The San Pedro Sula airport had a Dunkin Donuts in it, so it’s one of my favorite places now, highest per capita murder rate or not. Even so, I skipped to the last few pages in each of my books, just in case. The flight to Roatán was less than an hour, and I found my hostel easily before strolling along the boardwalkish area. It’s beautiful, but hot and humid. So hot.
I had dinner and a couple beers with an ex-SEAL I met on the plane and a guy from Austin that he had met. The view from the restaurant was nice.
In all, I’m not very good at island life. I didn’t much care for it there, but my main point of coming was to do my dive certification. I started on Friday with shallow water instruction and did well with all my tests. Then I had a lovely burrito across the street. And then we went out to “Turtle Crossing” to do some diving. It was up and down a lot, which gave me trouble equalizing, and I got a bad headache and ended up sending the burrito back into the water. And I didn’t even see a turtle.
Saturday morning went much better. I took my time with my ears a bit more, and the dive was much easier. We also saw a sea turtle, which came up close to us and said hello for a couple minutes, so now my life is complete. I saw another turtle the next day, but the highlight was watching an octopus for a while, which even the instructor got super excited about because they’re nocturnal, and she hadn’t seen one during the day.
Sunday I moved from my very rustic hostel to a studio apartment on the beach. Decided to splurge for my last couple nights here. And after spending three days either in the sun or trying not to drown, it was worth every penny.
I just stayed in West End the entire time, which I was quite content doing. Here are a couple places I went:
Thai’s Place – Had some Green Curry. It was delicious.
Booty Bar – This is where I go every night to dance to techno-reggae
Sundowners – Chill bar on the beach. Plus, it’s right across from the grocery store. But it’s a great place to have a beer and watch the sunset.
Por Que No – Because I’ll go anywhere called Porque No. Why? Why not.
Normal flight back to San Pedro Sula, then a ride to my hotel with a guy and his adorable children. There, I just holed up for a couple days to get some work done, some of which was done at Cafe Welchez, which is the kind of WiFi cafe I miss so much. It’s a big city with all your normal restaurants, but I wanted to keep things authentic so I went to a place called UNO (which means “one” in Spanish) where they served a lot of deep-dish pizzas.
My lack of adventurousness and work schedule lead me to taking a 12-hour bus from San Pedro Sula back to Antigua to make my trip to Tikal easier. I took a nice bus with good seats and air conditioning, so I took lots of napped and caught up on my reading, so it wasn’t altogether unpleasant.
But here are some pictures from Antigua. It’s coming up to Semana Santa, and everyone here loves them some Jesus so it’s a pretty big deal.
Quetzalteca is one of the local drinks of Guatemala. Looks delicious… right? It’s mixed with Sprite here.
Unlike my previous bus ride, my next bus ride was extremely unpleasant.
I was supposed to leave Antigua at 6pm and arrive in Flores at 6am. As I was awaiting my transfer in Guatemala City, I decided to take out my book to read for a bit, and realized I didn’t have it with me. It’s in my locker at the hostel in Antigua, along with my external monitor, favorite pen, and my passport. I decided to just go anyways and come back for that stuff in a couple days. The bus had a broken tire and drove slowly before finally quitting, and a new bus had to come. That bus overheated. I finally arrived in Flores at 1pm after a 19-hour ordeal.
Then I decided to get up at 3am for the sunrise tour in Tikal, which was nice, except it was cloudy so we didn’t really see a sunrise. We did see all these things though.
This is actually Endor, the Ewok planet in Return of the Jedi.
We saw a Toucan and some Spider Monkeys too.
Back to the hostel around noon, I continued my self-torture by booking an overnight bus back to Antigua to fetch my things. Plus, I’d hate to miss out on more Semana Santa celebrations.
The hostel is located on Flores, a little island town in the middle of Guatemala. It takes about 15 minutes to walk around, and you can take a boat out if you fancy. Here’s a picture along the sidewalk that encircles the town.
There are lots of places to have a beer or fancy smoothie and watch the sunset. So I’m doing that and waiting for my 8:30 shuttle back to Antigua.