BAY ISLANDS OF HONDURAS
I bussed back down to Placentia and caught the ferry to Porto Ordaz, Honduras and then shared a taxi with 3 others through San Pedro Sula to La Ceiba, an unsavory city on the Caribbean coast.
Another ferry brought me to Utila in the Bay Islands, one of the premier dive spots in the world. The other larger, better known and more expensive island of the islands is Roatan. Utila is only about diving and I took my open water PADI certificate here. Having to swim 200 yards at the beginning was a real test. They thought I was going to drown. I have never swum more than 25 yards in my life. The instruction was world-class with instructors from Denmark, England, the US and Trinidad. Probably the cheapest place in the world to get your open water at $300, 4 nights accommodation, breakfasts, a t-shirt and 2 free dives at the end were included. Known for its big wall diving, the fish were exceptional.
It is one of the better places to see whale sharks, the largest fish at over 60 feet. They come here in early February and had just arrived. We say several in the distance and one very close, quite a sight as they are covered in yellow spots. It is not allowed to dive with them, so everyone lines up in two rows at the back of the boat with snorkeling gear. When the whale approaches, everyone hits the water hoping to catch a glimpse as it cruises by. Utila was a lovely place to finish my Central America trip as it so laid back.
Another long bus ride brought me back to Guatemala City (stayed in a nicer part of town this time) but still got hustled by a fellow from Montreal who claimed he had been robbed. After the flight home, it felt good to be in the cold again.