February 12, 2006

Three Lies

Our ClassUTILA, BAY ISLANDS, HONDURAS - When people here get the feeling that you're about to leave, they are often quick to remind us of the three lies that everybody tells in Utila:

  1. I'm not drinking tonight
  2. I love you
  3. I'm leaving tomorrow

Our diving certification course has been over for more than a day now, and this list of three lies was repeated to us over and over as we threatened to catch the 6:20 am ferry back to the mainland this morning. Of course last nights full moon party lasted well into this morning and we missed the ferry; not from sleeping in, but rather from staying up too long and losing track of time. It's alright, we promised ourselves; we'll just catch the next boat this afternoon...

That was before the clouds blew in and the winds whipped up the sea. Now they're telling us that the only ferry off this island has been cancelled for the rest of today and we may be stranded for as long as three days. The ferry operators have sighted poor weather as the reason.

No worries, I really can't imagine a better place to be trapped. Worse case scenario is that Will can fly (there is a small airport here) to Tegucigalpa on Monday or Tuesday in order to make his flight back to Canada, while Brian and I wait for the boat brave the crossing.

As far as SCUBA diving goes, we all had an incredible time and came away with our PADI Open Water Certification. We spent 4 days diving various reefs around the island and even spent a short but wild time snorkeling with a pod of dolphins. It happened very fast, one minute we were waiting in our dive boat, sunning ourselves and preparing for our second dive of the day, and the next our boat was screaming out into the Ocean on course to intercept their path. Once in position, we all jumped into the water like lemmings over a cliff. From noise and chaos of the boat, to the silence and deep blue sea in an instant. The dolphins were gone as quickly as they came, 20 or 30 of them in all directions, taking turns swimming up to get a close up look at me floundering at the surface, then descending deep into the infinite darkness below. It was an experience I'll remember probably forever.

February 06, 2006

Bound For The Bay Islands (Utila)

LA CIEBA, HONDURAS - This whole missing passport ordeal is proving to be quite pleasant. It's forced me to climb up into some spectacular cloud-forests, see a few more Mayan ruins (effectively making me an authority on the Mayan world), and if things go according to plan (they usually don't), it looks like it might allow me to spend a few days on a idyllic island paradise in the Caribbean getting my SCUBA licence in what's marketed as being the 'cheapest place in the world' to do it. As a bonus, I discovered today that it's whale shark season out there. That is to say, it's supposedly a great time to see them diving; not a good time to hunt them. Sounds fun. If I end up opting out of the diving, there´s still some promise of adventure; our guide book describes the place as 'freakishly hedonistic'.

We may be out there for the better part of 4 or 5 days and rumor has it that Internet access is expensive and difficult. I'll scope out the situation, but may not post again for some time.

February 02, 2006

Here Comes The Rain

Here Comes The Rain

This rain squall nearly caught us off-guard. This photo was taken in the village of San Juan on the way to Gracias, Honduras. I´ve also uploaded pictures of our climb up the highest peak in Honduras. You can see them here.

January 31, 2006

Keep on Keepin' on

No sense in sitting on our thumbs in Tegucigalpa waiting for Canada to get a replacement passport to me. Willie won´t be travelling with us for much longer and the walls of my prison (the Honduran border), while small on a map of the world, are actually quite large...from a human perspective. We´ve bucked up and decided to do some exploring.

A few bus rides and a little bit of hitch-hiking through the country-side has brought us to an out of the way town called 'Gracias'. It just so happens that the highest peak in Honduras is staring down at us from every corner of this tiny town. We can´t really see the top, as it´s covered in clouds but we hear that it´s meant to be a spectacular two day hike to the summit and back. Brian has started salivating over the prospect of climbing a mountain...

January 27, 2006

Down and out in Tegucigalpa

Now I'm hiding in Honduras
I'm a desperate man
Send lawyers, guns and money
The shit has hit the fan.

-Warren Zevon

It's been more than a couple days since I've posted. I can explain. We've been into some serious adventure. Well, mis-adventure; but as far as I can tell both words mean the same thing; that is, all adventure is actually mis-adventure. If you remember, my memory for hardship is short. This episode is already being filed away in my mind as an experience rather than ordeal. It all cumulated in an unplanned trip to the Canadian Embassy in Tegucigalpa, the capital of Honduras and a couple visits to the local police. The first visit being a bust because they didn´t have paper... or a typewriter (we needed a report). No paper, just guns on a desk.

We left El Salvador without a hitch. The night spent in lockdown on the border at the old slaughterhouse recently converted into a hotel (the meat hooks on the wall were a dead giveaway) for wayward travellers like us was much nicer than the hotel from the previous night which, judging by the signage in the rooms was much more accustomed to renting rooms by the hour. Either way, it didn't matter, as long as there was a place to rest my head that was out of the sun I was content. I'd been enduring nearly two weeks of heaches, diareaha, fever and occasional puking. Cycling nearly 100km each day in more than 40 degrees of heat wasn't helping my condition and wasn't making for much fun either. Still, it was better for each new day to have a different horizon; The world is big and I didn't want to spend any more time than was necessary sweating it out in some crappy hotel. No we were headed for the promised land.

Honduras was to be a 300km speed bump on our way to better and badder countries, for our sights were firmly set on Nicaragua. The city of Leon was to be our shining palace at the end of the yellow brick road, our pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. But alas, the mirage at the edge of the desert will remain just out of reach for the time being. 2 days; We were a mere two days from Leon. I could actually see Nicaragua.

It was one of those days where your head hurts to much to bother moving it. Had I moved it a little more, or even been a little more involved in my surroundings I may have realized that at some point during the day I was no longer carrying the pouch with my wallet, passport and camera in it. Had I not resigned myself to simply exist and wait for the next day to come I may actually been able to cross the border into Nicaragua.

We made it to the border, but couldn't cross. There was one sympathetic immigration official who offered to 'talk to somebody higher up' to arrange to have us smuggled over the Rio Negro by night. It would have been exciting, but I'm certain none of our mothers would have approved. We politely declined.

I've spent the last 3 days talking my way through security checkpoints sans identification (surprisingly easy if you have the right colour skin) and getting to the capital in order to jump through all the hoops that one needs to jump through to have a passport issued in Tegucigalpa without the benefit of proof of citiziship or a guarantor. Now all I have to do is way 10-12 working days....

Yes, I'm again without a camera. Maybe I'll start drawing pictures. I think somebody suggested it earlier.

Tick, Tock....