Semana Santa – Part Four

Dear all

Continuing on my nature exhibition of Utila, the next day, I went snorkelling at a local beach. I was determined for this cold not to get the better of me. I took the brunt of the sand-flies and hired snorkelling gear. I also brought some bread to feed the fish, like I’ve done in Greece and Turkey in the past. It was a garden under the water. I had heard warnings of underwater snakes but luckily there were none. It was very peaceful. Coming to see the second biggest coral barrier reef in the world had been something on my list of things to do here. As I was short of cash,
scuba-diving was out of the question (even though it’s the cheapest place in the world to do your PADI certificates). So this was amazing. The fish were colourful, and some were very large and looked a bit scary. The bread I took must have been of a poor quality (it wasn’t Mighty White, obviously) or the fish were full, because they didn’t seem in the slightest bit interested.

That night I went out and met with Sergio and Christian, Arturo’s friends. They were downing shots, which I partook in a few, and scoffed spicy tacos at the end of the night. We finished the night about 2am, as the plan was to go to Water Cay, a deserted island, the next day.

It was an early start. I was told to meet them at 7am. How innocent I was to think they would be there on time. I have been here four months. I should know by now that time-keeping isn’t a Honduran concept. I was left waiting two hours with a hangover. During that time, a man was pestering me for business. He tried to make me promise that I would use his boat when my friends arrived and I was close to laying him out as he wouldn’t take no for an answer. That was for an hour and a half. Seriously, it was like the kid in Casa Alianza that I wrote the poem about the other week, who kept prodding me and asking me questions, “Porque, porque, porque” (why, why, why). This guy was in his 50s though. He doesn’t deserve to have a poem written about him. Just a kick in the ribs. The crossing was like the Vomit Comet all over again but more enjoyable, with plenty more sea-spray in our faces.

From the left: Myself, Christian, Sergio

The Cays

When we got there, we were joined by other Hondurans from all over Honduras as well as a couple of guys from Nicaragua. We unloaded the cool box on the beach, full of beer and snacks, only to be told that we wouldn’t be able to drink the beer as the brewery Salva Vida had bought up the rights, so the man claimed, so people could only drink this brand of beer on the island. There was a Salva Vida bar there – so much for desert island dreams. We gave the two finger treatment to corporatism and drank our beer anyway. We then waded into the turquoise waters which you only see in holiday brochures, and drank, and talked, and enjoyed paradise. It was overcast that day but I still got a little burnt. There was also country and western music played on the island from loud speakers that made it impossible to ignore. ‘Achy Breaky Heart’ on a tropical island is not as good as Bob Marley. Sorry Mr Cyrus. People had warned me that beaches can get full in Semana Santa and Water Cay was no exception. I enjoyed it though. It was beautiful, with the palm trees and clean sands, but maybe I’ll return when it’s quieter, when it properly feels like a desert island. On the way back, the winds picked up. The waves were huge. The Captain wanted to pretend he was calm and cool but we all saw him flinching.

When I returned to the apartment, the French girl was very off with me, generally blanking me and not saying why. She’d been quite strange with me for a couple of days, but now her sulk was as subtle as a Glasgow kiss, as opposed to a French one. It made me feel uncomfortable. I left the apartment a bit upset and a feeling of paranoia. That night, to get away from the crap reggaeton music being played
everywhere, I went to a rave in a bar called Bar in the Bush. I was due to meet
with Arturo later. I went to Treetantic by myself and walked around feeling lonely. Even there they were playing crappy mainstream dance songs like Flo-rida. I had heard the song about 30 times in Utila alone and I wanted to kill the DJ. I’m going to dedicate a song to the crap DJs of Utila with one of my favourite Smiths songs. Panic. Hang the DJ. Love it.

Luckily, like an angel, I bumped into a lovely girl called Shelly who was from Reading, England. She also had no one to speak to and amazingly we liked all the same music and had the same opinions about “discotecas” in Utila: shite was the
conclusion. She was training to be a diver in Utila. She had given up a well-paid job with Microsoft to be there and her dream was to set up a diving shop.  Unfortunately I have no photos of her, so I am going to include a few more photos of Treetanic because it’s ‘masiso’ (cool, in Honduran Spanish). We sat on swings for a while, and then went to the rave together. It’s strange togo to a rave to get away and relax. It wasn’t the best rave on earth. Shelly then went off to see the moon (it was called the Full Moon party) at the beach.

I didn’t see her after that and I didn’t have her phone number or contact details, not even a surname so I couldn’t find her on Facebook. Nonetheless, I was really pleased to have met her, she cheered me up for the three or four hours that we were talking, and that’s why I call her an angel, we were fated to meet each other no matter how short it was. I think she appreciated meeting me as well. Some friendships are supposed to be short-lived like that. Arturo and his friends were in the rave so I wasn’t alone after that. I got talking to a guy from Tegucigalpa, with Arturo, but Arturo went off to strutt his stuff. It was about 5am and this guy wanted to know everything about British culture and me. Whether it was alcohol or heat-stroke, I don’t know, but I didn’t have my gaydar switched on, and he put his hand in my lap. At first, I didn’t realise his intentions because, as I said, I was drunk. But then he left it there and grinned at me, a bit creepily though. I then freaked, fell off my stall and ran off to find girls to dance with. I felt a bit sorry for him because it must have seemed quite rude of me. I told Arturo about it later and he didn’t think the gentleman was gay either. But he laughed all the same. I left soon after. When I got back to the apartment, the girls were still up, and the girl who blanked me earlier blanked me again, but I was tired and drunk and needed my bed. Suffice to say, I didn’t care.

During the day, however, I came across a bird feeder that was, what I think were, humming birds. I’ve never seen them in the wild so I was again chuffed with my findings. So please find a picture below.

Expect part 5 tomorrow.

Humming birds

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About Nicholas Rogers

I am an English journalist/copywriter living in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, and I have been here since 2011. I originally came to work with Casa Alianza, which supports street kids and vulnerable youths. I then stayed on, after meeting Pamela Cruz Lozano, who calls me her adopted Catracho. I work freelance journalism and I have my own translation business. Why did I come here? For the challenge, to open my mind and get out of my comfort zone. I love literature and I've written a book with street kids. I write novels, short stories and poetry, all of which you will find on this blog, as well as a lot of information about Honduras. View all posts by Nicholas Rogers

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