into a moped or another four wheeler. The place is a free for all on the small main road. I continually found myself balancing the ditch and a fence to try and avoid being taken from behind.
We arrived at the Jade Seahorse and took out our cameras. Although I’ve described the Tree House at night, in the daytime it’s even more impressive. The Tree House is really an art project that is impossible to describe. Made of wood, shells, beads, rocks, mosaic and any other re-usable object the owner could find, he has turned the place into an eccentric oasis. There are rooms along the outside of the courtyard that are for rent with names like “Mono Lisa” and “Cama Sutra” and “Dali Llama”. The rooms are beautiful and air conditioned. My stay for next time, maybe??
We climbed around the tree house and found a colony of gigantic yellow and black spiders.
There are swings and tunnels and promenades and bridges made out of tea cups, shells, stones and bottles. The place is a sparkling maze. We had a great time exploring. Pictures taken, we headed back out into the street. As we were heading back toward the main street, an 8 year old got into a hackney taxi that had a 3 year old sleeping in the back. He climbed into the drivers seat, started the coach up and took off down the road. Greg got a picture but I wasn’t fast enough. Who knew the legal driving age in Honduras was so young?!?
Siobahn headed back to UWV and Greg and I continued to explore Utila. Utila’s developed part of the island is very small. You can’t really get lost here. We walked past shops and restaurants and street vendors selling corn and trinkets and came to where the retail part of Utila stops and the residential part begins. It gets sketchier as you head toward this part so we decided to turn around and head back toward UWV.
We returned to UWV and Greg opted for some beach volleyball while I chose to spend the rest of my afternoon as I had spent the morning – completely useless in a hammock.