An Illegal U-Turn...Even in Honduras

Published: March 28th 2013
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After a morning of diving, we decided over our Mexican lunch that we would rent an ATV and explore the island. We went down the road to the shop where we heard such things can be gotten and obtained a little red ATV of our own. Now we would ride in style like the locals.

After a necessary pit stop at our dive shop for our snorkels and masks, we unsuccessfully tried to get the ATV started up for our island adventure. After John, Rafael, Santiago and some dude off the street were unable to get it started, we finally had to call the number on the side and get a second lesson in how to start the engine.

Utila has only one main road that leads to the airport. From this road many small dirt roads shoot off leading to beautiful scenic spots or someone’s private property. We went down the main road past our hotel and through some ex-pat subdivisions and made our first stop at the beach. It was small and rocky but offered the best view of an untouched slice of the island. We walked down to the water and rummaged for shells and coral.

Next stop, getting stuck in a mud puddle. It had rained the night before, making the roads a tad mucky in spots. Those new to ATV maneuvering should know that when one is attempting to traverse a large puddle of mud, shift to first gear. This was discovered after both John and I were ankle deep in mud, pulling the ATV out with our bare hands, onward to the jungle.

Some roads in Utila can appear suspect, especially when they are dark, narrow and covered in jungle. We made a conscious decision to avoid such roads, and stuck to the wide clear paths. This led us to many small neighborhoods and eventually back on to the main road.

We realized that if we want to see the island, we will have to get brave. We circled back around and took the main road again to the small jungle road. This led us to a beautiful cliff over the beach right near the airport. We poked around for a while before getting back on the ATV. John made a wrong turn at the fork, and we found ourselves heading straight for the air strip. We had no choice but to ride on to the runway and turn around, something we are sure was illegal, even in Honduras.

By this point we had seen much Utila and were pretty filthy from all the mud. We made one last beach stop then headed back to the shop to return our vehicle. Surprisingly hungry we headed straight to RJ’s, mud and all, for grilled T-bone and shrimp, washed down with numerous Rumanades. Viva Honduras!

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