We’re having a hard time leaving Utila. The kids don’t want to go. It feels homey. We’ve figured out how things work, which is not hard since the main street is less than a mile long. There is a clear blue ocean out the back door, and a dog has adopted us. I am quite happy to subsist on avocado baleadas (a fresh tortilla with black beans, egg, salty cheese, and avocado) bananas and fresh coconut water, which makes my food bill for the entire day a whopping seventy cents. .
Utila offers just enough and then no more. It requires island ingenuity.....I had to make my Valentine's from the pages of an old German novel and am trying to come up with a recipe for sunscreen. It’s very poor, but it provides. Last night was sushi night at our hostel and it was darn good. The guy who made it all posted a list of choices and then you sign up and he delivers. The ladies in the kitchen at our hostel are exploiting my children's sugar addiction, twenty limpiras at a time.
"Hola, Guapo.!¿Quieres un poco de pastel ?" ....Hey Handsome! Want some cake? And of course they do. Last night it was poppyseed cake with strawberry ice-cream. Who can argue with that?
When you read the guide books they say that Utila has a ‘trash problem’. It does and they are working on it. I’m sure it has infrastructure problems. There are no street rules, signs, or police here. We rented a golf cart and I asked about policies and rules. The guy just looked at me. “Try not to wreck it.” he said. I gave Della the keys and we were off…..
It’s not unlike stepping back in time to maybe 1982. The international backpacker set is loud, fun, carefree and interesting. Diversity rules the day and it's fun just trying to figure out what languages are being spoken and what country advocates toe socks and underwear as proper daytime attire. Wes Anderson should make a movie here. But then it would be spoiled, or saved, depending on how you see things.
If we knew where we were going exactly, it might be easier to leave, but we change our mind every day. There are lots of great choices, There is Belize, Tikal, the Pacific coast of El Salvador, Mexico, or probably the best choice....Nicaragua. HOWEVER, we don't think we can handle the twenty hour shuttle ride. (It's advertised at twelve hours, but the grapevine says different) We have found that a great deal of our time is spent debating the pros and cons of modes of travel with other travelers and working out plans.
Travel days can be brutal. A full frontal assault of body, mind and spirit. The shuttle ride here was ridiculous....with twelve very large people crammed in the smallest van you can imagine. Which is perhaps good in the sense that the absentee seat belts are rendered useless, as no one can budge anyway. The roads are virtually lawless. Potholes are wide and deep. Shocks are nonexistent, so you could very well lose or loose a tooth, and you should definitely be wearing a supportive bra. No one in Central America got the memo on 'How to pass on a mountain road with a fast approaching line of traffic, the first of which is a gas truck....." I'm not even going to mention banditos.
If there was such a thing as a travel fairy, I'd click my heels, and have five cheap plane tickets to the next destination. Amber, a friend at the hostel, has found a yacht that goes from here to Belize City, but we'd need to find 17 other people to go with us, which is really quite doable. We could sail to Rio Dulce with a boat anchored just off shore from our hostel, which my children are voting for, but I think it's because the captain houses a ferret in his dreadlocks. Everyone and his brother will drive you anywhere, but it seems like the last best bet.
So while it's fun to plan the next leg of the trip, it requires a few days of torture, when actually executed, so as I said.....Utila is just perfect right now. I'll continue debating which color coconut tastes best, looking for sea turtles in clear blue waters, playing gin rummy while drinking gin or rum, and marveling at this sweet little island that floats, ever so cooly, in an azure bath off the coast of Honduras.