The only reason we spent the night here was because we missed the last ferry of the day to Utila. In saying that we had a great night of dinner and drinks with some friends we'd made the journey from Belize with, and had extremely cheap and pleasant accommodation.
We rose early the next morning to get the ferry to Utila, one of the Bay Islands.
On the ferry a lot of people got sick as it is quite a rocky journey and there are not many windows in the seated area.
We've since heard they call that ferry the vomit comet. And we can definitely understand why.
Once on Utila we made our way to Alton's Dive Centre, as we had been recommended it by a fellow traveller. Sean and I signed up for our advanced diving certificate, settled into our room (free with dive course) and went off to explore the streets. The island had a great bakery with tasty baguettes and HEAPS of dive schools. Utila is seriously dive city, and whilst it is a fun backpacker vibe kinda island, if you're not a diver there isn't a whole heap to do there. That night it was Superbowl Sunday so we went to a place called RJ's and watched the game with a hearty meal of rice, chicken, beans and salad. The Central American standard (no complaints here).
During our dive course we got to visit shipwrecks, dive at night under torchlight seeing illuminated coral and glowing octopuses, and dive down to 35m. That's deep! The course took 2 days and BOOM we were accredited.
It is easy to see why Utila is so popular with scuba minded backpackers. The water is warm, clear, full of fish and coral and due to the abundance of dive schools in close proximity to one another, prices for courses, tanks and boat dives are extremely competitive. It's a wonderful place to visit on a budget and to catch the diving bug if you haven't already!
Whilst on the island we'd heard stories of a local bar called Skid Row. Rumour was if you could down 4 shots of the bars homemade spiced rum, you'd get a free singlet letting everyone know how tough you were (Ha!). So off we went with a couple of guys we'd been hanging out with and we attempted the challenge. I don't remember much of the night after the first shot challenge but I know I woke up the next morning with a pounding headache and TWO skid row singlets.
By this stage of our trip we'd realised we had seriously underestimated how long it would take us to get to Panama, and we decided if we were going to make our flight home, we'd have to bypass mainland Honduras, Nicaragua and El Salvador. So we booked a flight from Roatan (the other Bay Island) to San Jose 2 days later.
Next stop Costa Rica..