After having to spend a night in San Pedro Sula, where it’s not recommended to walk along the streets just like in Managua (I did it anyway together with some people and we’re all still alive
), I made it to the Caribbean Island of Utila
the following day.
It was incredibly hot. Hot and humid with lots of mosquitoes. So many mosquitoes that I carried away scars from waking up and scratching my legs and feet for ten minutes at night.
But yeah, these were the only negative things about this place.
I talked to some Israelis on the ferry and chose the dive centre they went to, Underwater Vision, to do my PADI Open Water Certification. The accommodation was lovely and new, as well as included in the dead cheap price of about $250 for the course.
As there are only two beaches on opposite ends of the island, it was awesome to have beach volley ball area as well as a dock to jump into the clear water from, right in front of our doorstep.
There were six of us on the course and we were able to start the course that same evening... by
watching a three-hour long video! Fun. The next day was also class room based, but more interesting as the instructor was present and a fairly animating teacher.
Test passed the next day and up into the water! Luckily I had done one dive as well as some snorkelling before, so wasn’t too shocked any more to be able to breathe under water, haha!
We basically did the two ‘confined water dives’ in open water and in just one session. That meant kneeling on the ground in about 5 meters depth for about 2 hours, practising things like taking off the regulator, mask etc - the really important but really not pleasant stuff. It was tedious; I was cold and kept having cramps in all parts of my legs and feet. But that was the worst part over!
The next couple of days we did four more dives, unfortunately I kept having problems with my ears, which made it a lot less enjoyable, but disregarding that, I loved it and the course was passed! We celebrated with beers, chilling out tanning ourselves on the dock, followed by a meal (finding a place to eat was an adventure as
everything was closed down... the tax man had been around and it turns out that 90% of these islanders were naughty people...) and night out. What a day!
Another couple of fun dives were included in the price too, so after a day off on which a Canadian girl and I walked around the island (about the only physical activity we got up to do – the heat and humidity as well as relaxed atmosphere makes everybody just incredibly lazy), we did those.
Unfortunately, the second one of those dives ended for me after about five minutes. Suddenly not just my left, but also my right here didn’t want to equalise at all anymore, so I came back up and went snorkelling instead. Shame, but you’ve got to be careful with the ears, right?
After exactly one week on the island, I did actually manage to get up at 5.30am to take the ferry back to the mainland with two new friends... if I hadn’t done that, I probably would have stayed for another week. Not because the island was greatly exciting or I wanted to do another diving course (would have done the advanced course, but the
ears...), but that heat and laziness... So I made it, luckily, and took a coach to Antigua, Guatemala, next. I saw three Irish guys who I’d first met in Nicaragua actually, then met again in San Pedro Sula and Utila; they were on their way to Antigua too so we went together.
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