Friday 13th to Friday 20th April 2012
Friday 13th April
Journey to Utila started with a Ferry from Placencia at 9.30am. This stopped at a small town still in Belize on route so we could go through immigration and pick up some other passengers. In total the journey took 4 hours, 2 of which were hanging around and immigration. Eventually arrived in Puerto Cortes, Honduras at 12.30. with another wait for immigration. On the ferry we had talked to an English couple who were living in La Ceiba and teaching there, so they agreed to help us catch the bus to San Pedro Sula and then onwards to La Ceiba. We also hooked up with another German couple and a Danish couple.
Next journey was a collectivo bus to San Pedro Sula which cost 55 Limpera and took about an hour. We then had a 45 minute wait before catching the bus to La Ceiba, this cost 100 Limpera and took 3 hours finally arriving in La Ceiba at 7.30ish.
Taxi to Hotel El Stadio, private double with ensuite at £16 per night.
La Ceiba was quite scary, it was the first big city we had been to for a while and we arrived after dark. There were lots of security guards and policemen with guns. We asked were the nearest ATM and restaurant was and our Hotel owner/manager said he would take us to both. He was American and quite on edge about security, I think this made me even more anxious. Anyway money got and food in tummy I felt a little better. Hotel was not clean and looked like he was trying to modernise but not getting very far, thank goodness it was only for one night.
Saturday 14th April
Ferry from La Ceiba to Utlia departs at 9.30am but we told to get there early as it only has 100 places and gets very busy. We arrived just after 8pm and got tickets straight away with no issues. Found a cafe to have breakfast. Ferry departed on time and was busy but not full. The journey took about 90 minutes.
We arrived at the Captain Morgan's dive shop - just off the beach and port, to be told that today was a Holy day and the fishermaen do not work and so a boat won't be going to the Island so we'll have to stay on Utila for the night and catch the dive boat in the morning.
We checked into the Pirates Hotel. It currently has 4 dorms for accommodation but 4 private rooms are being constructed and a decking into the sea for the dive boat. It will look spectacular in a years time. We had a double room, it was all very new and comfortable.
We walked round the main street checking out restaurants etc. Then went for a walk further a field looking at property and land to buy - our usual holiday excursion. Utila is very quiet with very little access to the beach because the houses and dive schools are all built right to the waters edge. People are very friendly and helpful.
Sunday 15th April
Up at 6am to catch the Dive boat at 6.45 to Jewel Cay, a 25 min boat ride away. On arrival we placed our bags in our room, got our equipment and then straight out on a dive. I didn't snorkel but went swimming, there was quite a swell and some currents so decided I needed to gain my confidence first. The people on the boat we're all very friendly although the crew we're a little chaotic but all ok.
Jewel Cay is a tiny island which is joined by a bridge to Pigeon Cay. It has 6 churches and 4 restaurants/cafes. The Kayla hotel is right at the end next to the beach and reef with beautiful views. There is a dock which the dive boat comes to and there's a jetty with hammocks - so I'm happy. Our room is a private double with ensuite on the corner so has some air flow at night. The place is a little run down but this gives it charm and I think maybe this is Honduras.
Monday 16th April
Dive boat leaves at 7.45, so we have to be up and kitted up by 7.15. Myra's cafe is open and serves freshly baked cakes, coffee, tea and juice.
We have two dives and back by 12noon ish, first dive was a deep site and nothing to see so I stayed on the boat. Second dive was better and so enabled me to get off and have a swim.
Back for lunch
Then Andy and I went out for a snorkel in the reef near the hotel. I was quite confident especially having Andy there to help if I needed him. I saw lots of fish and a Turtle - Andy missed that one again.
Dinner - Fish Burgers Restaurant.
Tuesday 17th April
Andy diving - 2 dives and then a snorkel with the rear end of a whale shark.
Wendy - catching up with the Blog, reading, sunbathing and some more snorkelling, this time on my own and for about 45minutes. I think I could get used to this life.
Wednesday 18th and Thursday 19th
Diving & snorkelling - last chance to swim in the Caribbean Sea for a little while.
Thursday night is Pizza and Beer night. An old lady in a house near the hotel cooks pizza in her kitchen. You order in the morning and then go an pick it up at dinner time. It was nice to have some communal eating with lots of chat about diving etc.
Friday 20th April
Chilling until noon then catch the dive boat back to Utila Island. Walking round Utila Island, people watching and buying the obligatory dive t-shirt.
Checked into Rubie's guest house - very nice a little treat as slightly over our budget. Wow a hot water shower that works. Comfortable bed and a fan. Good nights sleep had by all.
Next stop Copan Ruinas