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Published: July 25th 2013
A long 52 hours in transit and a couple of nights spent in some of the most dangerous cities in the world saw my arrival in Utila - A scuba diving focused island about an hour by ferry off the northern coast of Honduras. After checking into my hostel I went and looked into signing up for my beginner open water diving course. Utila is meant to be one of the cheapest places in the world to do it and I figured that I'd spent so much of my life in the water I might as well take the jump and learn how to dive. I signed up with Captain Morgans Dive Centre for a four day PADI course that was $268 and included confined water, four dives and two fun dives as well as all the theory and accommodation for those four nights.
Prior to starting my course I spent a couple of days catching up with friends from earlier on in my trip and enjoying the private beach that belonged to my hostel. As the time to start my course approached I was feeling a lot more apprehensive about it then excited. After I finished watching
all the theory movies I was strapped into all my gear and taken out to the shallows to start my confined water skills. It turns out that I have an irrational fear of getting water up my nose. I mean I have always been the type to hold their nose when jumping into a body of water, and for some reason I have an inability to put my head face first into a warm shower, but I had never actually processed the thought of not instantly being amazing at scuba diving. I took a couple of days off the course and tried to practice the skill of being submerged in water, taking the mask off, putting it back on and clearing the water out of it but for some reason as soon as it got to putting the mask back on the back of my throat would close over and I would freak out and get to the surface. Needless to say after a few days of failing at this and a bit of stress and anxiety I decided to not continue with the course - which instantly made me one of the uncool kids on the island.
Luckily however, I befriended a British couple, Alicia and Joss who were also not diving and went on missions to find fun non-diving related activities with me - a task that is really hard to do on such a dive focused island. It was the Utila dive festival while we were there and we tried to partake in a few of the special events. Apart from the moon dust party on the first night which was really fun until the power went out, the other events were so badly organised that they would either be hours late meeting everyone for the boat transfers, or they would just not show up at all. We did manage to go out to Utila Cay one day and snorkel and stand up paddle board which was a really quality day out.
On one of my last days there it was Alicia's birthday and her boyfriend organised for a group of us to head out to Water Cay which was a deserted island not too far from Utila. It was absolutely stunning out there and the whole day we only had to share the island with one other group of people.
Joss is in events back home so it meant he had every detail covered and we got to work on our caveman skills as we built a fire to cook on. It was really good day with an awesome group of people. I personally could not think of a better backpacking birthday then floating in the crystal clear Caribbean ocean listening to good music with a rum and coke in hand and party hats on.
On my last night on the island it was Canada Day. One of my favourite things to do while backpacking is to get amongst other countries national celebrations and luckily for me a Canadian girl that I'd met in Panamá was on Utila with her boyfriend so there was even more reason to celebration. Unluckily for me it meant that I only got to bed an hour before I needed to get up for the ferry - thus resulting in me spending a day in transit in shorts with with word CANADA written down my leg in red and white paint. Needless to say I have never had so many people stare at my legs before in my life!
From Utila Alicia, Joss and I headed off to D&D Brewery which was a hostel half way between San Pedro Sula and the capital of Hondouras that many a backpacker raves about. All I had heard from everyone that it was this amazing hostel on a lake that was also a brewery. There I had been envisioning myself literally next to the lake, relaxing in a hammock, watching the sunset into the water with a strong, cold beer in hand. In reality the hostel was about a 15min walk from the lake and and the beer was so weak that you could drink a pot of each of the seven different kinds and not even feel tipsy. I was still a nice hostel, but due to its location you had to eat all your meals at the hostel and there was not really a whole lot of value for money going on.
My time in Honduras was interesting. I had never seen so many guns in my whole life prior to that point then I did on my first day in Honduras and I had to spend a night in the worlds most dangerous city. That being
said it was a beautiful country and it is a pity that there are only a few places that you can go without getting off the beaten track and increasing your risk of something going wrong.
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