Saturday, June 28, 2008

Utila Lighthouse, Honduras

We arrived in San Pedro Sula at 8:00 PM realizing after we’d seen the sun set from the plane that in the summer, the sun does not set later further south. We asked the taxi driver to take us to a hotel in our guidebook that sounded reasonable, and was close to the bus station. Upon arrival in the dark and supposedly quite dangerous city we were informed that there were no rooms available anywhere. I kind concierge offered to call all the other local hotels to see if he could find us a room. After about thirty minutes of hearing him ask, “do you have any rooms for tonight?” Saying, “Thank you,” and hanging up saying each time, “llena” (full), we started to feel a little bit of fear. Sitting on the couches in the hotel lobby we thought, we could sleep here…

Finally, they informed us that they had found us a room. After telling them a few minutes earlier that we would be willing to pay for an expensive room, just any place to sleep, I prepared to have to spend a little extra money. What I did not prepare for, however, was the tiny, dark room we entered for the first night of our Honduran dream honeymoon.

I just couldn’t bring myself to take a picture of the room (it was so small I probably would have needed a wider angle lens than I have anyway). We said, “oh well,” and we carefully laid our sarongs (oh, the sarong of a thousand uses) on the bed, put a couple of chris’ t-shirts over the pillows, and pushed the heavy bed in front of the door to supplement the somewhat flimsy looking lock. We slept surprisingly well, got up and six to take a cold shower, and go out looking for bus tickets out of San Pedro Sula.

The bus ride was beautiful. When we bought our tickets the woman asked if we wanted first class. I said yes, having read that the first class buses were much better. It turns out that we had asked for first class on the first class bus. Funny contrast. Disney world resort to hotel room where you don’t want to touch anything to having a weird lunch served in your luxury bus seat.

After our experience in San Pedro Sula, we opted to head to Utila as we’d originally planned to take advantage of the room we had reserved. The ferry was small, I think it was packed with about 50 people.

The Utila Princess:

La Ceiba harbor:

As you see in the photos, it was a dark cloudy day, and the wind made for some awefully large waves out in the open ocean. The little ferry was tossed about by the waves, many of them crashing over its roof. I think at least five people threw up during the trip and many more looked kind of grayish green. Chris thought it was better than any of the rides at Disney world. I thought it was terrifying until I realized that the boat was probably not going to capsize.

When we arrived on the island of Utila, we walked down the street along with many other backpackers getting off the ferry. The main street is lined with little open air restaurants, hostels, and dive shops. We heard Bob Marley’s music coming from at least two of them in our 5 minute walk to the lighthouse hotel. We walked up the stairs to our hotel that is built over the water on stilts, and the woman who owns it called out, “Hi Emery!” What a difference from the previous night.

Our room is incredible. Our honeymoon dreams realized. It is new, has wood floors, a nice bathroom, a very cute kitchen, and it is on the corner with a sliding glass door facing the harbor and the blue water of the Caribbean.

Standing in the doorway of our room:

Thelma, the woman who owns it is from New Orleans, and is wonderful. Our guidebook says that Utila is boring. We’re glad to have little to do other than sit on the wrap around porch in the Adirondack chairs and hammocks looking out at the ocean.

The breeze makes sure the bugs are nonexistent, and our neighbors are fish biologists who study Caribbean coral reefs when they’re away from the professor jobs. Well, time to try out the snorkel mask.


Jed said...


Louisa said...

I'm so glad the place on Utila met your expectations. I know the crushing disappointment of a terrible's enough to throw a bad light on any city. Your suite in Utila looks gorgeous though. I'm so happy for you!

glo said...

I'm so glad you made it to your little hotel after your adventures in San Pedro Sula. It was so good to hear from you - Remember- dinner on us! Love you lots

Amy said...

Sounds like an adventure! I'm glad the honeymoon location is working out. :)

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